image rotation

MARKET WATCH 7 FEB, 2018

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Maharashtra approves seven new industrial policies

Aiming to boost investments in the coming years, other approved policies include Aerospace and Defence Procurement Policy. “The government is aiming for 200 crore dollar investment in the next five years and employment generation figure of about a Ahead of the investment summit Magnetic Maharashtra, the state government on Tuesday approved seven industrial policies regarding GST concession, electric vehicles, logistic parks, garments and use of coir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil these policies during the event on February 18 at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. lakh. The American Aerospace Industry is a one lakh crore dollar and growing with three to four per cent every year. This growth can be utilised by developing country like India to produce the requirements,” said an official from the industries department. “Under the defence policy, the state government will set up production centers (defense hubs) at Pune, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Aurangabad,” the official added. Another important policy unveiled in the cabinet meeting on Tuesday was related to electric vehicles. “The state is targeting to increase the number of electric vehicles to 5 lakh. With electric vehicles, parts, batteries, assembly enterprises and charging facilities, the industry is expected to bring an investment of Rs 25,000 crore. The electricity required for these vehicles will be given at the same tariff as residential electricity,” said an official. In the Maharashtra Logistic Park policy, the state’s emphasis will be on creating 25 logistic clusters across Maharashtra. At present, the state lacks professional logistic facilities. With the help of the policy, the facilities will be made available, the official added. With a view to make employment available to 1.2 million people, the government has chalked out the Industrial Parks for Readymade Garment Production Policy. It is expected that women would play a major role in the garment industry. Also, as the city is known for its diamond market, the Gems and Jewellery Policy will help in making incoming investments easy. After implementing the GST, the state government is going to offer some concessions to the industries. “The concessions given to industries in earlier VAT scheme would continue in this policy and will be applicable for inter-state sales. In vehicle production business, the vehicles registered in the state will get concession in state GST,” the official said.

Source: The Asian Age

Back to top

Insufficient allocation worries textiles sector

Insufficient allocations of funds in the Union Budget for ‘key focus areas’ in textiles sector are likely to impede growth of business opportunities in a cluster like Tirupur, which is struggling hard to retain competency in the global market. A deeper analysis of the budgetary allocation for 2018-19 fiscal year shows that only 24 % of the planned outlay for textiles sector was earmarked for development activities with the rest pegged towards ‘fixed costs’ such as Amended Technology Upgradation Fund scheme, procurement of cotton, and remission of State Levies. “It is a matter of concern that allocation for development activities in textiles sector has gone down from Rs. 2,051 crore to Rs. 1,680 crore in the Budget for 2018-19. “The allocation should have been more towards development activities considering that the textile industry is reeling under immense monetary pressures on account of modified schemes for reimbursement of central and state taxes post-implementation of Goods and Services Tax”, said S. Dhananjayan, a senior chartered accountant. Template allocation technocrats and industrialists feel alike that instead of making template allocation of funds, the attention should have been on capacity building initiatives, textile infrastructure other than machinery upgrade, implementation of lean manufacturing practices, and research at the cluster-level. Their worries of template or ritualistic type of allocations were substantiated in the cases of funds assigned for setting up of workers’ hostel, which stood at just Rs. 76 lakh for the entire country, and absence of any specified funds for development of knitwear sector that generates annual export turnover of just over Rs. 50,000 crore. “With the total apportioned Rs. 76 lakh, workers’ hostel could not be set up even in one cluster even though the said facility is a key necessity to retain predominant migrant skilled labourers in the midst of soaring house rentals”, said Tirupur Exporters Association president Raja Shanmugam.

Source: The Hindu

Back to top

Polyester must come under Textile Ministry, says R K Vij

 “The world is moving towards polyester fabric, even the Government of India is promoting polyester,” said R K Vij, a polyester expert and Advisor to Indo Rama. Vij was talking to The Hitavada, in an exclusive interview, on the sidelines of the Textile Conference held recently in the city, where he was conferred with the ‘Excellence Award’ for special contribution to the textile industry. “Cotton has a limit as its production depends on the climatic conditions. Nowadays even the cotton producing farmers are moving towards other cash crops,” he said, adding that earlier only 30 to 35 per cent of polyester was used in fabric, but nowadays its contribution was upto 60 to 70 per cent. Vij lamented the fact the in our country, polyester, which is a man made fabric, comes under the Petroleum Ministry, but the products are used in textile industry. “The polyester industry must come under the Textile Ministry in-line with cotton,” he said. Vij also demanded that the major raw material used for polyester-making, PTA, must be made cheaper. “Making PTA cheaper will promote polyester and its consumption would increase. Even the GST rate on raw materials like PTA and MEG is 18 per cent, whereas their end product filament and yarn has a 10 and 12 per cent GST burden, creating inverted duty structure. Government must think of bringing PTA and MEG under 12 per cent GST rate as is that of cotton and yarn, both of which are attracting only 5 per cent GST,” Vij suggested. He also informed that Indo Rama had done expansion in its polyester unit by adding more DTY machines for value addition. Indo Rama has also expanding making speciality fibre and yarn like black, bright, full dull, optical white all under one roof. “Indo Rama now produces all types of fiber and filaments. Maharashtra can now have more textile units, as the same raw material is easily available in the State itself, instead of other states. This will also create more jobs, skilled and unskilled employment opportunities in Vidarbha region. The total investment last year by Indo Rama was upto Rs 100 crore. Further investment of Rs 40 crore in next 6 months will also be made to convert the waste, to recycle it and give value addition,” Vij said.

