• CCI AD FROM 5th April 2021

MARKET WATCH 03RD APRIL 2021

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Recycling plastic bags into performance fabrics

Scientists have modified polyethylene – a substantial usually used in plastic bags – into fibers, yarns and fabrics with prospective for sportswear applications and a lesser environmental effect than some orthodox textiles.

According to the study, published in Nature Sustainability, other backings contain fast-drying performance, outstanding stain resistance and the capability to dry-dye during fabrication.

Previously, the main preventive of using polyethylene as a wearable textile was its hydrophobic properties, which halt it from absorbing water or sweat, or even old-style inks and dyes.

Though, the researchers found that extruding polyethylene into thin fibers somewhat oxidized the material so that it became weakly hydrophilic and able to attract water molecules to its surface.

Merging numerous polyethylene fibers to make a yarn left spaces between the fibers through which water molecules could be drawn, with this new wicking ability enhanced by combining fibers of a certain diameter and aligning them in specific directions.

The challenge of adding color was overcome by putting colored particles into the powdered polyethylene before extrusion into fibers – negating the need for solutions of harsh chemicals.

Svetlana Boriskina, a research scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering says, “We can color polyethylene fibers in a completely dry fashion, and at the end of their life cycle, we could meltdown, centrifuge, and recover the particles to use again.”

The MIT team used the Higg Index life cycle assessment tool to calculate the environmental footprint for PE fabrics in the production stage.

Boriskina explains, “Polyethylene has a lower melting temperature so you don’t have to heat it as much as other synthetic polymer materials to make yarn, for example. ”

“Synthesis of raw polyethylene also releases less greenhouse gas and waste heat than a synthesis of more conventional textile materials such as polyester or nylon. Cotton also takes a lot of land, fertilizer, and water to grow, and is treated with harsh chemicals, which all come with a huge ecological footprint,” Boriskina added.

In its usage stage, polyethylene fabric could also reduce environmental impact, as it will consume less energy to wash and dry the material compared with cotton and other textiles.

Boriskina says “It doesn’t get dirty because nothing sticks to it. You could wash polyethylene on the cold cycle for 10 minutes, versus washing cotton on the hot cycle for an hour.”

The MIT team is looking for ways to include polyethylene fabrics into lightweight, passively cooling athletic apparel, military attire, and even next-generation spacesuits, as polyethylene shields against the harmful X-ray radiation of space.

The researchers are optimistic that fabrics made from polyethylene could offer an incentive to recycle plastic bags and other polyethylene products into wearable textiles, adding to the material’s sustainability.

Boriskina concludes, “Once someone throws a plastic bag in the ocean, that’s a problem. But those bags could easily be recycled, and if you can make polyethylene into a sneaker or a hoodie, it would make economic sense to pick up these bags and recycle them.”

Source: Textile Today

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India failing to tap opportunity of rising global cotton yarn demand!

India’s cotton yarn export has dipped by 10 per cent in Jan. ’21 to US $ 250.50million, according to the official data released by Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

It is being said that there was a huge demand for cotton yarns in the international market in Jan.-Mar. ’20 period which is still continuing, but, seeing the data of January, it can be said India couldn’t tap the opportunity.

Cotton yarns’ exports to the top two export destinations – China and Bangladesh – declined significantly in Jan. ’21; however, the export grew in the next three destinations in the tally – Vietnam, Peru and South Korea.

The exports to China declined 13.90 per cent to US $ 58 million in the month of January, while the same valued US $ 50.29 million as far as Bangladesh was concerned – noting 24.88 per cent yearly fall.

Shipment to Vietnam noted 73.37 per cent rise as the cotton yarn export clocked US $ 20.49 million in Jan. ’21, compared to US $ 11.82 million in Jan. ’20.

Though there are countries where India has seen good growth in its cotton yarn export, the overall decline should worry the exporters.

