image rotation

MARKET WATCH 13 SEPT, 2017

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Garments expo gets under way

Three-day Styles and Weaves Exhibition was inaugurated ahead of festive season. The exhibition was thrown open for shoppers on Sunday here at Sesha Sai Kalyana Mandapam. The expo offers designer garments made by designers from across the country for the upcoming Dasara and Diwali festivals, according to the organiser Manjulatha. Designer wear, handloom saris, designer saris, fabric materials, fashion jewellery, imitation jewellery, lifestyle accessories and many other products are on display and for sale at as many as 68 stalls in the expo.

SOURCE: The Hindu

Back to top

CCI to purchase cotton from Oct 1

District Collector Sarfaraz Ahmed instructed the department officials concerned to take necessary steps for opening of cotton purchasing centres through Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) from October 1.

Presiding over a review meeting with the officials of Cotton Corporation of India and Marketing departments on the purchase of cotton here at the Collectorate here on Tuesday,  Sarfaraz Ahmed directed the officials to open the cotton purchasing centres from October 1 for purchasing of cotton that was produced by farmers during the Kharif season through CCIs that were sanctioned for Karimnagar, Jammikunta, Choppadandi and Gangadhar in the last year.

The Collector also told the officials to prepare a report for sending proposals to the Central government through the State government for opening of two more Cotton Corporation of India centres at Huzurabad and Gopalraopet mandals. He said that the Central government has fixed the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Rs. 4,320 for one quintal of cotton. He told the officials to make all the necessary arrangements and not to inconvenience the farmers who come to sell their produce at Cotton Corporation of India centres. He also told them to inspect the weighing machines at all market yards.  District Joint Collector Badri Srinivas, District Marketing Officer Padmavathi, Cotton Corporation of India senior purchasing officer Ram Nivas and others were present on the occasion.

SOURCE: The Hans India

Back to top

Cotton ryots unhappy with govt’s cautious approach

Cotton farmers in Adilabad district do not seem to be impressed by the State Government’s cautious approach towards cotton trading which is to being in a few weeks from now. Based on key factors which influence market price of the prime commercial crop, the government is anticipating the price of ‘white gold’ to plunge below the minimum support price of Rs. 4,320 per quintal but farmers are inclined to disbelieve it. “The government had persuaded us to cultivating cotton in lesser than normal extent last kharif which resulted in loss of precious income,” lamented farmer Maruti Dongre of Indervelli. “Now, who will believe its contention that the price will be below MSP,” he added sarcastically.

Cotton crop is in excellent health everywhere thanks to timely rainfall. The government expects the total production in Adilabad district to be over 22 lakh quintals as the area under cotton has gone up from 1.2 lakh acres to 1.4 lakh acres. “This is one of those seasons where everything goes right for farmers, including the price of his produce. We expect the price to be above Rs. 4,500 per quintal, given the current rate of cotton bale,” the farmer opined. “Yes, the price of cotton will be more than the MSP for at least one month of the start of trading season owing to the higher price of cotton bale, at Rs. 43,000 per candy and the price of cotton seed at Rs. 1,900 and Rs. 2,000 per quintal in the markets. So long as the price is high, private purchasers will be in the market and the CCI will come into picture only when the price plummets below the MSP,” concurred Katipalli Vasanth Reddy, a cotton commission agent and owner of a ginning mill in Adilabad. Private traders will purchase in the market so long as the rate of a candy of cotton bale does not fall below the Rs. 37,000 mark and the price of cotton seed does not decrease to 1,600 per quintal. This, according to local industry sources, will happen only after the markets are flush with cotton arrivals.

The CCI, as is its usual practice, has already called for tenders from the 15 cotton ginning and pressing units in Adilabad town to process the produce it expects to purchase whenever it launches its MSP operations. The cotton processing factories will however start operating only when the power supply is restored on October 20, as is the normal practice. The 15 ginning and pressing units in Adilabad town, the largest trading centre in Telangana, have a cumulative capacity of to process over 30,000 quintals of cotton everyday. Its turnover is normally above Rs. 10 crore per day which makes it a Rs. 1,500 crore market during the entire season which lasts for 150 days.

SOURCE: The Hindu

Back to top

From fashion, women’s apparel on rent to designer wear in plus sizes and more, here is what Stage3 startup is all about

Wearing designer clothes that don’t empty out your bank account is perhaps the dream of many a youngster, especially during festival times or the wedding season. Stage3, a Delhi-based startup, makes that possible with its line of designer wear that it rents out for three to six days. Not just that, it also offers customers style recommendations based on their body measurements, personal style and the occasion for which the garment is required. Recently, Stage3 started offering designer apparel on rent for plus-sized women, making available clothes for above size 18, a segment that is seeing increasing demand.

“We are creating an ecosystem of designers, stylists, logistics partners and customer support professionals that are leveraging technology to deliver personalised fashion experiences that can be rented. Through Stage3, the modern Indian woman can own for an evening, a look that is best suited to her so that she feels hip, glamorous, and confident,” says Sabena Puri, co-founder and CEO, Stage3. Puri, along with fashion designer Rina Dhaka and former CEO of Buttons and Threads, Sanchit Baweja, founded the online fashion technology start-up in 2015.

The fashion technology portal has two business models—rentals and sales. For rentals, it sources the latest inventory directly from designers. For sales, it has a peer-to-peer marketplace model, where it curates designer-wear from people’s closets and takes a commission on the sale. It also curates and sells excess inventory sourced directly from the designers’ factories.

Stage3 purchases inventories at a 40-50% discount on MRP. It then rents these at one-tenth the cost. Before dispatching a product, it dry-cleans and puts it through a rigorous inspection process and alters it to the guest’s size. “Price points for rentals start at `500 and go up to `10,000. For outright purchases, the price is `2,500 onwards,” says Puri. The current value of merchandise rented is about `1.5 crore per month.

Puri says that the clothing rental market in India is worth $4-5 billion. The start-up recently ventured into the rental space for men by launching a men’s collection at the portal called ‘Waris’. It delivers to Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Indore, Surat, Dehradun and Chennai. It plans to make its services available in six to eight more cities.

Stage3 has been using technology to understand its customers’ needs better. “Technology is crucial to our line of business, both in reference to our inventory and customers. Our buying decisions are made on the basis of precise data that includes which designers, colours and silhouettes are preferred by our customers,” says Puri. “Then we have customer-data that showcases their preferred styles and silhouettes. These data points make it easier for us to personalise the shopping experience for them.”

