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Cutlery Industry of Pakistan

Cutlery, in general, refers to all types of cutting instruments which may be used for industrial, commercial or domestic purposes. Cutlery products are generally classified into two categories namely kitchenware and non-kitchenware. The detail of products included in each category is depicted in table 1.

Cutlery Products

HS Code

Description

Kitchenware Cutlery

8215

Spoons, forks, ladles, skimmers, cake-servers, fish-knives, butcher-knives, sugar tongs and similar kitchen or tableware.

Non Kitchenware Cutlery

8208

Knives and cutting blades, for machines or for mechanical appliances.

8211

Knives with cutting blades, serrated or not (including pruning knives), other than knives of heading 82.08, and blades thereof.

8212

Razors and razor blades.

8213

Scissors, tailors' shears and similar shears, and blades thereof.

8214

Other articles of cutlery (hair clippers, butchers' or kitchen cleavers, choppers and mincing knives, paper knives); manicure or pedicure sets and instruments (including nail files)

9307

Swords, cutlasses, bayonets, lances and similar arms and parts thereof and scabbards and sheaths thereof

Located in the traditional metal workmanship triangle of Punjab, is the town of Wazirabad where the major part of the cutlery industry of Pakistan is clustered. However, some of the cutlery manufacturers are present in Sialkot, Lahore, Karachi and Dir (KPK) also. One important segment of industry (shaving blades and disposable razors) is entirely situated outside Wazirabad.

The history of metalworking in the vicinity of Wazirabad dates back to the times when Alexander the Great invaded India but it was in the time of British when the craftsmen of this area were recognised for their skills in cutlery. In its early days the town used to produce arms and ammunition for British Indian Army. During the World War II, the industry in and around Wazirabad, was manufacturing arms and accessories like bayonets, karpans, knives, daggers, etc. for allied forces. After the World War II, the market for war related products dried up. Soon after, most of the Hindu businessmen left because of partition of India and with it a huge sub-continental market was lost. This industry, therefore, had to go through restructuring and diversification. The industry emerged out of the crises with product diversification and started manufacturing cutlery, knives of various kinds, blades, scissors, shears, daggers, swords, replicas of swords and knives for decorative purposes and kitchenware. Ever since, the industry has grown and has weathered many up & down swings.

The industry essentially comprises of SMEs. There are over 400 units directly associated with the manufacturing of different cutlery products out of which 15-20 units may be classified as medium. More than 150 cutlery manufacturers are members of “Pakistan Cutlery and Stainless Steel Utensils Manufacturers Association”. The total installed capacity of the cutlery industry is to the tune of 8 million pieces whereas the production is 4.3 – 4.5 million pieces, according to the aforementioned association. The direct and indirect employment of this industry is estimated to be around 25,000. The cutlery industry contributes 0.11% to the country’s GDP and has a share of 0.25% and 6.5% in total exports and engineering exports respectively. The industry occupies the domestic market space (90 %+) and very few items of cutlery, kitchenware and blades are imported.

The major raw materials used by this industry include stainless steel sheet, re-melted metals, brass sheets, densified wood, camel bones, steel wire and plastics. Among different grades of steel being used for cutlery is Damascus steel which yields best finish for the products. All the raw materials used by this industry, whether produced locally or imported, are easily available.

Trade Statistics of Cutlery

According to trademap data, the global imports and exports were US$ 10,727 million and US$ 9,571 million respectively for the year 2009. The imports and exports of Pakistan were US$ 11.83 million and 52.88 million respectively for the same period. The details of the trade are given in table 2. The analysis of the data shows that Pakistan’s share in global exports is a mere 0.55% despite the potential.

Strengths, Weaknesses & Need Assessment

Over time, the industry has matured and the basic skill set is available at low cost but the skill set for higher value addition is unavailable. The industry also has sufficient production capacity and basic technologies which are now outdated. The productive assets are also outdated. The limited product mix and varieties in products is also hindering the growth of this industry.

The manufacturers also lack the knowledge of potential new markets and their dynamics. Moreover they have not yet been able to develop their brands and are dependent on third parties for marketing. The internal conflicts of the industry and the cut throat competition in prices are also adversely affecting the industry. Furthermore the industry also lacks the knowledge about quality standards and certifications and therefore quality management systems are almost nonexistent. Although there are a few companies who are large enough and have adequate managerial, technical, financial strength and sufficient export orientation

and experience but majority fall in SME and lacks these skills.

Thrust product wise studies of potential markets need to be done in order to assist and prepare the exporters for venturing into new markets. Knowledge dissipation about latest manufacturing practices, technologies, management practices and quality standards among the manufacturers need to be undertaken to enhance their competiveness. Skill sets both at technical and managerial levels need to be improved.

HS Code

Global Trade

Pakistan Trade

Imports

Leading Importers

Exports

Leading Exporters

Imports

Top Suppliers

Exports

Top Markets

Kitchenware

8215

1,809

USA, Germany, France

1,949

China, Hong Kong, Germany

1.11

UAE, Switzerland, Netherlands

1.60

Netherlands, USA, Germany

Non Kitchenware

8208

2,367

China, USA, Germany

1,907

Germany, Japan, China

4.03

Germany, China, Italy

0.45

USA, UAE, Brazil

8211

1,664

USA, Germany, Canada

1,448

China, Germany, Switzerland

0.25

China, Germany, Korea

9.28

USA, France, Belgium

8212

3,729

USA, Germany, UK

3,162

Poland, Germany, USA

5.31

Poland, Germany, China

8.65

Saudi Arabia, China, Iran

8213

454

USA, Germany, Japan

443

China, Germany, Italy

0.12

China, USA, Germany

7.32

USA, Italy, UAE

8214

657

USA, Germany, UK

634

China, Germany, Korea

1.01

China, Germany, Japan

25.07

USA, Brazil, Germany

9307

47

USA, Germany, France

28

Germany, USA, Taipei

-

-

0.51

USA, UK, Germany

Sub Total

8,918

7,622

10.72

51.28

Total

10,727

9,571

11.83

Source: Trademap
52.88

 

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