Carpet exports through Birgunj ICP down 16pc

Jul 28, 2018-Exports of hand-knotted woollen carpets through the Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Birgunj, one of the major trade points in the country, recorded a 16 percent drop in the last fiscal year.

According to the Birgunj Customs Office, 43,666 square metres of woollen carpets worth Rs480.3 million were shipped through the check post in the last fiscal year ended mid-July 2018. Shipments in the previous fiscal year ended mid-July 2017 amounted to 51,368 square metres worth Rs574.9 million.

Hand-knotted woollen carpets are one of the country’s key exports to third countries. In terms of value, woollen carpets were the sixth largest export in the last fiscal year. According to Santosh Yadav, information officer at the Birgunj Customs Office, the figure may have dropped because exporters have moved to a different route.

Yadav’s assumption is corroborated by the data of Sirisya Dry Port in Birgunj which recorded a rise in shipments of woollen carpets. Carpets worth Rs211.7 million were shipped through the dry port in the last fiscal year, up 19 percent from the Rs177.5 million recorded in the previous fiscal year.

Carpets stood fourth in list of goods exported through the dry port in the last fiscal year. Dhan Bahadur Baruwal, information officer at the dry port, said most of the carpet shipments were destined for the US.

Exporters prefer the dry port over other trading points as is it easier to transport cargo by rail from here, according to Baruwal.

Carpet exports have been declining in recent years after enjoying a boom period that lasted till the early 1990s. Apart from the US, European countries like Germany, Belgium and Spain are the major importers of Nepali woollen carpets.

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