Pashmina exports plummet

Kathmandu, August 6:

Export of Nepali Pashmina, one of the major foreign currency earners for Nepal, has been

continuously falling for the last six years.

According to Nepal Pashmina Udyog Association (NPUA), in the year 2057-58 BS, Nepal had exported Pashmina worth Rs 6.84 billion but since then, exports have been continuously going down. In 2063-64, Nepal has exported Pashmina worth only Rs 49.12 million, which is a drop of more than 824 per cent compared to 2057-58.

The 2063-64 figures show a drop of 21 per cent in comparison to the last fiscal year’s figures.

Nepali Pashmina has earned a bad name in the international market after low-quality Pashmina started to become part of the Nepali export kitty to the international market, accuses NPUA.

Entrepreneurs say that it is also due to the break-neck competition in the international market. “Since Nepali Pashmina could not compete in terms of quality and price,” entrepreneurs say, “exports have started to go down.” Even, polyester and woolen mixed materials are also being exported in the name of Pashmina in recent days. According to NPUA, “The problem is also due to government’s failure in defining Pashmina till date.”

International buyers like the US has now started buying Pashmina from China and India due to low-quality Nepali exports.

“Export of low-quality Pashmina has tarnished Nepal’s image,” Durga Bikram Thapa, general secretary of NPUA says adding that the association has now started a process of registering a trademark.

Over 90 per cent of Pashmina manufactured in Nepal is exported and only 10 per cent is consumed locally. Between 1997 and 2002, export of pashmina had been record high. The 10-year conflict has also hit the Nepali Pashmina hard.

Nepali Pashmina in the earlier days used to be exported to almost 70 countries. Now, it is exported to only 40 countries.

“Market expansion and registration of its own trademark are necessary for Pashmina to increase its export vloume at present,” Thapa says. Nepali Pashmina is currently being exported to Europe, America and some Asian countries. Recently orders from the US have substantially gone down.

There are over 100 Pashmina industries in Nepal, out of which 95 per cent are in the Kathmandu valley.