Source: The Hitavada

Back to top

Textile policy for 2018-23 gets Cabinet nod, aims to attract Rs 36,000-crore investment

Several schemes of Rs 4649 crore will be implemented under the policy. The policy intends to create infrastructure for textile cluster and garment parks. The policy has suggested to prepare proposal for setting up textile university in Vidarbha region. The state Cabinet Tuesday gave its approval to the new textile policy for 2018-2023 with an aim to attract investment of Rs 36,000 crore in Maharashtra and generate 10 lakh employment. Sources in the government said some of the major aspects of the policy include reducing the power tariffs and increasing capital subsidy to 45 per cent for spinning mills. Officials from the state textile department said the policy takes forward the Make in Maharashtra concept to strengthen the cotton industry and silk business. It aims to reduce the regional imbalance in the state as higher concessions would be given for setting up units in Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra region. Separate emphasis will be on cotton producing regions, which have reported large number of suicide by farmers, said an official. Several schemes of Rs 4649 crore will be implemented under the new policy. The policy intends to create infrastructure for textile cluster and garment parks. The policy has also suggested to prepare a proposal for setting up a textile university in the Vidarbha region. “We have made provisions in reducing power tariffs for spinning mills. Besides, spinning mills were given financial assistance in several installments. Now, we have decided to give them financial assistance in two installments only,” said Subhash Deshmukh, state Textile Minister. Another official said one of the major reasons for spinning mills incurring losses is the higher power tariffs, compared to other states. “The power tariffs in Gujarat, Karnataka and a few other states are between Rs 4 and Rs 6 per unit while it is Rs 9 per unit in our state. So, the spinning mills will be encouraged to set up solar power plants on their land and the power generated from it will be utilized by the spinning mills. Hence, the power tariffs are likely to be reduced to Rs 3.5 per unit,” said an official adding that it would give major boost to spinning mills. Besides, capital subsidy has been increased substantially for processing units, spinning mills, and modernisation of power looms. It proposes to give 45 per cent capital subsidy for processing units, and 25 per cent for spinning mills and modernisation of powerlooms. It has also proposed to give additional subsidy of 20 per cent for processing and garment units in Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra.

Source: The Indian Express

Back to top

Govt moves to set up agency for ‘affordable’ redress of disputes in major ports

Firms running cargo terminals at major port trusts have balked at the Centre’s decision to set up an “affordable” dispute redress mechanism as part of the new model concession agreement cleared by Cabinet in January for upcoming public-private-partnership (PPP) projects. The benefit of the new dispute resolution agency is sought to be extended to existing operators if they sign a supplementary pact with the port authority concerned. Last week, the government notified rules for existing PPP operators to opt for the dispute redress mechanism named the Society for Affordable Redress of Disputes – Ports (SAROD-Ports). SAROD-Ports seeks to resolve existing/future disputes “faster” in a “just and fair manner” at “affordable cost” by “enrichment” of the mechanism with “association of technical experts”, according to the Shipping Ministry. The arbitral tribunal will comprise a sole arbitrator if the disputed claim is ₹3 crore or less and an odd number of arbitrators if the amount involved is more, in which case, the presiding arbitrator will be named by the arbitrators nominated by the parties and chosen from a group empanelled by SARD-Ports. “Affordability of disputes was never an issue with us,” said an executive with a port operating company based in Mumbai. “Quick redress is,” he added. The Indian Private Ports and Terminals Association (IPPTA), a lobby group, has hired top lawyers including some sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), to fight cases against the government/port trusts and Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) in courts. These legal eagles charge a few lakh rupees for each appearance in court, said an industry executive aware of the issue. A supplementary agreement has to be signed between the existing PPP operator and the concessioning authority for referring the disputes to SAROD-Ports or adjudicatory board, as the case may be. This is because when a statutory adjudicatory board is set up after enactment of the Major Port Authorities Bill with powers to adjudicate upon disputes between the PPP operator and the port authority, the facility will also be extended to the existing concessionaire. In such a case, all disputes not settled through conciliation can be referred to the adjudicatory board with mutual consent of the parties. Private port operators say that they were not consulted by the government for setting up SAROD-Ports as a society by the Indian Ports Association (IPA) and the IPPTA under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. “The government never told us about the formation of the Society. We have no knowledge of it,” the industry executive said. Private terminal operators also say that the many court cases they are fighting, involving rate cuts and other contractual issues, cannot be withdrawn in order to refer the disputes to the arbitral tribunal under SAROD-Ports for conciliation.