See the below table to find out how India’s cotton yarn fared in its top 10 export destinations:

Y-o-Y % Change in Value-wise Cotton Yarn Exports from India to Top 10 Destinations:

Countries

Jan. ’20

Jan. ’21

% Change

China

67.38

58

(-) 13.90

Bangladesh

66.95

50.29

(-) 24.88

Vietnam

11.82

20.49

73.37

Peru

9.93

14.23

43.33

South Korea

11.22

13

15.90

Egypt

24.98

12.55

(-) 49.76

Colombia

4.86

11.09

128.07

Sri Lanka

5.63

6.98

23.84

Portugal

13.17

6.07

(-) 53.92

Brazil

1.64

4.50

173.67

 (Values in US $ million)

Source: Apparel Online

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Exports surge a record 58% year-on-year in March to $34 billion

Merchandise exports surged as much as 58.2% year-on-year in March to $34 billion, a record for any month, according to a preliminary estimate of the commerce ministry. Imports grew about 53% to $48.1 billion in March, with gold imports having surged by as much as 584%.

While the unusual growth in trade was aided by favourable base effects (exports were down by 35% and imports by almost 29% in March 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and a lockdown from March 25), it also signals the worst is over and the supply side is able to respond better to a pick-up in demand from key markets. Of course, base effect will continue to support trade growth in the coming months as well.

However, what comes as a relief for policy-makers is that even in absolute term, exports in March stood at a record of $34 billion, against close to $33 billion in the same month in 2019 (before the pandemic struck). Imports value, too, was impressive–$48.1 billion.

What is also encouraging is that core export (excluding petroleum and gems and jewellery) shot up by almost 61% while such imports grew over 44%.

Sustenance of high exports (in absolute terms) in the coming months will signal a meaningful turn-around, some analysts said, citing the roller-coaster ride of exports in the wake of the pandemic.

Thanks to enhanced imports, trade deficit rose to $14.1 billion in March from $12.6 billion in the previous month.

Exports of gems and jewellery rose surged by about 75% in March to $1.5 billion, while those of engineering goods rose by over 70% to $3.8 billion. Gold imports, which were hit by the pandemic and a spurt in prices earlier last fiscal, surged by 584% to almost $7.2 billion. Electronics goods imports jumped by 77% to $2.5 billion and machinery imports jumped by 60% to $1.6 billion.

Source: The Financial Express

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High yarn prices worry hosiery companies

The Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) has reduced cotton prices by Rs 1,500 per candy, but this has not led to reduction in yarn prices. High yarn prices have become a concern for hosiery makers.

Vinod Gupta, managing director of Dollar Industries, said currently there is good demand from the export market and spinning mills are taking advantage of the demand-supply gap. Raw material prices have increased only by about 30%, but mill owners have increased prices by 60%,” he said.

According to Gupta, there is a likelihood of spinning mills increasing prices for April by Rs 10 per kg despite the government urging the industry not to raise prices. Dollar Industries has already hiked prices by around 17% in the past few months and will be hiking prices by another 3-4% from Thursday.

Rupa has hiked prices of its products by 10%. KB Agarwala, MD of Rupa & Company, and president of Kolkata-based Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association, said spinning mills, which are the source of supply of yarn for manufacturers, are focusing on the export market and not fulfilling domestic demand.

“There has been a 50% rise in yarn prices and 30% rise in cotton prices. The rise in yarn prices is more than cotton. Therefore, until now, there has been a 10% increase in prices of finished goods. The rise was originally meant to be over 17%, but has not been increased to this extent due to market resistance. The association has written to the government seeking a cap on the price rise because if this continues, small players will not survive,” he said.

Last week, the Apparel Export Promotion Council sought the intervention of the government to impose restrictions on exports of cotton yarn in order to curb prices and increase supply to domestic manufacturers. Gupta said only after that meeting with the minister of textiles, cotton prices got reduced by Rs 1,500 per candy, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into reduction in yarn prices.

Meanwhile, Ashwin Chandran, chairman, Southern India Mills Association, has urged the spinning sector to retain the price for April and avoid any price increase to enable the downstream sectors to meet their commitments.

Source: The Financial Express

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Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing MD Jeh Wadia steps down

Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing  NSE 4.49 % Company Ltd on Thursday said its Managing Director Jeh Wadia has stepped down and as an interim measure its day-to-day management would be looked after by the CEO and CFO of the company.

Jeh Wadia, whose term expired on March 31, has held the position since April 2011.

"In keeping with the objective of professionalisation of the management, Jeh Wadia, MD of The Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing Company Ltd has stepped down and will not be renewing his contract as Managing Director of the company which has expired on March 31, 2021,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

It further said CEO Suresh Khurana and CFO Hitesh Vora would look after the day-to-day management and work under the supervision of Minnie Bodhanwala, a Director of the company.