Stage3 raised seed funding in December 2015. Nisha Kumar, ex-CFO of Rent the Runway and AOL/Time Warner Inc, Puneet Dalmia, MD of Dalmia Cement and Balaji Prabhakar, professor of computer science at Stanford University and chief scientist at Urban Engines were among the key investors.

The online apparel rental segment has seen the entry of several players in the last two years. Among them are FlyRobe, LibeRent, Envoged, Zapyle, Blinge, Rent It Bae even as Klozee closed down in 2016. Earlier, Spoyl, an online marketplace for pre-owned apparel, had acquired rival Revamp My Closet.

SOURCE: The Financial Express

Back to top

As incomes rise, exporters pay the price of development

The good news is that India’s per capita income has gone up, and stayed up. The bad news, going by a recent notification of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is that the country can no longer offer export subsidies, as its per capita gross national income (GNI) has crossed $1,000 for the third year in a row. “The consequence of India graduating out of the list of poorer countries eligible to give export subsidies is serious. It will be open to penal action from other countries, including imposition of countervailing duties on its exports if it does not do away with its incentives soon,” an official told BusinessLine. The development could deal a further blow to exports from the country, which posted weak growth last year after two consecutive years of decline due to low demand. “The first scheme that could come under the WTO scanner is the popular Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS), which provides a direct subsidy to exporters based on the value of exports,” the official said.

Wide impact

Almost all exports, ranging from textiles to agriculture products, stand to be affected as the scheme covers more than 7,000 items and costs the exchequer around ₹23,500 crore a year. A team of officials from the Permanent Mission of India at the WTO held discussions with Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia and officials from the Trade Policy Division on how the situation could be tackled. “The government knew all along that the special exemption that allowed India to give export subsidies was likely to go in 2017. In fact, the Foreign Trade Policy also mentions this. It should have prepared the exporters for this,” a trade economist from a Delhi-based thinktank said.

Other schemes that could also get affected, subject to interpretation of the WTO rules, are the interest subvention scheme under which banks charge lower interest on loans given to exporters, which is offset by the government, and the duty-drawback scheme where exporters are refunded duty paid on inputs. “The WTO rules also consider the revenue that is otherwise due to the government but is foregone or not collected, such as tax credits, as subsidy. Some members may also insist that India’s interest subvention scheme and duty-drawback scheme qualify as subsidies,” said the trade economist.

The Commerce Ministry, which is supposed to announce the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy this month, will be in a fix about whether to make any addition to the MEIS scheme as it could draw immediate criticism from other countries. It would also find it difficult to replace the existing MEIS schemes with production subsidies, which are allowed by the WTO.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

Back to top

Chennai-Vladivostok Sea Route to Make it Near East

Aimed at linking India with northeast Asia and Western Pacific region, New Delhi is working on setting up a direct shipping link between Chennai and Vladivostok.The move comes amid China's work on Maritime Silk Route (MSR) connecting Asia with Africa. The planning on new route comes as India is making concrete moves on expanding its presence in Far East Russia to harness natural resources as evident from foreign minister Sushma Swaraj's visit to Vladivostok last week. This shipping link would enable transfer of cargo between the two cities in 24 days in comparison to over 40 days now. This proposed maritime route, which could be transformed into a corridor, could juxtapose with Indo-Japan's `Pacific, Indian Ocean Corridor'.

Swaraj met top Russian ministers including foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, industry minister Denis Manturov, natural resources minis ter Sergei Donskoi and deputy PM & President's envoy for Far East, Yury Trutnev, besides governors of provinces in the region to further India's role amid Moscow's aim to diversify options besides China. South Korean President and Japanese PM were present at the Far East Forum that saw senior level representation from India for the first time. A few months ago, Russia announced visa-free entry for Indians in its Far East. On the occasion, Swaraj also launched Russia Desk for facilitating Russian investments into India as assured by PM Narendra Modi during the annual summit in St Petersburg in June. This is the third such desk, after those for Japan and Korea.Russia Desk would provide complete support service for any kind of Russian investment.

The Far Eastern Federal District (twice the size of India) is the largest but the least populated of the eight federal districts of Russia, with a population of roughly 6.3 million.Russian affairs experts who did not wish to be identified indicated to ET that Moscow is sensitive to growing Chinese presence in Russia's Fareastern region particularly increasing population from China which are settling there. “This pattern could change demographics of Fareast Russia and growing presence of other countries, including India, will help to balance situation,“ pointed out an expert.

India was the first country to establish a resident Consulate in Vladivostok in 1992. Current engagement of India with the region is limited to isolated pockets such as the Irkut Corporation in Irkutsk, where the Mig and Sukhoi aircraft are built, and over $6 billion investments by ONGC Visesh Ltd in the Sakhalin 1 project, according to persons familiar with the issue. The region has a wealth of natural resources such as land, timber, mineral tin, gold, diamonds and oil and natural gas. Opportunities for collaboration exist in sectors including agriculture, mining, port development and infrastructure.

A Strategic Link

The move to open up alternate sea routes makes economic and strategic sense. The connectivity creates another opportunity for long time partners to come together on a venture that can potentially open up new trade opportunities. It is also about securing access to natural resources that are crucial for a growing economy like India. Strategically, it adds another strand to India's effort to counter China's global ambitions of dominance.

SOURCE: Economic Times

Back to top

GST: Jaitley sets up GoM, panel on exports

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to monitor and resolve the IT challenges faced in the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). He also set up a committee on exports to look at the issues of export sector and to recommend to the GST Council a suitable strategy for helping the export sector in the post-GST scenario. This move follows the decisions taken to this effect in the 21st meeting of the GST council in Hyderabad on September 9. While Sushil Kumar Modi, Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, will be the convenor of GoM, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia will be the convenor for the committee on exports. The other members of the GoM are Amar Agarwal, Minister for Commercial Taxes, Government of Chhatisgarh; Krishna Byregowda, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Karnataka; T.M. Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Government of Kerala and Etela Rajendar, Finance Minister, Government of Telengana. The GoM will be assisted in its work by the Chairman, Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and the Chief Executive Officer, GSTN, an official release said.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

Back to top

IIP Rises 1.2% in July, Inflation Up at 3.36% in Aug

India's factory output expanded by a modest 1.2% in July , 2017, after contracting 0.17% in June, possibly on the back of some restocking by companies following the July 1 goods and services tax (GST) rollout and a marginal uptick in the core sector. However, it remained subdued compared with 4.5% clocked in the year-ago period. Retail inflation in August rose to a five-month high on the back of food inflation turning positive after three months of contraction.