Supplementary pact

 “The supplementary agreement approved by the Cabinet states that the parties shall respect the (arbitral tribunal) award in letter and spirit and the award shall be binding upon the parties unless the parties invoke the provision of Section 34 of the Arbitral and Conciliation Act, 1996 for challenging the award,” said a second executive with a port operating company. Besides, once the dispute is referred for arbitration by the statutory adjudicatory board, the parties cannot refer the same dispute again under a different clause and the adjudication shall be “final and binding”, he said, adding that the mechanism posed risks to existing PPP operators. “The government cannot stop us from going to higher courts if the arbitral award goes against us; it would be arbitrary and incorrect in law,” the second port executive said. “You cannot stop someone from getting justice from the next level. Courts are meant for that only. SAROD-Ports is an arbitrary mechanism. “The government should allow us the option of going to the higher courts,” he added.

Source : Business Line

Back to top

E-way bill rollout deferred in India following glitches

Following technical glitches, the Indian Government has deferred implementation of requirement for transporters to carry electronic-way (e-way) bill for inter- state movement of goods as per goods and services tax (GST) provisions that began on July 1 last year. The regulation was to be implemented starting February 5 to check rampant tax evasion.

"In view of difficulties faced by the trade in generating e-way bill due to initial technological glitches, it has been decided to extend the trial phase for generation of e-way bill, both for inter and intra state movement of goods. It will be applicable from a date to be notified," the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) tweeted. GST Network, the company developing the information technology infrastructure for the new indirect tax regime, had been conducting trial runs for the e-way bill system since January 17, during which 2.84 lakh such permits were issued on the portal. However, when the portal was formally launched, the system witnessed technical problems. CBEC chairperson Vanaja Sarna held a review meeting to discuss streamlining the system, according to Indian media reports. Movement of goods of more than Rs. 50,000 in value cannot be made by a registered person without an e-way bill. The industry, however, feels the e-way bill system cannot completely stop tax evasion and may result in supply chain bottlenecks in case of technical glitches. (DS)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

Back to top

Textile conclave on February 10

A ‘Textile Research Conclave’ will be organised here on February 10 by the Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA), NIFT-TEA Knitwear Fashion Institute, and the Indian Texpreneurs Federation. TEA president Raja Shanmugam told reporters here that the conclave would bring together scientists and industrialists on a single platform. “The objective of the event is to encourage product diversification, productivity, and sustainability in textile clusters,” he said. Technical textiles and opportunities, business challenges for textile start-ups, and business excellence in textile industry would be deliberated. The event has the support of Union Ministry of Textiles.

Source: The Hindu

Back to top

CII mulls using Tiruchi manpower to boost textile sector

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is mulling over boosting the Tamil Nadu state economy by combining the strength of labour availability in Tiruchirappalli (Tiruchi) with the textile industry in Karur and Tirupur districts, which face manpower shortage. CII held discussions in this regard last week with top Tiruchi district officials. CII discussed with Tiruchi district collector P Rajamani the establishment of infrastructure for finishing and packing of export-quality textile products being transported to Tuticorin port from the two districts via Tiruchi. The collector agreed to speak to textile industrialists in Karur and Tirupur on the issue, according to Indian media reports. Also discussed were ways to utilise the land banks in sub-urban and rural pockets, including Tiruverumbur, Manapparai, Thuraiyur for setting up industries on cluster basis, harnessing water, improving air connectivity to domestic destinations, expanding cargo activities and focus on agro-processing. CII’s Tiruchi zone will soon release the district development plan with specific details. (DS)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

Back to top

Apparel manufacturers’ body holds zonal fair in Hyderabad

HYDERABAD, FEBRUARY 6: Apparel Manufacturers of India, a group of manufacturers and traders, on Tuesday inaugurated their first zonal fair at Hitex Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad. The 13th edition of the fair was inaugurated by Suresh Raja Mouli, Director, RS Brothers Pvt Ltd (Telangana). The fair will see the coming together of over 2,000 retailers from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the next three days. TP Seetharaman, Executive Director, Kalyan Silks (Kerala), expressed concerns over the alleged neglect of the country’s apparel sector and called for the need to work together to get the concerns addressed. He said that while the GST brought down prices, the market is faced with money flow crunch, especially in the businesses such as garments, gold, real estate. “The small players are the one who are reeling in crisis. Footfalls are down. Hopefully, we should see brighter business environment in the next financial year,” he said. Nikhil Furia, Key Organiser, Apparel Manufacturers of India, said, “Market has not been great for the last few months but is picking up. The wedding season ahead should bring back the business.” The association seeks to bridge the gap between manufacturers, retailers, agents and suppliers and build a robust community. So far, the association conducted five fairs in Chennai, six in Kochi and one in Hyderabad over the last 2 years.

