NEPAL – No festive cheer for carpet industry

Industry witnesses 25 per cent sales dip due to shortage of raw material
Kathmandu: The ongoing protest in the Tarai has marred the carpet industry. As the required raw materials such as fibre, poly propylene and chemicals are stuck in different custom points, manufacturers are unable to produce as per demand. According to manufacturers, the industry is facing a sales slump and supply is down by 30 per cent because of the shortage of raw material. Despite an existing 20 per cent surge in demand, they have not been able to supply products to the market.
During the peak season manufacturers used to witness 35 per cent more sales than normal times, but this year they are facing a problem because of low production. “Because of the political disturbance in the Tarai, our imported raw material are stuck in Birgunj custom point. Due to the lack of raw material we could not produce carpets as per demand,” said Madhab S Malla, Director of Heritage Flooring Carpets.
He further stated that transportation of raw material and finished goods are other major problems that they are facing. Like any other industry, the carpet industry is also hassled by labour crisis, load shedding and fuel crisis with inflated cost of production. Citing that August to December is the peak season for sales, Malla said, “During the festive and wedding season we generally witness sales growth of 40 per cent compared to normal days. However, this year with low production, we are facing a 30 per cent sales dip despite growing demand.” According to him, they are witnessing a growth in demand
of over 20 per cent over previous year. “As other flooring options such as parqueting and wooden flooring are expensive and have high maintenance cost, the demand for carpets are increasing,” he asserted. He stated that political stability is a must to provide positive vibes in all industries.
Heritage carpets offer three types of carpets such as jacquard, ribbed and velour with a wide variety
of colours, patterns and designs. The company claims that jacquard carpets are the most popular among customers. The price of carpets starts at Rs 400 and goes up to Rs 600 for two square metres. Boasting about unmatched quality products, he said, “Durability and affordability is the main unique selling proposition of the brand. Moreover, we offer more types of carpets than other companies.”
The raw material for the industry is imported mainly from Belgium, China and India. Heritage, Yeti and ST are major brands of the country. “We are on the verge of closure of the company due to the acute shortage of raw materials,” said Arati Bhatta, Procurement Manager at Yeti Carpets. Informing that five containers of raw materials are stuck at the Birgunj Custom Point, she said, “Our containers were stuck in the custom points since the last 45 days and it will still take 15 days more to get clearance.” She further added that they are also trying to divert custom but due to the cumbersome process, they are unable to do so.
“The shortage of the raw material in the prime season has led to sales being half than in usual days,” Bhatta said. She further said that they are running out of stock of raw materials and products to supply the market. According to her, customers preferred ribbed carpet the most.

The company used to manufacture 150,000 sq metres of carpet per month. She said that if the situation persists, the market will soon face scarcity of carpets

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