Data released by the Central Statistics Office on Tuesday showed a mild expansion in the country's industrial activity, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) even as manufacturing continued to remain weak. A separate set of data released by the office revealed a rise in consumer inflation in August at 3.36% compared with 2.36% in July. “The underlying momentum in industrial activity is weak,“ said Tushar Arora, senior economist at HDFC Bank. The bank had expected IIP to rise 0.8% in July. Manufacturing output rose a meagre 0.1% while mining and electricity grew 4.8% and 6.5%, respectively.

Economists expect manufacturing GDP to rise in the July-September quarter as restocking of inventory picks up momentum. Manufacturing growth in the first quarter of the current financial year plummeted to 1.2% and was the main cause of a slump in India's GDP growth to a three-year low of 5.7%. Sunil Sinha, principal economist, India Ratings & Research, expects IIP growth to improve in a few months even though uncertainty created due to the expectation of a change in the rates on select items will have adverse impact on the production of these items in the short term.

Reflecting sluggish urban demand, consumer durables output fell 1.3% compared with 0.2% rise in the year ago period. Capital goods production, an indicator of investment, fell 1%, a steep fall from the 8.8% growth in July 2016. Retail inflation in August is the highest since March 2017 and is attributed to an across-the-board rise in inflation in food, housing and fuel. Vegetable inflation, at 6.16%, turned positive after 11 consecutive months of deflation in August 2017. Housing inflation rose 5.58% and that in pan, tobacco and intoxicants was up 6.85%. However, economists do not perceive inflation as a threat and expect it to remain in the targeted 4% range. Despite dismal first-quarter GDP growth and continuous weak IIP growth numbers, economists expect RBI to keep its October 2017 monetary policy unchanged. Crisil chief economist DK Joshi said oil prices and food will not be a threat to inflation as monsoons have been reasonable this year.

SOURCE: The Economic Times

Back to top

67 startups approved for availing tax benefits: Govt

Minister of State (Commerce and Industry) C R Chaudhary said on Tuesday that 67 startups have so far been approved for availing tax benefits. Speaking at the second 'State Startup Conference', Mr. Chaudhary said “3,576 startups have been recognised as on September 7 and tax benefits have been given to 67 innovative startups.” He said startups need strong and effective support to channelise their ideas and creativity, adding that the government was committed to help them.

Speaking on the occasion, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek said the Centre has asked States to extend the compliance regime based on self-certification to five years. This is aimed reducing the regulatory burden on startups so that they can in turn focus on their core business. As per the government, the Labour and Employment Ministry had increased the tenure of compliance of self-certification under six labour laws from three to five years. However, only nine States — Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Rajashtan and Karnataka -- have confirmed compliance with new advisory, it had said last month.

Mr. Abhishek said there was a need to encourage more women entrepreneurs. He said 15 states have brought out startup policies, adding that startups needs support in funding, marketing and infrastructure. The official said finding of Rs 1,587 crore have been given to startups so far, adding that intellectual property rights related benefits were extended to 639 such entities. He said the government is in the process of setting up a Rs 2,000 crore credit guarantee fund, adding that the proposal was "about to go to (the Union) Cabinet soon".

SOURCE: The Hindu

Back to top

Bill to double gratuity ceiling to ₹20 lakh gets green signal

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved an amendment Bill that seeks to double the gratuity ceiling to ₹20 lakh from ₹10 lakh for employees in the private and public sector, as well as autonomous organisations, bringing it on a par with Central government employees. The Cabinet also gave its approval for introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in Parliament that seeks to amend the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, which applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons. “The amendment will put the maximum limit of gratuity of employees of the private sector as well as public undertakings and autonomous organisations under the government who are not covered under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, at par with central government employees, which is ₹20 lakh,” an official release said. Before implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling under Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, was ₹10 lakh.

Considering inflation and wage increase even in the case of employees engaged in the private sector, the government is of the view that the entitlement of gratuity should be revised for employees who are covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, which applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons, an official release said. However, industry representatives did not sound too upbeat. Anshul Prakash, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said while the move was good from an employee’s perspective, the “industry would be impacted if this proposal becomes the law.” “Earlier, employers could limit their liability to the statutory cap of ₹10 lakh even if the calculation of gratuity for an eligible employee resulted in a higher figure,” he added.

Additional 1% DA

The Cabinet also approved the release of additional 1 per cent dearness allowance and relief for about 50 lakh Central government employees and 61 lakh pensioners from 4 per cent to 5 per cent, applicable from July 1, 2017. The combined impact on the exchequer on this account would be ₹3,068.26 crore a year and ₹2,045.50 crore in 2017-18 (for a period of eight months from July 2017 to February 2018) , said an official release. The release of the additional instalment has been done to compensate for price rise and was in accordance with the accepted formula, based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, it added.

SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line

Back to top

India to step up cooperation with Egypt in textiles sector

India vowed to step up its collaboration with Egypt in the textiles sector and said talks were on to increase textile machinery supplies to the Arab country. India's Ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya, while addressing a press conference ahead of the Cairo Fashion and Tex Exhibition that opens tomorrow, said India and Egypt have have a long tradition of exchanges in the textiles sector. "India stands ready to work with Egypt towards attainment of its new textile policy goals in production as well as in trade and investments," he said.

Thirty-seven Indian textile companies are participating in the exhibition that run till September 16 at the Cairo International Convention Centre. The Indian firms are part of a delegation from the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC), an apex body of manufacturers/exporter of man-made fibre textiles, in coordination with Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO) and the Indian Embassy here. The companies will showcase a very wide range of products, including yarns and fabrics. Bhattacharyya said that India is very well known in the market of man-made fibers and it has a very wide presence globally as India's textile industry is the second in the world.

The Indian fabrics have a range of products with both expensive products as well as products with reasonable prices, he said. The other specially of the Indian textile industry is that it manufactures a lot of textile machinery, the envoy said. The Indian side is currently in discussions with the Egyptian side to expand the presence of textile machinery supplies from India to Egypt, he said. "Indian textile machinery are not only very good in terms of quality but also because India and Egypt has similar large populations and large labour force. So this kind of machinery will be very good for the Egyptian market," he added. The exhibition will also host an 'India Pavilion'. "We will be showcasing different varieties of fabrics, made-up items which are ready to wear, yarn and fibre. So, it is an excellent opportunity for the Egyptian buyers and traders to visit this exhibition to see all the participant Indian companies under one roof as it will be also an opportunity for discussing business," Srijib Roy, director of SRTEPC, said.