Source: Business Line

Back to top

Global Textile Raw Material Price 2018-02-06

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1453.66

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

VSF

2319.50

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

ASF

2573.69

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Polyester POY

1381.37

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Nylon FDY

3542.80

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

40D Spandex

5798.76

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Polyester DTY

2812.00

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Nylon POY

1644.30

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Acrylic Top 3D

3765.22

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Polyester FDY

6005.29

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Nylon DTY

1628.42

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

Viscose Long Filament

3312.44

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3034.42

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

32S Polyester Yarn

2213.06

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

45S T/C Yarn

3034.42

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

40S Rayon Yarn

2367.16

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2557.81

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

45S Polyester Yarn

3161.51

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2669.02

USD/Ton

0%

2/6/2018

10S Denim Fabric

1.48

USD/Meter

0%

2/6/2018

32S Twill Fabric

0.91

USD/Meter

0%

2/6/2018

40S Combed Poplin

1.27

USD/Meter

0%

2/6/2018

30S Rayon Fabric

0.71

USD/Meter

0%

2/6/2018

45S T/C Fabric

0.75

USD/Meter

0%

2/6/2018

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15887USD dtd. 6/2/2018). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

Back to top

Bangladesh-Defaulter textile millers to be blacklisted

The textile millers who took bank loans through illegal means and defaulted on repayment will be blacklisted, the trade body that represents the millers said yesterday. “We will discuss the names of the blacklisted members at the next board meeting and propose cancellation of their membership,” said Mohammad Ali Khokon, acting president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA). “Once such mills are blacklisted, it will be difficult for them to do business in the country.” Over the loan scandal of AnonTex Group, he said: “It should be investigated how a textile company gets more than Tk 5,000 crore in bank loans in just six years of operation.” “I could not manage loans over Tk 200 crore despite being involved in the textile business for the last 22 years. Some big fishes might be involved in such fraudulent activities. Entrepreneurs like us are suffering because of such incident,” said Khokon. He spoke at a press meet at BTMA office in Dhaka to announce the 15th Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition (DTG). The association will organise the four-day exhibition jointly with Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service Co Ltd at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital. Khokon said they would not postpone the trade fair over the possibilities of a political unrest, as the event's opening coincides with the date of announcement of the verdict of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case tomorrow. “We can't postpone the fair as representatives from 36 countries have already arrived in Bangladesh. The entire country is worried about February 8, but we are accustomed to such political uncertainty. Hopefully, we will face no problem.”  About 1,100 exhibitors from countries such as Bangladesh, Austria, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the UK, the US, and Vietnam will occupy more than 1,200 booths in 19 halls at the fair. Companies such as Mayer & Cie, Karl Mayer, Pai Lung, Santoni, Shima Seiki, Stoll, Rieter, Saurer, Schlafhorst, Truetzschler, Murata, Dornier, Toyota, Picanol and Uster will showcase the latest textiles and garments technologies, machinery and parts at the show. The textile sector has helped build a backward linkage industry for the garment sector, the highest export earner in the country. Over 15 lakh people are involved in the textile sector, which is currently suffering from electricity and gas crisis, Khokon said. “The problems should be solved to help the sector as well as the country grow further.” Last year, participating companies of the DTG received $250 million worth of spot orders, he said. “We believe the amount will increase this year.” The DTG is Bangladesh's one of the leading trade fairs with the best growth momentum, said Judy Wang, president of Yorkers Trade and Marketing Service Co Ltd. Since the event's inception, the number of exhibitors has increased seven times in the last 15 years, Wang said. “This significant growth in exhibitors indicates the promising future of Bangladesh's textile and garment industry,” she said. “We are proud to build this true sourcing platform for all the industry players to seek innovative products, collect latest market information and develop more business opportunities and partnerships.” A seminar will also take place on sustainable technologies and processes on the first day of the fair.

Source: The Daily Star.

Back to top

Bangladesh-Ensure ethical prices of RMG, govt tells EU

A new platform of garment trade unions on Thursday demanded that the government set the minimum wage for apparel workers at Tk 16,000 and implement it within six months. Garments Sramik Mojuri Andolan (garment worker wage movement), an organisation of 25 government-registered associations, made the demands while announcing its three-point demands at a press conference held in Dhaka on Thursday. Lima Ferdous, convener of the organisation, said, ‘The minimum wage for the garment workers must be Tk 16,000 and it should be implemented within six months.’ She also demanded that a worker representative from the garment sector to be appointed as a member to the wage board. The convener said that the workers’ sufferings worsened with the unrelenting price hike of the essentials and house rents. ‘The government in 2013 announced the minimum wage for the sector’s workers at Tk 5,300, which is not appropriate for the time as the prices of everything increased manifold,’ she said. There are some 45 lakh garment workers who work from 6:00am to 12:00am helping the government to earn foreign currency and developing the country, she said. Member secretary of the organisation Baharan Sultan Bahar said that they would organise a demonstration in front of the National Press Club before submitting a memorandum to the state minister for labour and employment.

Source: New Age BD.

Back to top

China to support capable businesses to invest overseas: regulator

China's foreign exchange regulator will support "capable and qualified" businesses to invest overseas this year to advance cross-border investment. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said at a conference it will steadily push forward capital account convertibility and protect the interests of foreign investment. The statement came as Chinese authorities tightened regulations on overseas investment and advised companies to make investment decisions more carefully. SAFE will encourage innovation in foreign trade and expand pilots of foreign exchange management in free trade zones. A more open, more competitive foreign exchange market will be fostered and risk management of exchange rates improved to limit effect of external shocks. To win the battle against major financial risks, the regulator said it will prevent irregularities in the foreign exchange market.

