The Christmas orders for handmade items such as art metalware, woodware, paintings, zari and zari products have helped turn the fortunes of the domestic handicraft exporters for the third month in a row in November.
The exports of the country’s rich bouquet of handicrafts, which are mostly shipped to the US and Europe, increased by about 44 per cent in November to $ 44.81 million, according to the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) data.
“We expect the positive trend to continue. Inventories in Western stores have exhausted and we expect fresh orders,” EPCH executive director Rakesh Kumar told PTI.
After 11 months of contraction since October 2008, exports from the handicrafts sector, which employs one million people, including artists, turned positive from September this year.
Shipments in September were up 177 per cent and October saw a 400 per cent jump, though on a low base of the comparable months of the previous year.
“In September, we did a good number of items for the Christmas season,” Kumar said adding the good times will continue.
As exporters suffered contraction in the first six months of the current fiscal, the April—November 2009 cumulative figures still show a drop of 15 per cent at $ 912.30 million against $ 1,074.39 million in the same period last fiscal.
The US and the EU together account for 70 per cent of the country’s handicrafts exports.
Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicraft hubs catering to the world markets.
Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is a major centre for art metalwares and imitation jewellery, while Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh and Jodhpur in Rajasthan are famous for wooden, wrought iron and sea shell handicrafts and lace and lace goods from Narsapur in Andhra Pradesh are also famous in the global markets.