Roy said that Indian companies come to Egypt not to compete with the local industry but to cooperate with their Egyptian counterparts. The participation of Indian companies in the Cairo Fashion and Tex is aimed at forging a win-win partnership between the Indian and Egyptian companies, officials said. The objective is to strengthen the trade between the two countries, particularly in the fast-growing area of Man-Made Fibre (MMF) textiles, they said. India exported around USD 240 million worth of textiles and clothing products to Egypt during 2016. Man-made fibre textiles were one of the important products in the export basket, which is valued at USD 97 million, along with cotton (USD 131 million), apparel (USD 2.32 million), Jute (USD 4.4 million) and carpet (USD 0.36 million). The main items of Indian MMF Textiles that are exported to Egypt include polyester viscose fabrics, polyester blended fabrics, synthetic filament fabrics, shawls/scarves, laces, viscose spun yarn, polyester spun yarn, texturised yarn, and polyester staple fibre. Egypt has traditionally been one of India's most important trading partners in that region. During the year 2016-17, bilateral trade between India and Egypt was about USD 3.23 billion. India is Egypt's 10th largest export destination and also the 10th largest import source.

SOURCE: The Moneycontrol

Back to top

US asks India to open market, address trade imbalance

The US today asked India to open its market for American firms and address the rising trade imbalance between the two countries while take steps to protect intellectual property rights. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, addressing an event organised by the US India Business Council (USIBC), said India has been a greater beneficiary of foreign direct investment in the Indo-US bilateral trade relationship. “Annual bilateral trade between the US and India has doubled over the last decade and was $114 billion in 2016. Unfortunately, over the same period trade deficit has tripled, now at $27 billion,” Ross said. “We would naturally want to see growing trade and balanced trade,” he said at the event held to launch ‘road to Global Entrepreneurship Summit’ in Hyderabad in November. Last year, India’s investment in the US reached $12.1 billion while US investment into India was $32.9 billion, Ross said, adding that there is much to do for the India-US trade relationship to reach its full potential. Ross said only 1.5 per cent of US exports are to India and only 6.3 per cent of Indian exports went to America. “This indicates that potential for growth is much more,” he said. Ross, in his address, also referred to the recent Spice Jet order for 120 planes from Boeing as a promising sign.

Praising some of the recent economic reforms in India, the Commerce Secretary said the GST and the bankruptcy codes were quite encouraging. At the same time, market access for innovative products in India is essential, he said. “Greater access is a necessary step that would help bolster entrepreneurship in critical subjects such as health care,” Ross said. “I hope that the Indian government would continue to champion bold reforms in all sectors,” Ross said. This would not only facilitate US-India trade, but would also facilitate a strong eco system for the entrepreneurs, he said.

Referring to the India-US Summit in June, he said US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will co-host this year’s Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) in Hyderabad. He reiterated the importance of close relations between the two growing economies. Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna said India and the US were working to address the trade imbalance issue. He referred to the start of the recent export of US oil to India and of gas beginning next year. Sarna also spoke about the great potential between India and the US in sectors like energy and civil aviation.

He said India and the US have decided to move to ‘2+2’ format of talks between the two countries involving the Secretaries of Defence and State Departments from the US side and Defence and External Affairs Ministers from India. Defence Secretary James Mattis is scheduled to visit India later this month. Observing that the US is proud to be India’s top trading partner, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Wells said the vast complementarity of US- India relationship is reflected in areas like defence, energy, health, entrepreneurship and innovation.

SOURCE: The Financial Express

Back to top

 

Indian firm buys Monsanto Holdings' cotton seed business

Hyderabad-based Tierra Agrotech Pvt Ltd has acquired the branded cotton seeds business of Monsanto Holdings as the US-based seed giant battles a bitter dispute with former Indian licensee Nuziveedu Seeds in the Delhi High Court that has drawn both countries’ governments. Monsanto had earlier threatened to exit India after New Delhi had imposed price controls.  “Tierra targets to scale up its breeding and research programme by integrating the acquired business and by strategically investing to deliver high-yielding cotton hybrids,” an Indian newspaper reported quoting Tierra Agrotech managing director Suresh Atluri as saying.  However, Mahyco Monsanto Biotech (India) (MMB), a joint venture with India’s Mahyco, will continue to sell genetically modified cotton seeds under license to more than 40 Indian seed companies.  Monsanto Holdings, an MMB licensee, had only a small share of India’s cotton seed market and focuses largely on vegetable seeds, such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

SOURCE: Fibre2fashion

Back to top

GLOBAL TEXTILE RAW MATERIAL PRICE 2017-09-12

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1323.25

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

VSF

2470.06

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

ASF

2393.35

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Polyester POY

1336.29

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Nylon FDY

3175.79

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

40D Spandex

5523.12

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Polyester DTY

1695.29

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Nylon POY

3298.53

USD/Ton

1%

9/12/2017

Acrylic Top 3D

5799.28

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Polyester FDY

1549.54

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

Nylon DTY

2868.95

USD/Ton

1%

9/12/2017

Viscose Long Filament

2546.77

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3068.40

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

32S Polyester Yarn

1994.46

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

45S T/C Yarn

2853.61

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

40S Rayon Yarn

1979.12

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2378.01

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

45S Polyester Yarn

3237.16

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2393.35

USD/Ton

0%

9/12/2017

10S Denim Fabric

1.43

USD/Meter

0%

9/12/2017

32S Twill Fabric

0.88

USD/Meter

0%

9/12/2017

40S Combed Poplin

1.23

USD/Meter

0%

9/12/2017

30S Rayon Fabric

0.69

USD/Meter

0%

9/12/2017

45S T/C Fabric

0.72

USD/Meter

0%

9/12/2017

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15342 USD dtd. 9/12/2017). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

Back to top

 

UN ban on North Korean textiles will disrupt industry, ordinary lives: Experts

United Nations sanctions on North Korea's important textiles industry are expected to disrupt a business largely based in China and pose compliance headaches for clothing retailers in the United States and around the world. The UN security Council imposed a ban on North Korea textile exports and a ceiling on the country's imports of crude oil on Monday (Sep 11) , ratcheting up sanctions designed to pressure North Korea into talks about its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Retailers in the United States and other countries have intentionally limited their exposure to North Korea in recent years, as tensions over the country's nuclear programme have increased. The industry has sought to strengthen control over its supply chain since a textile factory collapse in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 people in 2013.