Source: China Daily.

Back to top

U.S. trade deficit rises to nine-year high on robust imports

WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in December to its highest level since 2008, as robust domestic demand pushed imports to a record high, adding to the stiff headwinds faced by the Trump administration’s “America First” trade policies. The import-driven surge in the trade gap reported by the Commerce Department on Tuesday also suggests 3 percent annual economic growth may be hard to achieve. Imports, which subtract from gross domestic product, could get a further boost from a $1.5 trillion tax cut package that became effective in January. The fiscal stimulus comes with the economy almost at full employment, which means the resulting increase in demand will likely be satisfied with imports. Companies would also need to invest in equipment, some of which is bought overseas, to boost production. “Trump’s trade team has not been able to stem the flood of imports into the country,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “Don’t forget it is American companies assembling goods outside the country and then bringing them back in which is the problem with the trade imbalance in goods.” The trade deficit increased 5.3 percent to $53.1 billion in December, the highest level since October 2008. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade gap widening to $52.0 billion in December. Part of the rise in the trade gap reflected higher commodity price increases. The deficit surged 12.1 percent to $566.0 billion in 2017, the highest since 2008. That represented 2.9 percent of GDP, up from 2.7 percent in 2016. The politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit jumped 8.1 percent to a record $375.2 billion last year. President Donald Trump has vowed to shrink the trade gap by shutting out more unfairly traded imports and renegotiating free trade agreements. Trump has repeatedly threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement unless the 1994 pact linking Canada, Mexico and the United States can be made more favorable to Washington. And his administration has launched an investigation into China’s intellectual property practices that could lead to major new trade sanctions on Beijing. “Many American factory workers bought into the promise of the president’s trade policy reforms, but they are still waiting for results,” said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing. When adjusted for inflation, the trade deficit increased to $68.4 billion from $66.5 billion in November. The jump in the so-called real trade deficit at the end of the year puts trade on course to be a drag on GDP in the first quarter. Trade subtracted 1.13 percentage point from economic growth in the final three months of 2017. The economy grew at a 2.6 percent annualized rate during that period, helping to lift growth in 2017 to 2.3 percent from 1.5 percent in 2016. U.S. stocks rose in volatile trading following the biggest one-day declines for the S&P 500 index .SPX and Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI in more than six years. The dollar .DXY rose against a basket of currencies as investors sought a safe-haven from the stock market rout. Prices of U.S. Treasuries were trading higher.

BROAD TARIFFS

The Trump administration believes a smaller trade deficit, together with deep tax cuts, could boost annual economic growth to 3 percent on a sustained basis. Late in January, Trump imposed broad tariffs on imported solar panels and large washing machines, and is considering slapping tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum for national security reasons. Such actions may prove politically popular with Trump’s working-class supporters, particularly in states hard-hit by factory closures and import competition. But economists say they would likely do little to change the growth trajectory of the overall trade deficit, which is tied more to macroeconomic factors. Goods imports increased 2.9 percent to a record $210.8 billion in December. Imports of food, capital and consumer goods were the highest on record in December. Imports of consumer goods were buoyed by pharmaceutical preparations, cellphones and motor vehicles. Imports are being driven by robust domestic demand, which grew at its quickest pace in more than three years in the fourth quarter. The country’s import bill in December was also pushed up by more expensive crude oil, which averaged $52.10 per barrel, the highest price since July 2015. “Tax reform is probably going to put further pressure on the trade and current account deficit as firms invest in more capital equipment to increase productive capacity,” said Eugenio Aleman, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Economics in Charlotte, North Carolina. Imports from China fell 7.6 percent in December. There were also declines in goods imported from Canada and Mexico, the United States’ major trading partners. Exports of goods increased 2.5 percent to $137.5 billion in December, the highest level since October 2014. Exports of capital goods hit a record high, lifted by civilian aircraft and industrial machines. There were also gains in exports of industrial supplies and materials. Petroleum exports increased to their highest level since August 2014. Exports are being boosted by a strengthening global economy. A weakening dollar is also making American-made goods more competitive on the international market. Exports to China surged 7.5 percent to a record high in December. As a result, the U.S.-China trade deficit declined 13 percent in December.

