Export of coir and its products during the first half of 2020-21 has increased to Rs 1,662.43 crore despite COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises said on Tuesday.

The total exports of coir and its products stood at Rs 1,361.45 crore for the first half of 2019-20.

During April-September 2020-21, 5,43,393 tonne of coir and its products were exported from the country as against 4,93,399 tonne in the same period of 2019-20.

“The increase, in value, works out to be 22.1 per cent and, in terms of quantity, 10.1 per cent when compared to the corresponding figures of the previous year. The trend shows that coir exports will cross all the records by the end of this year,” it added.

The US topped the importing countries from India with 30 per cent in value and 17 per cent in quantity, it said, adding China is the second-largest importer with a share of 23 per cent in value terms.

Netherlands, UK, South Korea, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany and Canada are other key importing nations during the period, the ministry said.

“The work from home nature of the European/ US countries caused an increase in exports of coir floor coverings and coir pith. During the post-lock-down, most of the units are running more than the capacity to cater to the demand,” it added.

The total production of coir and its products was 4,40,000 tonne in April-September this fiscal.