Larger retailers, such as Wal-Mart Stores, have the ability to keep North Korea-produced goods out of their stores. But smaller brands may face enforcement challenges, said Marc Wulfraat, president of supply chain consulting firm MWPVL International. "There are still hundreds and thousands of companies that are sourcing from overseas that don't have the wherewithal or the resources or people or money to chase after these issues," Wulfraat said.

Textiles were North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals in 2016, totalling US$752 million, according to data from the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. Nearly 80 per cent went to China. Enforcement of the textile ban along North Korea’s 1,400-km border with China - where goods are sometimes smuggled across, often on boats at night - could be challenging, North Korea experts say. "In the past, we have seen shows of quite convincing enforcement in the major centres, such as at Dandong," said Chris Green, a North Korea expert at Leiden University in the Netherlands, referring to the largest trading hub on the China-North Korea border. Goods still slip through in less visible areas, he said.

Trade in non-banned goods, including food and other daily necessities, continues between China and North Korea. "Enforcement will depend a lot on China," said Paul Tjia, an outsourcing specialist who regularly visits North Korea. "So far, a lot of the North Korean textiles trade to Europe and other places goes via China. "It will be up to Chinese companies that deal in the North Korean textile trade to take action and up to the Chinese government to ensure the Chinese companies are taking action." On a recent visit to the Chinese border with North Korea, several Chinese traders told Reuters the Chinese government is strictly enforcing UN sanctions to the point that some businesses that rely on trade with North Korea have already gone bankrupt or traders have had to start trading in non-sanctioned goods.

MORAL QUESTION

Another challenge is that clothes can be partly made in China and partly in North Korea with a "Made in China" label attached to the finished product. "Even if a label says 'Made in China', some parts of the product are allowed to be made in North Korea and other places," Tjia said. "For example, the buttons may come from Italy, the cotton may come from Australia or India, the labour may come from North Korea or China, the accessories may come from Bangladesh." A spokeswoman for Target Corp said the company has taken steps to keep even unfinished goods from North Korea out of its supply chain. "We're aware of the accusations and have clear guidelines and standards in place for our vendors and suppliers," said spokeswoman Jenna Rack. "We don't source any products from North Korea or any apparel products from Dandong."

North Korea does not release statistics on the number of people involved in the textiles industry, but experts estimate at least 100,000 people are employed at North Korean textiles factories, producing goods both for export and the domestic market. Cheng Xiaohe, a North Korea specialist at Beijing's Renmin University, estimates the figure may be as high as 200,000 people. Wages at textiles factories grew tenfold around 2010 when North Korea was experimenting with economic reforms, according to Green, so people suddenly went from earning 30 North Korean won (23 US cents)  to 300 won. "They were suddenly getting a reasonable wage," said Green. Supply chain consultant Tjia said North Korea textile workers will be hit by the trade ban. "If the goal of the sanctions is to create difficulties for ordinary workers and their ability to make a livelihood, then a ban on textiles will work," he said.

SOURCE: The Channel News Asia

Back to top

Pakistan Textile sector to add half a million spindles this year

Basic textile is at a crossroad as there is no chance of revival of over 100 closed mills, while the surviving mills know upgrading technology is the only option. Pakistan is likely to add half a million new spindles this year. Some of the closed mills have sold their entire spinning machinery and are pleased that the leftover high-priced land and buildings, after clearing their liabilities, would leave them with enough capital to start some other business. They told this scribe that operating mills with old technology was not feasible.

They admitted that they had the opportunity to upgrade technology in phases but they squandered this chance and do not have the resources to replace the obsolete machines. The bigger players after realising that they are being booted out of the global and domestic markets have made elaborate plans to replace older machines with state of art technology. They realise that time is running out and they cannot wait for government facilitation that has not come in last two years. It has been learnt that all major mills have placed orders for around 500,000 state-of-art spindles that are faster, consume much less power and 1/3 workforce. They know that with this technology they can regain their lost markets.

The comparative advantage that Pakistan enjoyed a decade back would again be available as Pakistan enjoys advantage of own cotton and highly skilled workforce in basic textiles. These players were shocked to find that a novice country like Vietnam that imports cotton and lacks skilled basic textile workers has emerged as yarn exporter on the strength of new technology. They feared that soon other countries with similar drawback would become yarn exporters by edging out Pakistani yarn. They also realised that these countries would be no match for Pakistani spinners if they operated with the same technology. Another factor that worried the big players was that if the technology void was not filled, the Chinese would come in a big way with latest technology and wipe out the local basic textile industry. These players did not take seriously the oft repeated apprehensions of some experts that the Chinese would establish basic textile units at the huge industrial complex adjacent to Pakistani border with China. They reasoned that it makes no business sense to make such huge investment to establish lowest value-added textile factories.

Moreover, they pointed out that the basic textile viability declines when the per capita income of a country crosses $4,000. Currently, they added the per capita income in China was above $10,000. Chinese even with subsidies would not be able to compete with Pakistani spinners operating with same technology. This thinking is shared across the basic textile industry, but the surviving smaller players that even have resources, are waiting for the government to come up with some investment incentives. They also want export rebate for a while till the technology is replaced. They do realise that they cannot bank on government subsidy for a longer period. They also admit that even after government subsidies they would be able to put a stop on the slide in basic textile exports, but substantial increase in exports may not be possible. They understand that the government would be forced to withdraw the export package if exports failed to pick up. Majority of the mills are operating with average 30,000 spindles. The sale value of these machines is junk. They will have to upgrade or close down.

It is worth noting that though the textile exports have increased in July 2017 in value terms, if we calculated in terms of quantity, the exports of yarn that stood at 42,319kg were 49 percent lower than the peak exports of yarn in a month that was 75,260kg. In the same way Pakistan exported 138,458 square meter of fabric in July 2017, while Pakistan’s peak fabric export is 284,303 square meters, which is 51 percent higher than current exports. This data has been provided by All Pakistan Textile Mills Association.   The long term solution of textile industry is not limited to improving technology only. The industry would have to address its structural imbalances as well. It would have to increase the use of manmade fibres to at least 60 percent though the global average is 70 percent manmade fibre and 30 percent cotton. In Pakistan cotton is 75 percent and manmade fibre 25 percent. The government would have to fully deregulate manmade fibre trade.

SOURCE: The News

Back to top

 

Pakistan Textiles ministry to receive Rs40b claims till April 2018

The Ministry of Textiles will receive Rs40 billion worth claims of January 16, 2017 to June 30, 2017 till April 2018 under the prime minister package.