Source : Financial Express

Back to top

Bangladesh-New platform of garment TUs demands minimum wage at Tk 16,000

A new platform of garment trade unions on Thursday demanded that the government set the minimum wage for apparel workers at Tk 16,000 and implement it within six months. Garments Sramik Mojuri Andolan (garment worker wage movement), an organisation of 25 government-registered associations, made the demands while announcing its three-point demands at a press conference held in Dhaka on Thursday. Lima Ferdous, convener of the organisation, said, ‘The minimum wage for the garment workers must be Tk 16,000 and it should be implemented within six months.’ She also demanded that a worker representative from the garment sector to be appointed as a member to the wage board. The convener said that the workers’ sufferings worsened with the unrelenting price hike of the essentials and house rents. ‘The government in 2013 announced the minimum wage for the sector’s workers at Tk 5,300, which is not appropriate for the time as the prices of everything increased manifold,’ she said. There are some 45 lakh garment workers who work from 6:00am to 12:00am helping the government to earn foreign currency and developing the country, she said. Member secretary of the organisation Baharan Sultan Bahar said that they would organise a demonstration in front of the National Press Club before submitting a memorandum to the state minister for labour and employment.

Source: New Age BD.

Back to top

Pakistan : Increase In Exports

The reliance of Pakistani exports has been majorly on the textile sector. This means that the government has been very generous in terms of supporting such businesses and providing all the benefits possible to boost the set up. The current party in government, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) is known for bringing business friendly policies every time that they are in government. This time around, along with a boost in the textile sector, another sector has also witnessed growth. The non-textile exports were facing a decline since July of 2014. However, if one is to monitor the growth of the sector now, there has been a 19 percent increase in the non-textile exports . This is a huge achievement for the government as Pakistan is in dire need of setting up export products because the balance of payments at the moment shows a greater ratio of imports than exports . The government has successfully managed to regulate the growth of the sector by giving out cash support packages to non-textile products leather manufacturers, footwear, sports goods, surgical, engineering goods, furniture, meat and meat products, fish products and cutlery. Each product has witnessed growth during a short period of time. This requires calculated planning on part of the government, understanding the challenges faced by the sector and introducing policies that are beneficial to both; the producers and the country over all. With this efficiency, there is hope that the party (PMLN) will be able to retain its business voter base in the country due to this rise in exports . It is a technical win for PMLN, which at the moment is trying to retain the voter base in the country despite the ousting of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the continuous retaliation from the opposition parties. However, the challenge at this time will be to retain these number. The fact that the sector witnessed 19 percent growth rate in the new fiscal year and has been facing a decline in the last couple of years might be a bit worrisome for a few. This might be taken as an indication of ad-hoc policies which in the longer run do not help sustain the growth. It is now a challenge for the ruling party to show whether or not the growth can be sustained.

Source: The Nation

Back to top

Australia : Is apparel headed for trouble in 2018?

Australian consumer interest fell short of expectations this past Christmas, even with spending during December 2017 hitting record highs, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed. Clothing was a major concern within the apparel sub-group, as the seasonally adjusted estimate fell 0.5%. Department stores also saw negative results as the seasonally adjusted estimate fell 0.6%.Footwear and other personal accessory retailing yielded a stronger result, growing 0.9%.Despite these figures, the National Retail Association (NRA) elected to focus on Australian's record spend of $47.5 billion during the 2017 Christmas period. The figures closely align with the pre-Christmas forecasts made by the NRA, who predicted $48 billion in sales over Christmas. NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the ABS retail trend figures revealed that retail experienced another strong Christmas period. “For the entire Christmas trade period – which covers half of November and all of December – the ABS figures show there was a record retail spend of $47.5 billion,” Ms Lamb said. “The final Christmas figures for 2017 are almost identical to those that the NRA released last November when we forecast sales of approximately $48 billion. “It is clear that Australian retail experienced another strong sales period in Christmas 2017 and this bodes well for retail as we enter the second month of 2018.” The December 2017 ABS retail figures showed that sales grew by 0.5% in trend terms and rose by 2.0% for the December 2017 quarter compared with 2016. Clothing, footwear and personal accessories experienced a trend growth of 0.5% for the month. All states and territories, other than the Northern Territory, recorded a rise in trend terms for December 2017 with the largest increases in South Australia (0.6%) and Victoria (0.5%).

