KATHMANDU, Oct 28: Exports of pashmina, readymade garments (RMG) and woolen carpet combined dropped by around 29 percent over the first two months of the current fiscal year compared to the same period in the last fiscal.
According to Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) - the central monetary authority, the country exported Rs 1.18 billion worth of pashmina, RMG and woolen carpet to different international markets during the first two months of 2012/13 ended mid-September. Nepal had earned Rs 3.06 billion from export of these three commodities in the first two months of 2011/12.
Nepal exported pashmina products worth Rs 7.1 million in the first two months of the current fiscal year, up 44.9 percent compared to figures of the same period in the last fiscal year. However, its export to third countries dropped by 44.9 percent to Rs 338.7 million. Overall earning from pashmina exports dropped to Rs 345.8 million during the review period, compared to Rs 623.5 million recorded in the first two months of 2011/12.
The country had exported pashmina products worth Rs 1.9 billion in 2011/12, up from Rs 1.63 recorded in 2010/11.
During the review period, RMG export to India and third country during the review period declined by 73.8 percent and 41.1 percent. Nepal exported RMG worth Rs 35.2 million to India and Rs 632.2 million to third country during the period, according to NRB.
Total RMG exports in the first two months of 2012/13 dropped to Rs 667.4 million, compared to Rs 1.2 billion recorded in 2011/12.
Nepali apparel exporters are facing tough competition in India as Bangladeshi exporters are supplying apparels at comparatively lower prices.
RMG, which was once the country´s largest exports, suffered a serious setback after the phase out of the duty free access to US market in 2004. After the policy shift by the US government, the number of big garment producers and exports has plunged to less than a dozen.
Nepal´s RMG export had hit an all time high of Rs 12 billion in 1999/2000. Nepal had exported RMG worth Rs 4.05 billion in 2011/12, down from Rs 4.08 billion recorded in 2010/11.
Similarly, export of woolen carpets - country´s fourth largest exportable commodity - dropped by 5.1 percent during the review period compared to data of the first two months of 2011/12. Nepal exported woolen carpets worth Rs 1.71 billion during the period, down from Rs 1.23 billion in the same period of last fiscal year.
Export of Nepali hand-knotted woolen carpet has been tumbling in Europe - the major market - due to financial crisis there. Rise in exports to China in recent years, however, has given some respite to Nepali exporters.
Nepal had exported woolen carpets worth Rs 6 billion (684,455 sq.m) in 2011/12, up from Rs 4.92 billion (833,409 sq.m) in 2010/11.