In a meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Textile and Commerce, the ministry announced that they have received claims of Rs14.5 billion so far and the government has paid Rs9 billion. The officials said that duty drawbacks on taxes are continuing, while exemption of custom duty and sales tax on import of cotton will be carried out till July 15, 2017. It is pertinent to mention here that under the PM package for textile sector, duty drawbacks on different textile components along with withdrawal of custom duty and sales tax on cotton imports and zero rating of textile machinery was announced in January 2017.

Discussing the different aspects of the economy, Minister for Commerce and Textiles Pervaiz Malik said that the economy was going through a bad patch. Exports are declining fast and the trade deficit is swelling, he added. He said the ministry is needed to be run on long term and permanent basis. He said ministries need to be revamped in accordance with prevailing challenges.

During the meeting, the senators also highlighted the issues being faced by textile and other industries. They said the government has increased rate of industrial electricity and per unit rate has now reached at Rs13. They said electricity and gas are two major industrial inputs if their prices are lowered the industry can breathe. The government side was represented by Minister and Secretaries commerce and textile. Secretary Commerce Younis Dhaga was removed from Ministry of Water and Power and transferred to Commerce, early this year, on allegations of failure to bring down load shedding in the country and inability to control circular debt. The chairman said that loadshedding of up to 16 hours is still being carried out in different industrial areas. He directed the officials to complete the under construction building of State Life immediately and complete IT software zones by December 2017.

SOURCE: The Nation

Back to top

 

Radiation Protection Textile Market 2017 by Types Metal Fiber Blended Fabric and Metallised Fabrics

Global Radiation Protection Textile Market Research Report 2017 to 2022 presents an in-depth assessment of the Radiation Protection Textile including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, standardization, regulatory landscape, deployment models, operator case studies, opportunities, future roadmap, value chain, ecosystem player profiles and strategies. The report also presents forecasts for Radiation Protection Textile investments from 2017 till 2022.

This study answers several questions for stakeholders, primarily which market segments they should focus upon during the next five years to prioritize their efforts and investments. These stakeholders include Radiation Protection Textile manufacturers such as, Swiss Shield, Shieldex-U.S, JoynCleon, Yingdun, Swift Textile Metalizing, Tianxiang, Lancs Industries, Beijing Jlsun High-tech, Metal Textiles, Qingdao Hengtong, Aaronia AG, Holland Shielding Systems, Dongwei Textile, Aracon, Soliani EMC, Polymer Science.

Primary sources are mainly industry experts from core and related industries, and suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, service providers, and organizations related to all segments of the industry’s supply chain. The bottom-up approach was used to estimate the global market size of Radiation Protection Textile based on end-use industry and region, in terms of value. With the data triangulation procedure and validation of data through primary interviews, the exact values of the overall parent market, and individual market sizes were determined and confirmed in this study.

The research provides answers to the following key questions:

  • What will be the market size and the growth rate in 2022?
  • What are the key factors driving the global Radiation Protection Textile market?
  • Who are the key market players and what are their strategies in the global Radiation Protection Textile market?
  • What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the global Radiation Protection Textile market?
  • What trends, challenges and barriers are influencing its growth?
  • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in the global Radiation Protection Textile market?
  • What are the key outcomes of the five forces analysis of the global Radiation Protection Textile market?

This independent 112 page report guarantees you will remain better informed than your competition. With over 150 tables and figures examining the Radiation Protection Textile market, the report gives you a visual, one-stop breakdown of the leading products, submarkets and market leader’s market revenue forecasts as well as analysis to 2022.

SOURCE: The Market Insight Reports

Back to top

 

Turkish textile retailer Kiğılı looks for local partners in India

One of the Turkish biggest textile retailers Kiğılı, which is the first domestic clothing brand to have opened a store in China, is carrying out operations abroad with its 28 stores in countries such as Austria, France, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Macedonia, Tajikistan, and China. Speaking to Daily Sabah, Kiğılı CEO Hilal Suerdem talked about the company's operations abroad as well as its future plans. Underlining the importance of India, Suerdem said the company is in a search for local partners in the Indian market and that they are carrying out negotiations regarding the issue.

Daily Sabah: Could you tell us a bit about your activities in the Indian market? What features of the market attract you? As far as we know, you have a local partner. How long have you been present in the market?

Hilal Suerdem: The main theme of organized fashion retail is branding and expanding retail abroad. We, too, pay attention to foreign investments in our brand and continue to pursue these investments. As Kiğılı, we are the first Turkish clothing brand to have opened a store in China. We serve in 22 shops and sales points abroad, including China. All the experience we have gained in the Chinese market has become a guide for us in the Indian market. We have been working with a partner in the Far East market for more than a decade - which allows us to closely monitor the developments in the region. However, we do not have a specific partner in the Indian market right now. We are in search of local partners in this market and we are continuing negotiations on the issue. India is a major market with a young population of 1.3 billion, a growing middle class, high urbanization rate and a fast-growing economy. These features of India have made it a shining star for us.

D.S.: Could you talk a bit about your overseas activities? In which countries do you operate? How do you organize your store network?

H.S.: We are currently serving in 28 stores in Austria, France, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Macedonia, Tajikistan, and China, as well as in the first store we opened in Jeddah, one of the biggest cities in Saudi Arabia. Knowing the market's dynamics and acting accordingly is of crucial importance for us. After having a presence in franchises abroad for many years, we opened our store in Macedonia for the first time. Kiğılı opened in 10 stores and at eight sales points within a year. As Kiğılı, we believe that practicing a marketing strategy that suits the local needs of the countries where we operate is important. Our overseas growth strategy is expanding with a franchise system at the moment.

On the other hand, our online shopping site, www.kigili.com, has been under the spotlight of foreign investors for years. It is a showcase through which our brand can be seen from around the world. We are growing with our stores and corners abroad, introducing our concepts in men's fashion to the world and competing in the world as a Turkish brand. Our studies also play a role in allowing the sector to have a say in global markets. We are bringing the Kiğılı quality to Europe and other countries with our overseas stores.

D.S.: You are one of the brands that offers fashion in men's wear. Do you produce designs according to the trends that vary according to a region in your overseas activities, or should we say that you follow your own style?