Source: Rag Trader

Back to top

Zimbabwe : Rains bring relief to cotton farmers

Cotton farmers, whose crop had started showing signs of moisture stress, have renewed hope amid moderate to heavy rains that have fallen in most parts of the country since last week. While cotton is naturally a drought tolerant crop, the prolonged dry spell that the country experienced since end of December last year, had resulted in part of the crop suffering from moisture stress. And if the dry spell had persisted, a significant hectarage of the crop would have been written off. However, the country started receiving the rains last week, renewing hopes for many farmers. “We are happy we are now receiving the rains after experiencing a long dry spell and this should help us to produce better yields,” Yeukai Zerera of Nyanyadzi in Manicaland said. The majority of the farmers benefited under the Presidential Input Scheme, which saw nearly 400 000 cotton growers benefiting. Last year, The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe, which is administering the programme, distributed inputs to about 155 000 cotton growers, pushing the national production to about 75 000 tonnes from 28 000 tonnes. This year’s package was made up of 8 000 tonnes of seed, 40 000 tonnes of basal fertiliser and 20 000 tonnes of top dressing fertiliser. The first tranche of inputs being planting seed and Compound L fertiliser have been disbursed to the targeted farmers. Farmers in Birchenough Bridge and Jerera also expressed optimism of better harvests following the rains. “We started receiving decent rains last week in some of the areas surrounding us, but the rains have now spread all over the entire region and this has revived our crop, which had started showing signs of moisture stress,” said Ngoni Jairus, who farms in Jerera, Masvingo Province. Even farmers who had a late crop also said the wet spell would help reviving their crop. Cotton Producers and Marketers Association chairman Steward Mubonderi, said the rains had brought much relief to farmers whose crop had been affected by the dry spell. “The crop, particularly the late planted, is beginning to show signs of recovery,” said Mr Mubonderi in an interview. “Although there was a setback, the rains have kept us on course to meet our targets,” he said, adding the association would disclose the estimates of projected output upon completion of a validation exercise. “But we are likely to have an improvement on last year since we have more farmers participating (under the Presidential Input Scheme) this year. “We now encourage our farmers to ensure the crop is well managed (pest control) to ensure better yields. Cotton used to be one of the country’s largest foreign currency earners before production slumped due to viability challenges resulting from inadequate funding and poor prices. Agriculture analysts say to some extent, the “mid-season drought” will help boost production. “Unlike last year when we had incessant rains, which resulted in excessive vegetative growth, we are seeing an increase in average balls per plant because of the hot conditions,” said an agronomist with a local Non-Governmental Organisation.

Source: The Herald

Back to top

Bangladesh : BTMA to consider blacklisting loan scammers

'In the next board meeting, we will propose to blacklist and cancel the membership of those who are involved with bank scams and took loans through fraudulent activities'The apex platform of textile mill owners will consider blacklisting members involved in bank loan scams and defaults. Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) acting president Mohammad Ali Khokon was asked at a press conference on Tuesday what the trade body planned to do about the many textile businesses involved in loan scams and defaults. He was briefing journalists about the 15th Dhaka International Textile and Garment Machinery Exhibition (DTG) to be held between February 8 and 11 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka. “In the next board meeting, we will propose to blacklist and cancel the membership of those who are involved with bank scams and took loans through fraudulent activities,” the BTMA acting president said in response to the question. “It is astonishing how an entrepreneur, who has been in the business for only four years can take out a loan of Tk5,000 crore when an honest and successful entrepreneur has to go from door to door for Tk50 crore,” said Mohammad. “I have been in the textile industry for 29 years now, but my loan is about Tk200 crore,” he added. Because of these defaulters, honest and successful entrepreneurs have to suffer and pay more interest against loans, said the BTMA leader. Those responsible for irresponsible loan disbursement should be identified and they should face exemplary punishment, Mohammad said. “It is not possible to make this sort of decision without having the help of powerful people.” “There are no rebates or incentives for those who repay loans regularly. But the defaulters enjoy rebates. This is an irrational system,” he said. A Bangla daily newspaper reported this week that Janata Bank has disbursed Tk5,504 crore to a single client – Anontex Group – which took the loan in the name of 22 sister concerns. As per the rules, a bank can disburse 25% of of its total capital to a single client. But the amount is far higher than that, as the total capital of the bank is Tk2,979 crore. Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday blamed former Janata Bank chairman Abul Barkat for the scam. Professor Abul Barkat, an economics professor from Dhaka University, was the chairman of Janata Bank Limited during the disbursement of this loan. “Once upon a time, Janata Bank was the best. But, Barkat has destroyed the bank,” said Muhith. The four-day DTG expo brings stakeholders under a common roof to familiarize them with new technology and encourage new investment in the garment sector. “Despite having political calm in the country, we did not see the expected investment in the primary textile sector,” said Mohammad. “As far as I know, two or three textile mills have been established, while those who have gas connection went for expansion,” said Mohammad blaming the shortage of gas connection for the slower investment. He also sought a set amount of LNG for the textile sector at a reasonable price.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

Back to top

Pakistan : Ginners ask govt to stop import of pest-infested cotton

MULTAN: Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) has appreciated the role of the Plant Protection Department of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in halting cotton imports through Wagah, Torkham and Chaman borders. In a statement, PCGA leaders, including its chairman Haji Muhammad Akram, said the government should strictly monitor cotton imports at seaports and should not allow offloading of contaminated and disease-infested varieties. They emphasised that the policies favouring the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association at the cost of overall agriculture sector were not acceptable to the ginners and growers. India had been a major beneficiary of duty-free import of cotton yarn by Pakistan for about four years, which had badly hit the domestic industry and agriculture sector under a “well-planned conspiracy”, they said. Akram cautioned that there would be a huge loss of cash crops if the farmers opted for cultivating other profit-yielding crops due to bad returns. He pointed out that exemption from customs and regulatory duties and sales tax may hit the domestic industry hard as it would drive down the demand for cotton produced in the country. Indian cotton represents the largest chunk of increased cotton imports since the neighbouring country provides huge subsidies in the form of duty drawback, interest rate concessions and infrastructure schemes for its cotton industry. “Under these circumstances, the import of cotton will be tantamount to slaughtering the growers and ginners who have just heaved a sigh of relief after a reasonable increase in cotton prices,” Akram remarked. Like Business on Facebook, @TribuneBizfollow on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Source: The Express Tribune

Cotton Prices Are Reflecting Demand Meeting Supply

To start the year, cotton prices were seeing a steady climb. Recently, they have seen a bit of a pull back. To John Payne of This Week In Grain, this signifies that the gins are finally catching up to the strong supply. “At the beginning of harvest and as the gins started to fill up, we had all these hands go up from overseas,” he said on AgDay. “The price spiked to try to get some of those sales slowed. The gins have really worked the last couple of months.” Payne thinks moving into 2018, the price could be right to see more cotton acres replace wheat. “It certainly beats trying to throw a loser after the wheat and a lot of them throw in the towel on the wheat market, and with corn prices where they are, not that attractive,” he said.

