Revenues from handicraft exports slip marginallyRevenues from handicraft exports slipped 0.41 percent in the last fiscal year as the trade blockade by India coupled with labour and transport problems took their toll.
Revenues from handicraft exports slipped 0.41 percent in the last fiscal year as the trade blockade by India coupled with labour and transport problems took their toll.
Export earnings fell to Rs4.76 billion in 2015-16 from Rs4.78 billion in 2014-15, according to
the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan).
Fhan President Dharma Raj Shakya said export earnings fell marginally in the last fiscal year due to the blockade by India lasting more than four months which affected imports of raw materials. “Also, labour shortages and transport problems played a role in hurting export earnings,” Shakya said. Textile products account for almost 44 percent of handicraft export revenues. Metal craft, handmade paper products, silver jewellery and wood craft make up the rest.
Earnings from textile exports declined 10.18 percent to Rs2.07 billion in the last fiscal year. The textile segment includes items made of pashmina, wool, felt, silk, cotton, hemp, allo and dhaka. Among these products, pashmina products saw the largest drop in export earnings of a whopping 43.16 percent.
Nepal exported pashmina products worth Rs294.29 million in the last fiscal year, as against Rs517.76 million in 2014-15. Shakya blamed lack of product diversification for the downturn in shipments.
Meanwhile, export earnings from felt products, which account for 23 percent of the total handicraft export earnings, jumped 17.21 percent to Rs1.07 billion. Exports of these products went up because of greater demand for decoration items, shoes and cushion covers made of felt.
Similarly, earnings from exports of non-textile products grew 8.55 percent to Rs2.69 billion. In this segment, earnings from exports of metal crafts, which account for 26 percent of total handicraft export earnings,
went up 2.03 percent to Rs1.22 billion. Exports of metal crafts
rose because of greater demand from China.
Likewise, earnings from silver jewellery exports swelled 13.78 percent to Rs186.96 million in the last fiscal year. Shakya said that the establishment of a cadmium testing lab at the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology three years ago had also helped push up exports of silver jewellery.
Many big exporters have been exporting their products only after receiving cadmium-free certificates from the lab, according to Shakya. Nepali handicrafts are shipped to 80 countries among which 30 are large buyers. Europe accounts for 43 percent of Nepal’s total handicraft exports while the US accounts for 17 percent, according to Shakya. He said handicraft exports totalled over Rs10 billion, including products that are exported on an individual basis. Of late, Canada has been emerging as a major market for Nepali handicraft products, according to Fhan. Apart from traditionally exported handicraft products, ceramic products, metal crafts and silver jewellery have been attracting buyers from the US and Canada.