While designing our products in the countries where we operate, we combine the cultural norms of the region with Kiğılı quality and our product line which we present to our consumers. Sometimes, we create differentiations in colors and patterns and sometimes pay attention to the physical features of local people and apply them to the sizes of our products. For instance, men in the Far East have smaller body sizes and we are producing a special collection for the Chinese market. Our collection caters to the body types of Chinese men. The smallest size for us corresponds to the medium size for Chinese men, for instance. So, we shrink sizes and work on slim fit patterns.

D.S.: Can we say that Kiğılı has switched to domestic production in the branding process? What are the advantages of domestic production?

First of all, I must note that Turkey is a very strong country in regards to domestic production. The production quality and price stability in Turkey cannot be achieved anywhere else in the world. As Kiğılı, we prefer to be a brand that develops business opportunities in Turkey's regions where we operate. Domestic production also has a positive impact on the added value created within the country, as well as employment and the national income. By combining all these factors and using tax advantages, we decided to switch to domestic production.

D.S.: E-commerce via mobile devices is expected to generate $638 billion globally over the next two years, which is equal to the total e-commerce volume worldwide in 2014. We know you are one of the companies that uses e-commerce effectively. How much of your sale does e-commerce constitute? What kind of strategy do you follow in this regard? And what are your growth goals?

H.S.: We know that a vast majority of consumers first look at a product on the internet before purchasing a product in stores. For that reason, we attach great importance to the digital world and e-commerce. Our turnover in e-commerce grows by 4-5 percent every year. We are the third largest store in Turkey in terms of e-commerce sales and have the fifth largest turnover rate in this area.

The secret to our success in both retail and the digital world is understanding our customers and offering solutions and innovations that respond to their expectations. With this understanding, we offer the best experience to our customers in every area. We are one of the first companies to adopt and implement the omnichannel concept, and we want to continue to propel this forward. We are the first men's clothing brand to offer a shopping experience on Instastories and the Facebook store. That is why we are working on new projects to facilitate an easy shopping experience.

SOURCE: The Daily Sabah

Back to top

 

Bangladesh could overtake China to become the EU’s largest apparel supplier by 2020

Bangladesh could overtake China to become the EU’s largest apparel supplier by 2020, according to a new report from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence – Editorial: Pretenders to China's throne in the EU apparel import market. In 2016 EU apparel imports from Bangladesh rose in volume for the ninth consecutive year and, as a result, Bangladesh’s share of EU apparel imports from all sources almost doubled over the nine-year period, from 12.2% to 23.4%. China, by contrast, suffered further losses in share in the EU apparel import market in 2016. This trend has been apparent for some time now and it seems set to continue as the Chinese apparel industry grapples with problems of rising costs and labour shortages.

In 2016 the share of EU apparel imports which came from China fell in volume terms for the sixth consecutive year to 37.9%. In 2010 over half of the volume of EU apparel imports came from China but by 2016 barely a third did so – reflecting a sustained trend by EU buyers towards sourcing from alternative locations. In an attempt to hold on to their market share, Chinese exporters appear to be having to cut prices. In 2016 alone, the average price of EU apparel imports from China fell by a sharp 8.2%. However, a strategy of holding on to market share by cutting prices is unsustainable for a country in which labour costs are rising significantly and shortages of labour are a growing problem.

The success of Bangladeshi garment exporters in achieving rapid growth in market share and threatening the dominance of China in the EU apparel market can be attributed to two main factors. One is their ability to export garments to the EU duty-free under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement. The other is their focus on producing and exporting simple, basic apparel at competitive prices, helped by low labour costs.

In 2016 Bangladesh was the second cheapest supplier of apparel to the EU out of the leading ten supplying countries, behind Pakistan but ahead of China. Furthermore, it was the cheapest supplier among the leading ten suppliers in 12 individual apparel categories. However, it remains to be seen whether the share of EU apparel imports which comes from China will continue to fall or whether it will level out. China still has vast amounts of untapped potential and the capacity of the Bangladeshi apparel industry to sustain growth at the present rate remains an unknown quantity. The Bangladeshi apparel industry will have to tackle a number of issues in the coming years if it to maintain its momentum. Such issues include rising production costs, concerns about security, strikes relating to low wages, poor treatment of workers, and factory compliance. However, addressing these issues may force the industry to increase its export prices, and this could put a dampener on demand.

SOURCE: The Innovations in Textiles

Back to top

 

Hangover from 2016 rains boosts Australia cotton hopes into 2018

Well-stocked reservoirs are buoying hopes for a large Australian cotton crop, despite the dry weather which has afflicted winter grains – and which is providing extra area for sorghum sowings. Cotton output in Australia - the third-ranked exporter of the fibre after the US and India – will hit 960,000 tonnes (4.39m bales) in 2017-18, Abares said in its first full estimates for the country's summer crops. A harvest at that level would be the third largest on record in Australia, exceeding the 935,000-tonne result estimated for 2016-17. And it would defy expectations of a sharp drop in seedings, with 2017-18 area pegged at 430,000 hectares – a fall of 23% year on year.

Dryland vs irrigated

However, the expected decline disguises a sharp difference in sowings expectations on irrigated land, which offers higher yields, and that without access to stored water, where Australia's dryness is expected to deter plantings. Indeed, Abares forecast cotton area planted on dryland plunging by 73% to 56,000 hectares "in response to low levels of soil moisture".

By contrast, area planted to irrigated cotton was forecast rising by 7% to 374,000 hectares "as a result of an increase in the supply of irrigation water and favourable returns from growing irrigated cotton compared with alternative crops". Reservoir levels – at 67% full in cotton-growing regions as of late August, up 11 points year on year - are still being buoyed by the spring rains last year which sent winter wheat production to record levels, before the latest drought struck. Abares forecast the average Australian cotton yield soaring 33% in 2017-18, "because of an expected rise in the share of area planted to irrigated cotton".

'Strong incentive'

On sowings terms, sorghum will be the big winter among Australian summer crops, with production seen soaring 81% to 1.84m tonnes, on area seen up 54% at 596,000 hectares. In part, the revival in the grain's popularity in planting programmes is a reflection of the grain's greater drought resistance, making it a lower risk option for non-irrigated land than cotton. "Dryland cotton has higher moisture needs than grain sorghum," Abares said.

Furthermore, sorghum area is being boosted by knock-on effects of the poor prospects of winter cereals – which has freed up extra area for sowing, as some crops are abandoned, and raised hopes for feed grain prices too. In New South Wales, with Queensland one of Australia's two main sorghum-growing states, "availability of fallow land is high due to the poor winter cropping season in large parts of the cropping region in [the] north-west. "This, combined with an increase in feed grain demand will provide a strong incentive to plant grain sorghum."

