A total quantity of 410,854 tonnes of coir and coir products, valued at Rs 1,053 crore were exported during 2011-12, against an export of 321,016 tonnes, valued at Rs 807 crore in the previous financial year. The target fixed for the financial year by the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises was Rs 850 crore and the achievement is 124 per cent, said G Balachandran, chairman, Coir Board.
He told Business Standard, the focus on virgin markets, especially Africa and Latin America, helped perform better during the last financial year, despite severe economic problems in traditional markets like Europe. Exports were started for the first time to eight countries during 2011-12, mainly in Africa and Latin America. He also said China was an emerging market with products worth Rs 200 crore shipped to the country during the period.
The Board will focus on tapping virgin markets this financial year, too. It will participate in 24 international exhibitions for natural fibre products this year, of which 12 are in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. He said export to the euro zone had faced a setback last year, so exploring new markets was a thrust area.
The ministry has set a target of Rs 1,000 crore for the current financial year. The Board expressed confidence on this, as there was better awareness for Indian natural fibre products, especially that of coir, all over the world. India exports coir and coir-based products to nearly 80 countries.