Mauritius - Export made clear (by Mexa)

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« L’avenir de l’industrie d’exportation dépendra de notre efficacité dans l’identification de marchés alternatifs pour nos biens et services », écrit la Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) dans un …

« L’avenir de l’industrie d’exportation dépendra de notre efficacité dans l’identification de marchés alternatifs pour nos biens et services », écrit la Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) dans un document intitulé « Export Made Clear » et dans lequel l’association dissèque la performance du secteur pendant le premier trimestre 2013.

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  • 1. 1. Export Performance for the year 2013There is no doubt that the export sector remains an important pillar of the Mauritian economy.It represents around 6.2% of our GDP, generating some 55,000 jobs directly and some 150,000jobs indirectly.Our exports for the first 3 months 2013 witnessed a nominal increase of 1.2% from Rs 10.88billion for the period Jan-Mar 2012 to around Rs 11.10 billion in same periods in 2013.Fundamentally, this can be explained by the pick up in the US markets as well as the timidrecovery in the European market.Indeed, the three months Jan-Mar 2013 recorded an increase in total exports to the traditionalmarkets. While total exports to the United Kingdom increased by 1.3%, exports within the Euro-zone, that is, Germany & Netherlands increased by 28.47%, and 99.67% respectively. Theincrease in exports to Netherlands is explained by the significant increase of 177% in exports offish from Rs 142 million in Jan-Mar 2012 to Rs 394 million in Jan-Mar 2013.At the same time, our exports to South Africa and Madagascar have witnessed an increase of3.9% and 2.3% respectively illustrating the shift of our exports from the conventional markets tothe region thereby reinforcing the diversification strategy adopted by the operators some yearsback.2. Product-Wise Performance Textile & Apparel:Exports Textile & Apparel dropped by around 1.9% for the three months Jan-Mar 2013 incomparison to same period in 2012. Pullover:Exports of pullover grew significantly over the first 3 months 2013. The main operators in thissector affirmed that the “prolonged-winter” season in Europe was the main factor whichcontributed to the boost in exports of Pullovers.While EU and South Africa, the two largest export markets occupies 60% and 20% share of theexport market respectively, the USA and Australia occupies the remaining 10% of export marketshare.The operators state that there is huge potential to further diversify to the US markets. However,logistics and lead time remains the main stumbling point. T-shirts:Export Made Clear…
  • 2. Exports of T-shirts recorded a drastic drop of around 20% for the 3 months Jan-Mar 2013compared to same period in 2012.Indeed, operators who are more present on the EU markets rather than the South-Africanmarkets have recorded a major decline in the exports of T-shirts during the first 3 months 2013as compared to 2012. The operators report that this is mainly due to the seasonal effect, (theprolonged-winter) whereby demand for t-shirts has declined as opposed to that of pullovers.Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the diversification strategy which had been adopted by theoperators has shown its strengths, especially with the Euro Crisis effect. Notwithstanding thefact that on average, 50% exports of T-shirts is directed towards the EU market, South-Africarepresents 30% share of the export market.On the other hand, exports of T-shirts to USA are insignificant given the presence of our directcompetitors like China and Bangladesh on this market. Fabrics:2012 saw a drop of 19.21% in exports of fabrics in comparison to 2011 due to increasingly highprice of cotton. On a positive note, the first three months 2013 have been more favorablesignaling an upward trend in exports of fabrics. Exports of yarn and fabrics (jersey cotton &denim) went up by 1.42% from 641 million in Jan-Mar 2013 as compared to 632 million in Jan-Mar 2012.Our traditional markets of exports are EU and USA. However, while the EU markets remainedunstable, the USA has had more prospects in terms of orders. Moreover, despite strong pricecompetition from Asia, trade agreements signed with other countries such as Turkey & Pakistanhas given a strong boost to the exports of fabrics.South Africa also is a market which is being exploited by our operators. Indeed, the exports of“knitted/crocheted” cotton fabrics to South Africa reached its peak at around Rs 23 million in2012 as compared to Rs 690,000 in 2011. Trousers:Exports of trousers have been quite favorable for first 3 months 2013 as compared to previousyear. We noted an increase of around 3% in exports of trousers during this period. While themain markets of exports are USA and EU, some companies have diversified their exports toSouth Africa. Shirts:In contrast with exports of T-shirts, the exports of Shirts for the period Jan-Mar 2013 hasincreased considerably. One of the main factors contributing to this increase is the expansion ofthe largest shirt manufacturer in Mauritius, Esquel (Mauritius) Ltd who have expanded theirExport Made Clear…
  • 3. production capacity through the acquisition of a new factory. It is to be noted that the USAremains their main market of exports.Moreover, the other operators in this category have recorded a stable performance in theexports of shirts. They affirm that the European markets for shirts have stabilized and they haveregained confidence from a base of clientele through rigorous marketing strategies.While USA remains the second largest market for shirts, the export trend in South Africa issignificantly picking up. Seafood:A positive performance of around 12% was noted in exports of fish and fish preparation for thetwo months Jan-Feb 2013. The allocation of the automatic derogation (tuna) in January 2013highly contributed to this increase since it enabled the sourcing of additional non-originatingfish.EU is the main export market for fish and fish products, including countries like Spain,Netherlands and UK.However, it should be noted that the real increase in exports of fish and fish preparation for Jan-Mar 2013 is only around 6%. This indicates the significant price effect of raw materials which isindeed on the high side. Moreover, despite the allocation of automatic derogation, theoperators are still suffering from shortage in supply of raw fish. Jewellery, Watch & Diamond (J&W&D):Despite the volatility in the price of raw materials, such as gold, silver and diamonds, the exportsJewellery, Watch, & Diamond products have witnessed an increase of around 10% for themonths Jan-Feb 2013 as compared to same period in 2013.EU remains the main export market for the J&W&D sector. Yet the operators are experiencingmore and more difficulty in retaining their “Clientèle”. This is mainly because Mauritiusproduces more of the “Moyenne-de-gamme” products whilst there is more demand for the“Haut-de-Gamme” luxury products.Some companies are hereby exploring other markets like the Middle-East as well as the USA.In a nutshell, it can be said that Mauritian exports is gradually adapting to the crisis in the Euro-Zone and is striving to uphold its main markets. At the same time, it is capitalizing on the USmarkets, and to a certain extent it is strategically diversifying to South Africa as well as theMiddle-East countries.Export Made Clear…
  • 4. Looking ahead, although the major risks to the global stance has somewhat lessened fromearlier crisis, our key export markets, particularly in Europe, continue to be marked byvulnerability and uncertainty. Thus, apprehensions over the short to medium term performanceof the export sector still remain.The future of our export industry will be determined on how quickly and how well we identifyalternative markets for our goods and services. Regional integration of Mauritius as a reliablesupplier of goods and services will be key to the future of the export sector.Export Made Clear…