Besides, the ‘Strategic Committee' of the board of directors of the company comprising its Chairman Nusli N Wadia and independent directors — Vinesh Jairath and Sunil Lalbhai, will continue to provide suitable guidance as done hitherto, it added.

Jeh Wadia, son of Chairman Nusli Wadia, had earlier in March this year, stepped down as the Managing Director of Wadia Group-controlled airlines GoAir.

At the time of his stepping down, the airlines had said the key element of the plan was to strengthen the management of the company by bringing on-board proven industry professionals, a strategy that has worked well for the group in its other ventures including Britannia.

Source: The Economic Times

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Key Budget proposals effective from new fiscal 2021-22: Income tax rules, dividend relief, privatisation, more

The new financial year has started From April 1, 2021, and with it, rules and announcements made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the Union Budget 2021-22 have come into effect. Given below are the key announcements, dividend payment to REIT/InvIT exempt from TDS to privatisation of two public sector banks to new highway projects in poll-bound states. Moreover, on the tax front, income tax rules on TDS and new provident fund tax rules have already come into effect in the new financial year 2021-22 (FY22).

Key Union Budget 2021 announcements

PF tax rules: FM had proposed that the interest earned on an employee’s contribution above Rs 2.5 lakh in a fiscal will become taxable in the hands of the employee. But, from April 1, 2021, the interest income earned on contributions above Rs 2.5 lakh per fiscal will be taxable in accordance with one’s tax slab.

TDS (Tax Deducted at Source): FM proposed a higher TDS (tax deducted at source) or TCS (tax collected at source) in order to make more people file their income tax returns (ITRs). The insertion of two new sections — Sections 206AB and 206CCA — were proposed during the Budget 2021 as a special provision for deduction of higher TDS and TCS from those not filing ITR.

Dividend payment to REIT/InvIT exempt from TDS: In order to attract more investment in real estate and infrastructure sectors, FM Sitharaman announced the debt financing of InVITs and REITs by foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). Moreover, the government announced that dividend payments to REITs and InVITs would be exempt from Tax Deduction at Source (TDS).

Disinvestment and strategic sale: The strategic divestment of BPCL, Air India, Shipping Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India, IDBI Bank, BEML, Pawan Hans, Neelachal Ispat Nigam limited among others would be completed in 2021-22. For the financial year 2021-22, FM Nirmala Sithraman had announced a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

Privatisation of 2 PSUs: FM Sitharaman announced the privatisation of two public sector banks and one general insurance company as part of a disinvestment plan to generate Rs 1.75 lakh crore.  The minister also informed that in 2021-22, the government would also bring the IPO of LIC.

New highway projects for poll-bound states: Sitharaman announced the National Highways projects for poll-bound states — Rs 1.03 lakh crore for 3,500 km in Tamil Nadu, Rs 65, 000 crore for 1,100 km in Kerala, Rs 25,000 crore for 675 km in West Bengal, and Rs 34,000 crore for 1,300 km in Assam.

Source: The Financial Express

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INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan's Cabinet makes U-turn on plan to resume trade with India

Pakistan’s Cabinet, the final authority on resuming trade with India, reversed a decision by a government economic committee on Wednesday to import cotton and sugar from the neighbouring country.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, linked the resumption of trade with the restoration of autonomy to the region of Kashmir, interior minister Shaikh Rashid Ahmed said. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations and suspended bilateral trade with India in August 2019 after New Delhi revoked the autonomy for its part of the disputed territory.

The decision to start imports, aimed at addressing shortages and stabilizing prices in Pakistan, was criticized by analysts and opposition parties as a compromise on Kashmir.

The resumption of trade was seen as another sign of thawing relations between the two rivals. The nuclear-armed neighbours surprised the world last month with a rare joint commitment to respect a 2003 cease-fire agreement along a disputed border that has seen wars and regular gunfire.

The India-Pakistan cease-fire marked a milestone in secret talks brokered by the UAE, Bloomberg reported earlier this month.

