India is likely to miss its US $610 million export target of wool and wool-blended products for 2016-17 due to a global market slowdown as well as moderation in commodity prices, according to figures released by the Director General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Kolkata.
Exports of wool and wool blended products was to the tune of US $328.10 million (Rs 2,204.13 crore) between April 2016 and January 17 (2016-17), down by 18% in US dollar terms and 15% in Indian rupee terms, as compared to the corresponding period in 2015-16. The total value of exports in 2015-16 was US $462 million (Rs 3,013 crore), according to DGCI&S figures.
India’s main export markets, namely the US, European Union and the UAE are witnessing a slowdown. Incidentally, Punjab accounts for 35% of the total exports of wool and wool blended products, followed by Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The slowdown in global demand has affected medium-sized manufacturers in Ludhiana and Amritsar.
Since 70% of the exports are made to US and European countries, any fall in demand impacts exports to a substantial level. Meanwhile, Indian manufacturers of woollen products are exploring other markets to reduce dependence on US and European markets. They plan to export to markets in Kazakhstan, Australia, Germany and China.
According to Wool & Woollens Export Promotion Council (WWEPC) Executive Director R K Gupta, exporters plan to participate in international trade fairs in Kazakhstan, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Singapore, Canada and Mexico. Exporters have also suggested that the WWEPC should make efforts to organise reverse buyer-seller meets to increase exports of woollen products. They have also demanded exemption of raw wool from import duty, abolishment of import duty on woollen textile machinery as well as an increase in duty drawback rates.
In 2015-16, India imported wool worth US $308 million as compared to US $349 million in 2014-15. The decline in wool import has mainly been attributed to decline in exports due to weak global sentiments. WWEPC has also requested the central government to abolish import duty on woollen textile machinery, which is currently between 7.5% and 15%.
WWEPC Chairman Sushil Kaura said that taking export trends into consideration, the committee had proposed the same target of US $610 million for the year 2017-18. Considering the current export trend WWEPC has proposed to keep the same export target of US$ 610 million for the year 2017-18.