The coronavirus outbreak has hit the silk and embroidery trade in Uttar Pradesh hard. The epidemic has obstructed the supply of raw material to silk industry from China since January, leaving the manufacturers in lurch.
The rates of raw silk yarn have increased by 25 per cent; those for embroidery material, too, have gone up drastically.
According to silk manufacturers in Varanasi, the mulberry filature yarn from China is mostly used in the industry and is now priced at Rs 4,400 per kilogram. Roughly a month ago, its selling price was Rs 3,600 per kilogram. Similarly, the China Dupian yarn has seen its prices rise from Rs 2,800 per kg to the current rate of Rs 3,400 per kg. The supply of raw silk material from China was earlier stopped till February 10 and has now been extended.
This rise in raw material costs has a severe impact on domestic as well as overseas trade of silk from Varanasi, according to noted exporter Rajat Mohan Pathak. He said that the rates of silk fabric and sari in the domestic market has risen in the last few days and this trend is likely to continue. Pathak added that the problem is acute for the embroidery traders and workers since most of the raw material comes from China. The rate of 400 gram china stone has gone up from Rs 230 to Rs 450. Similarly, the 250 gram Koot Dana pack of beads used in embroidery is selling at Rs 200 now, compared to an earlier price of Rs 75 per pack.
The volume of Silk trade from Varanasi is Rs 2,500 crore annually and it consumes around 10 tonnes of silk yarn every day. Of the total raw material, 40 per cent is being imported from China. Around 700,000 people in Varanasi and adjoining districts are engaged in this trade.