Gujarat’s popular brass industry struggles to survive in Jamnagar
Jamnagar, Jan. 29 : The popular brass industry of Gujarat's Jamnagar city is presently facing a major challenge to sustain itself following a sharp erosion in the demand for its products in the world market.
A sudden drop in the prices of scrap metal and aggressive marketing from their Chinese counterparts has pushed many of the units manufacturing brass-based parts in Jamnagar region to the brink.
The brassware industry is an important part of the handicrafts and cottage Industry of the country and is known world over for its unmatched range of brass antiques and brass decoratives.
More than 5,000 odd industries are directly or indirectly related to brassware production in Jamnagar. There are a number of small-scale brassware manufacturers, brassware suppliers and brass handicrafts manufacturers in Jamnagar.
Global economic slowdown and fall in prices of brass scrap have affected the livelihood of many small time brass dealers.
"International recession also had a toll over our brass business. Within the last 20 days, price of our brass scrap has been reduced from rupees 260 per kilogram to 160 rupees per kilo. No new orders are coming, and even our old goods are just dumped in the storehouses," said Ramji Bhai Patel, President of the Jamnagar Factory Owners Association.
Patel said the cost of their imported scrap was much higher compared to the currently prevailing prices in the global markets that have tumbled over past few weeks, leaving them with a huge cost disadvantage.
The price of brass scrap has fallen sharply in the past one month. The brass dealers and traders said the cheap exports from China were flooding the markets and denting their sales.
"International recession also had a toll over our brass business. Within the last 20 days, price of our brass scrap has been reduced from rupees 260 per kilogram to 160 rupees per kilo. No new orders are coming, and even our old goods are just dumped in the storehouses," said Hemant Bhai Chotai, a businessman.
Jamnagar imports 95 percent of scrap from Europe and America markets. A sharp increase in the value of the US Dollar has also made the Indian imports more expensive. Prior commitments mean that Indian importers have to pay much higher for their contracts even though the global prices have taken a severe hit in the recent days.
India consumes about 100,000-150,000 tonnes of brass, of which about 70 per cent is imported.
Largely dominated by unorganized sector players, brass is used in handicraft and arts, which have good export market, mainly from the America and European nations. (ANI)