'Spectacular transformation'

However, Abares cautioned that its summer crop forecasts were based on the "assumption that spring and early summer rainfall will be adequate for planting grain sorghum", as well as dryland cotton. In New South Wales, "soil moisture levels are currently below average and not ideal for summer crop planting". Peter McMeekin, origination manager at crop merchant Nidera Australia, said that for farmers "the deteriorating winter crop optimism has given way to summer crop hope. "Hope that the dry winter will turn into a wet spring and a possible summer crop plant will come to fruition." In South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, recent rains had brought a "spectacular transformation" to winter grains, Mr McMeekin said, if adding that "the crop is very late and patchy in many areas and below-average production is the most likely outcome".

SOURCE: The Agrimoney

Back to top

 

Uzbekistan Reducing Cotton Fields But Forced Labor Remains

Uzbekistan is cutting back on its cotton cultivation to make way for fruit and vegetable fields. While that happens, however, the custom of forcing state workers to pick cotton is proving hard to abandon. The area of cotton fields is being cut by 400 square kilometers this year, and another even more drastic cut of 1,000 square kilometers is planned for 2018, according to the Agriculture and Water Management Ministry. That will take a significant bite out of the 13,000 square kilometers now dedicated to cotton.

The agenda of reducing cotton cultivations, which is running from this year to 2022, has been adopted at the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The plan is for those fields to make way for growing fruit and berries. Another indirect goal is to stabilize prices for fresh groceries on the domestic market. Farmers are being given tax breaks to encourage them to diversify their crops.

On the 30,000 square kilometers or so reserved for agriculture purposes, of the land that is not for cotton, 11,500 square kilometers is used to grow wheat, while the rest is for fruit and vegetables. Ferghana Valley farmer Mahamadsodyk Sodikov said that the return on cotton is indeed very low, although it has improved. “This year the purchase price of cotton rose by almost 40 percent. That means for every ton of cotton grown I can get 2 million sum ($250),” he told EurasiaNet.org. Sodikov said that this year farmers are paying pickers around $0.05 per kilo, up from around $0.03 last year. The main problem come harvest time is the sheer amount of manpower required. The industry has as a result long relied heavily on forced labor, often consisting of medical workers and teachers. In the past, children were also coerced into the task, although that practice does seem to have waned.

Back in 2013, when Mirziyoyev was still prime minister, he vowed that by 2016, around four-fifths of the country’s cotton crop would be collected by machines. It was a promise made in vain, and mechanical harvesters remain a rare sight. As the head of the Uzbek Agrarian Industrial Holding, Nodir Otazhonov, told the Sputnik news agency, the fully mechanized gathering of cotton in the country would require 10,000 combine harvesters. There are only around one thousand such pieces of equipment currently available — a catastrophic drop-off from Soviet times. Sodikov said that full mechanization would be impossible in any case, since the variety of cotton that Uzbekistan grows does not lend itself to that type of harvesting. And so this year, as documented by monitors from the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights, public sector workers all over the country have yet again been press-ganged into the task. The harvest began in earnest earlier this month.

The rights group said in an update report on September 12 that workers are being required to sign letters claiming to be taking part in harvests of their own free will. “Information about such confirmative letters of 'voluntary participation' was received from the Syrdarya, Jizzak, Andijan regions and the Republic of Karakalpakstan,” the group said. There are also expectations that university students will, as is customary, be made to take part.

Still, even on this vexed issue, there are some signs of improvement. The heads of numerous regions pledged not to allow any doctors or teachers to get involved in the cotton-gathering, the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights reported. Progress is proving all too slow for those directly involved in the harvests against their will, but the government appears on superficial scrutiny to grasp this nettle.

SOURCE: The Eurasia Net

Back to top

 

H&M Foundation, HKRITA find way to recycle textiles

The non-profit H&M Foundation and the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) together have found groundbreaking solution to recycle blend textiles into new fabrics and yarns, without any quality loss, through a hydrothermal (chemical) process. The technology will be scaled up and made available to the global fashion industry.  The finding is the result of the four-year innovative partnership between the two organisations. It is a major breakthrough in the journey towards a closed loop for textiles.  "For too long the fashion industry has not been able to properly recycle its products, since there’s no commercially viable separation, sorting, and recycling technology available for the most popular materials such as cotton and polyester blends. This very encouraging finding has the potential to change that. We are very excited to develop this technology and scale it beyond the laboratory, which will benefit the global environment, people and communities," says Erik Bang, innovation lead at H&M Foundation.

The aim of the Closed-Loop Apparel Recycling Eco-System Programme is to find at least one ready technology to recycle clothes made from blend textiles, within the four-year project period. One year into the partnership, HKRITA has together with Ehime University and Shinshu University in Japan, successfully developed a hydrothermal (chemical) process to fully separate and recycle cotton and polyester blends. The recovered polyester material can be reused directly, without any quality loss.

The hydrothermal process uses only heat, water and less than five per cent biodegradable green chemical, to self-separate cotton and polyester blends. This fibre-to-fibre recycling method is cost effective, and there’s no secondary pollution to the environment, ensuring the life of the recycled material is prolonged in a sustainable way. The technology will be licensed widely to ensure broad market access and maximum impact.  “By being able to upcycle used textiles into new high value textiles, we no longer need to solely rely on virgin materials to dress a growing world population. This is a major breakthrough in the pursuit of a fashion industry operating within the planetary boundaries,” Edwin Keh, Chief Executive Officer of HKRITA, says. The hydrothermal process uses only heat, water and less than five per cent biodegradable green chemical, to self-separate cotton and polyester blends.

The H&M Foundation initiated the partnership with HKRITA in September 2016. It is backed by an estimated 5.8 million euros of funding, with HKRITA conducting the research and work to commercialise the outcomes. The Innovation and Technology Fund of the Hong Kong SAR Government also provides additional substantial funding and support. The total project investment is estimated to around 30 million euros during the four-year collaboration (2016-2020), which makes it one of the biggest and most comprehensive efforts ever for textile recycling.

It is H&M's customers’ engagement that have enabled this important research, as the exact financial contribution is determined by the annual surplus from H&M’s global in-store garment collecting programme, which is donated to H&M Foundation. To date the H&M Foundation has donated 2.4 million euros to HKRITA. (SV)

SOURCE: Fibre2fashion

Back to top

Subscribe to SRTEPC mailing list

Exchange Rates