The dreaded coronavirus outbreak in China has cast its impact in farwaway Karimnagar, and how. Granite industry in the erstwhile Karimnagar district is witnessing a decline in exports of the local stone, especially to China.
Due to the virus outbreak which is spreading rapidly in China and other countries, Chinese buyers have stopped visiting Karimnagar district to purchase the locally available and popular Tan brown and Maple Red varieties. For the last fortnight or so, no buyer from China has visited the district. The district has around 70 granite quarries and another 200 odd polishing units.
Hotel industry also hit
Further, some Chinese buyers who visited during the first week of this month have already left following instructions from their country due to the coronavirus outbreak fearing any consequences in the country in spreading the disease. Now, there is not a single China buyer in the district, and the local hotel industry too has taken a hit.
R. Tirupathi Goud, former Karimnagar District Granite Quarry Owners’ Association president, said the outbreak of corona had forced stoppage of China buyers to visit the country and Karimnagar district. “Every month around 20 to 30 Chinese buyers used to visit the district and purchase granite by marking the raw blocks. On an average about 30,000 cubic metres of granite per month was exported to China. That has completely come down in last few days and the industry is set to lose at least ₹ 50 crore to ₹ 100 crore per month with no exports and stocks remaining in the quarries,” he said.
Chinese “Stone Fair” postponed
Expressing concern over the outbreak of the epidemic in China, Sri Venkatesh Granites (SVG) director Arjun Karwa said all the Chinese buyers have left the country and now there is no single buyer for the granite from the district, and huge stocks have piled up. To exacerbate, the proposed “Stone Fair” in Shamian in China from March 16 to 19 too is postponed to June 6 to 9 following the coronavirus,” he said.
The local granite industry, which is already struggling with fall in exports, would again plunge into a crisis with the outbreak of disease in China, Mr. Karwa feared. “Owners would be forced to reduce the staff and resort to cost-cutting till exports to China pick up. The coronavirus outbreak in China would not only affect the granite industry, but other sectors such as hospitality in the district,” he stated.