Hand Woven Carpets: Major Market Facts

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India is one of the largest exporter of hand woven carpets, the first being Iran. Other important exporters of hand-woven carpets are China, Taiwan, Pakistan and Turkey. The major markets for carpets are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, France, and Netherlands in the west and Saudi Arabia, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia in the east. USA and Canada account for as high as 53% of the international carpet market in value terms and Germany absorbs about 22%. The oriental nations buy only 4.25% of the global overseas buying of hand-knit carpets. In the high quality market, Iranian exporters have a clean sway, while in middle quality China, India and Pakistan have come to the fore. In low quality, at times Nepal outstrips the other two countries of the subcontinent.

Major Market Facts
According to the statistics compiled for country wise exports, the share of our exports to USA & Canada is 54% (USA accounts for 52.55% whereas Canada accounts for only 1.45%). USA consumes around 28% of the world import of carpets & floor coverings. The major portion of import of carpets and floor coverings into USA is of knotted carpets accounting for 38% whereas other woven carpets accounts for 29.8% and tufted accounts for 27%. There is an overall increase of 19.73% in import of carpets and floor coverings into the USA. The major competitor of India in carpets & floor coverings is China followed by Pakistan, Nepal and Turkey. The imports of carpets and floor coverings are largely controlled by a group of importers based in New York. The market in the USA for carpets and floor coverings is unevenly distributed. Most of the parts in the USA are almost nonexistent markets for carpets and floor coverings. The American consumers are choosy about colours and fashion dominates the sale of carpets and floor coverings into the USA. The position of Indian Carpets till 2000 was very comfortable because of embargo on import of carpets from Iran. However this has been lifted since February, 2000. Canada is relatively small market for carpets and floor coverings. The US market has not grown much over the last 3 years.

In Germany which is the second largest importer of carpets, China has the highest share of exports around 31.4%. Following China, other significant players are India, Pakistan, Nepal & Iran with shares of 25%, 11.7%, 11% & 10% respectively. Germany registered a decline of 8.3% in value term whereas the decline in Europe was only 2.9%. The reason for decline in German Market is because of piling of stocks with German Importers. Germany is importing carpets of different quality. The share of India in terms of volume for carpets less than 350 knots is around 49% whereas it is having the share in value of only 33%. The German Market for medium and low knottage carpets (less than 350 knots) is dominated by Nepal and India. For Carpets above 350 knots in the German Market is being supplied mainly by Iran and India. India is having 38% share in volume whereas 21% in value. Iran which has 22% share in volume has 40% share in value. The German Market for Silk Carpets is again dominated by India and China. China has a 52.3% share in volume and 42% share in value whereas India has 33.7% share in volume but only 19% share in value. The analysis above in German Market clearly reveals that although India has a strong grip in the market in various qualities of carpets but it does not have a grip on unit value realisation.

South East Asia
In this region because of climatic conditions and economy, the market has not developed for carpets and floor coverings. Although Japan has grown a small market for carpets and floor coverings but Indian exporters have not been able to penetrate much in this market because of dominance of China and Pakistan. These countries account for only 4.21% of the total exports of carpets and floor coverings from India. The main competitors in these markets are...
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