Source: The Business Standard

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Pakistan’s textile industry upset as govt rejects cotton import proposal from India

Pakistan’s struggling textile industry has voiced its disappointment after the Imran Khan government rejected a proposal to import cotton from India, the world’s biggest producer, saying it is the need of the hour to avoid a massive export decline, a media report said on Friday. The federal Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Khan on Thursday rejected the proposal of a high-powered committee to import cotton from India, with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi asserting that there can be no normalisation of ties until New Delhi reverses its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Cabinet’s decision has disappointed the textile export industry, the Dawn newspaper quoted Pakistan Apparel Forum chairman Jawed Bilwani as saying. The textile export sector, which was already under pressure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been continuously demanding duty-free import of cotton yarn from all over the world, including India, to avert any big loss to textile exports. Describing Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood’s recommendation to allow import of cotton and cotton yarn from India as realistic and the need of the hour, Bilwani said that the Cabinet must accord serious consideration to the proposal.

The step would send a negative message to foreign buyers as cotton yarn was not available in the country, he said, adding that prices of cotton yarn have increased after the Cabinet’s decision. The government must ensure availability of cotton yarn if it did not want to allow its import from India, Bilwani said as he feared massive textile export decline if import of cotton yarn from the neighbouring country was not allowed. In the current year, Pakistan faced a 40 per cent plunge in cotton production and if it was compared with 15 million bales in 2014-2015, then the drop was 50 per cent this year, he said.

Bilwani said sea freights have already increased by 700 per cent due to the pandemic and the goods now reach their foreign destination in 105 days instead of 25 days. If the government did not want to permit import of cotton yarn from India then it must impose a ban on export of cotton and cotton yarn for at least next six months, he added. Pakistan’s U-turn on Thursday came a day after the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), under newly-appointed Finance Minister Hammad Azhar, recommended importing cotton and sugar from India, lifting a nearly two-year long ban on its import from the neighbouring country amidst tensions over the Kashmir issue.

It had raised hopes of a partial revival of bilateral trade relations, which were suspended after the August 5, 2019 decision of New Delhi to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. India is the world’s largest cotton producer and second-largest exporter. Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are main cotton growing states. India’s cotton exports jumped over 40 per cent to 10 million bales (of 170 kg each) in the 2018-19 marketing year on strong overseas demand, especially from China, according to industry body CIA.

In May 2020, Pakistan lifted the ban on import of medicines and raw material of essential drugs from India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Ties between India and Pakistan nose-dived after a terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in 2016 by terror groups based in Pakistan. Subsequent attacks, including one on an Indian Army camp in Uri, further deteriorated the relationship.

The ties strained further after India’s war planes pounded a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist training camp deep inside Pakistan on February 26, 2019 in response to the Pulwama terror attack in 2019 in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. India’s move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 angered Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties with India and expelled the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad. Pakistan also snapped all air and land links with India and suspended trade and railway services.

Source: The Financial Express

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Youngone to start operations in Warangal soon; more Korean companies looking at investment

Youngone Corporation, leading textile company of South Korea,will start its operations within six months at Kakatiya Mega Textile Park (KMTP) in Warangal (Telangana).This facility is expected to create jobs for around 12,000 people.

The company had signed an agreement with the State Government to invest more than Rs. 900 crore in the KMTP in Warangal.

The State Government believes that the Youngone Corporation’s decision to operate from Warangal should be seen as a milestone in the Indian textile industry.

Notably, more Korean companies are looking forward to investing in the KMTP after Youngone Corporation.

K.T.Rama Rao, IT Minister and Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Panchayat Raj Minister of Telangana yesterday had a discussion in this regard with Ki-Hak Sung, Chairman and CEO, Youngone.

Ki-Hak Sung reiterated company’s plan of making five of their factories functional in next six months and taking up another three later in Phase-II.

He also said that ‘Made in Telangana’ textiles would be rolled out from Warangal’s KMTP across the world. The company would run its operations from Warangal, making it their base for operations in India.

The initial plan was to start these factories in early 2021;however it got delayed due to COVID-19.

Dayakar Rao also urged to focus on skill development programmes for youth of Warangal, which would make them industry-ready and secure jobs at the factories.

Source: Apparel Online

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US company Standard Textile unveils Encircle box spring cover

Standard Textile, a leader in the hospitality and healthcare textile markets, has unveiled a new solution for hoteliers and hospitality designers - Encircle box spring cover – which allows for easy covering of a box spring in minutes, without having to remove the mattress or take on the heavy lifting of the box spring in order to put the cover in place.

