Handicraft exports increase 21pc in H1Handicraft exports grew 21 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal year, driven by a hike in demand for Nepali handmade goods in the international market.
Handicraft exports grew 21 percent in the first six months of the current fiscal year, driven by a hike in demand for Nepali handmade goods in the international market.
Handicraft goods worth Rs2.7 billion were shipped from mid-July to mid-January,
compared to Rs2.2 billion during the same period a year ago, shows the latest report of the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (Fhan). Handicraft export revenues jumped in the first half of this fiscal year due to swelling demand for felt products, metal crafts and woollen goods, which accounted for 63 percent of total receipts.
Shipments of felt products in the first half of the fiscal year were valued at Rs748.5 million, up 78 percent year-on-year. They accounted for 27.8 percent of total handicraft export revenues.
“Exports of felt products jumped because of increased demand in the US,” said Fhan President Dharma Raj Shakya. However, he could not state the exact reason for the growth in demand for Nepali felt products in the American market.
The second biggest contributor to handicraft export revenues in the first half of this fiscal year was metal crafts, including religious statues, traditional utensils and singing bowls.
Shipments rose 27.6 percent to Rs664 million, as per the Fhan report. Metal craft accounted for 24.6 percent of the total handicraft export revenues in the first half of this fiscal year.
“Exports are growing because of a hike in production,” Shakya said. “In the past, production of metal crafts had faltered due to political problems, such as general strikes.” According to Shakya, China is the largest importer of metal crafts.
The third largest contributor to handicraft export revenues was woollen goods with shipments during the first half totalling Rs289 million, up 10 percent
year-on-year. Woollen products accounted for 10.7 percent of total handicraft export earnings.
Meanwhile, exports of some major foreign currency earners, such as silver and pashmina products, have fallen.
Shipments of pashmina products plunged 41 percent to Rs111.8 million while exports of silver products dropped 10 percent to Rs78.7 million, shows the Fhan report. “It has been difficult for Nepali pashmina to compete with Chinese and Indian products. This has hit exports,” Shakya said. “In the case of silver products, we were forced to cut output because of the use of toxic cadmium, a toxic substance, in their manufacture.”
Nepal exports most of its handicraft products to the US, Germany and China.