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Handicrafts exports up 13% in April

NEW DELHI: Handicraft exports jumped 13 per cent to $ 256.8 million in April this year, despite sluggish demand in European markets, according to the data provided by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). 

In the same month last year, these exports stood at $ 227.16 million. 

"There has been an increase in the number of orders from traditional markets like the US. Also, the demand has been good from emerging ones such as China, 
Latin America andAfrica," EPCH Executive Director Rakesh Kumar said. 

However, he said, the demand is still sluggish in European countries. 

The US and Europe together account for about 60 per cent of the country's total handicraft shipments. 

Among the items that registered increase in April 2013, imitation jewellery saw the highest growth of 40.6 per cent, followed by woodwares 35.2 per cent, shawls as artwares 29.3 per cent and hand printed textiles and scarves about 10 per cent. 

The country's total handicraft exports have met the target of $ 3.3 billion for 2012-13. 

The handicraft sector employs one million people. Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur and Jodhpur are the major handicraft hubs in the country catering to global markets.