Encircle box spring cover allows for easy covering of a box spring in a matter of minutes, without having to remove the mattress or take on the heavy lifting of the box spring in order to put the cover in place. The innovative design makes the box spring cover easy for one person to install, taking much less time and physical effort from housekeeping teams. For guests, Encircle presents a clean, tailored appearance and complements bed linens beautifully.

Standard Textile’s Interiors and R and D teams are focused on creating innovative products that transform spaces easily and economically with an intentional focus on solutions that make housekeepers’ jobs easier.

“Housekeeping and hotel management teams have a lot to consider these days when creating clean, fresh, comfortable guest rooms,” said Joshua Frankel, vice president, Standard Textile Interiors Group. “Encircle was developed with our customers’ needs in mind as a way to quickly refresh and modernise the look of the bed—and the entire room—without placing additional stress on busy housekeeping staff or adding significant expense.”

Cleanliness is critical in today’s hotel environment, and many hotels have revised their cleaning playbooks to address guests’ concerns over safety. Encircle was designed with cleanliness as a key principle. Removal is simple. Encircle lifts easily off for laundering without the need to remove the top mattress.

“For more than 80 years, Standard Textile has continuously developed high-quality innovative products that provide customers smart solutions to the industry’s many challenges,” said Dr. Richard Holbert, director of development for Standard Textile. “Our team conducted research that confirmed guests’ perception of a clean hotel room has a considerable impact on their comfort level staying at a hotel. That’s why we prioritised designing an attractive box spring cover that was easy to remove for laundering.”

Encircle accommodates various heights of box springs, ranging in heights from 5” up to 14”, and it allows for a 2” tolerance for length and width, for a smooth, snug fit on nearly any box spring. It can be easily and quickly removed for laundering, and its durable construction holds up to the rigors of industrial processing. Encircle box spring cover can be custom printed.

Source: Fibre2Fashion News

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Apparel makers turn to labour ministry for running factories with full workforce

The apex apparel sector trade-body - BGMEA - has formally informed the government about its stance regarding operating factories with full workforce on the grounds of ensuring timely shipment of orders and avoiding possible financial loss.

The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), in a letter to the labour ministry secretary on Thursday, made the plea to operate units with full workforce despite deteriorating Covid-19 pandemic situation in the country.

It said the country's garment factories just started recovering from the impact of coronavirus outbreak first wave, buyers were placing orders, and shipments were also going on.

The government, on March 29, again provided a set of 18 guidelines following the rise in Covid-related fatalities and caseloads. The guidelines included running all the government and non-government offices and institutions, except those providing emergency services, with 50 per cent manpower.

"If factories are being operated with 50 per cent workforce, they cannot make timely shipments and would face huge financial loss again," read the BGMEA letter, signed by its President Dr Rubana Huq.

The Covid-19 infection rate in the apparel industry was below 0.03 per cent, as the factories strictly followed the health and safety guidelines. The safety protocols were not relaxed by the factories despite the reduction in infection rate after the first wave.

Citing a circular, the BGMEA letter said the trade-body advised all its members, among others, to strictly maintain staggered entry and exit for the workers to avoid crowd at factory gates, and also strengthened its monitoring.

"The factories are maintaining health and safety guidelines, and so we have the highest preparation to run these following the guidelines."

Explaining the current situation, Ms Huq said global work orders decreased by 30-40 per cent due to the emergence of Covid second wave.

The buyers were now asking for instant shipment, or putting pressure on product price cut, or threatening order cancellation.

"Considering such a situation and taking economy of the country into consideration, we have to run factories by properly maintaining the health and safety guidelines," she added.

The labour secretary, however, could not be reached for his immediate comment regarding the issue.

When asked, Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, director of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said they could not reduce their workforce to 50 per cent ahead of the Eid festival.

If the workforce was reduced, they would fail to make timely shipments, which might create anarchy, he added.

Echoing him, Mansoor Ahmed, secretary of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), said health and safety guidelines were strictly maintained in the textile mills also.

"The textile mills are health safety-oriented, as machinery in the units have been set up by maintaining a wide gap among workers," he added.

Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh

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