Source: Agroprofessional.com

Back to top

Japan : The textile firm making polyester desirable

An anonymous white factory building on a country lane in rural Japan seems a world away from the glamorous fashion houses of Europe. Yet while the modest home of Japanese company Daiichi Orimono is indeed thousands of miles from France and Italy, representatives from the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci are regular and enthusiastic visitors. This is because inside the facility 100 textile looms drum noisily, weaving unique - and much in demand - synthetic fabrics that look and feel like cotton and linen. Polyester and nylon may have a bad historic reputation for producing cheap and uncomfortable clothes, but such is the quality of Daiichi Orimono's textiles that they are now extensively used by many of the world's most expensive fashion brands. From the coats of Italy's Moncler, to the sleek jackets of Prada and Celine, much of the fabric is made in Daiichi Orimono's factory in Fukui prefecture, on the northern cost of Japan's main island, Honshu. But how did a small 70-year-old Japanese company that started out making sails reinvent itself as a key supplier to many of the world's most coveted luxury fashion brands? And how did it become a business with annual sales of 23bn yen ($210m; £148m) despite still only employing 60 people? It is a success story based on acute attention to detail, Japanese "omotenashi" or hospitality, and a rather driven and determined boss. Daiichi Orimono's chief executive Ryuji Yoshioka took over the reigns of the company from his father 35 years ago, when it was just a humble sports fabric manufacturer. In the early 1990s he built the then new factory in Fukui, a region of Japan famous for its synthetic fabric manufacturing, and invested heavily in first class loom machinery. "As soon as we built the factory the [synthetic fabric] bubble burst, and we lost clients [in Japan]," he says. "I had to be courageous because I had a great responsibility to feed my employees." Mr Yoshioka knew the company would fail if it relied upon the fickle Japanese market, so there was was only one thing to do - he needed to attract overseas buyers. Daiichi Orimono's factory is off the beaten path in Japan "Back then there was no one who could speak foreign languages in the company, and no employees who were good at international sales, and so as the head of the company I had to go by myself," he says. "It was very stressful, but the responsibility and the sense of duty drove me forward." He started by targeting South Korea and Italy because those countries didn't have a negative impression of synthetic materials. At the time no other Japanese textile manufacturers were looking to sell overseas, and the industries that did export their merchandise used trading companies. Mr Yoshioka decided that he'd cut out the middle man and try to sell direct to clients. He said this was vital so that he could properly explain about the fabrics his company could make. The company makes numerous different weaves of polyester and nylon. So embracing omotenashi he decided to take potential clients out for dinner. "I love delicious food, there's nothing I cannot eat, and I love to drink, and anywhere I go I wouldn't stop drinking before the client did." Soon Daiichi Orimono started to win overseas orders, and it hasn't looked back. Today, 70% of the company's sales are to overseas customers - 30% to Europe, 30% to Asia, and 10% to North America. Its fabric is delivered to customers giant rolls. But what exactly makes Daiichi Orimono's synthetic fabrics so special? There are numerous factors including the fact that its polyester and nylon is more densely woven than any others on the market. Also vital is Japanese attention to detail and quality control, with Daiichi Orimono employees checking the yarns by hand and eye to make sure that the tensions and weaves are entirely correct. "It was so surprising that I visited their companies and asked - is this really the fabric you want to use? "I remember thinking repeatedly - do they think they are talking to a CEO of a different company?" But the two fashion houses knew exactly who they were taking toDaiichi Orimono exports its fabric in large rolls While Daiichi Orimono currently does all its deals face to face, Mr Yoshioka says that in the future it is inevitable that the company will move into ecommerce, and so it is revamping its website.

Source : BBC

Back to top

Next generation of fabrics will protect public

LOWELL, Mass. - A team of UMass Lowell researchers has partnered with a research and development company to create new, cost-effective sensor-laden textiles that can be used to monitor the structural health and integrity of vital infrastructures across the country, including buildings and skyscrapers, roadways, bridges, tunnels, railway tracks, dams and pipelines. UMass Lowell team leader Assoc. Prof. Tzuyang Yu and Prof. Pradeep Kurup of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with Prof. Xingwei Wang of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are collaborating with researchers from Saint-Gobain, a multinational corporation with an R&D center based in Northborough to develop fabrics integrated with optical fibers and sensors. These "sensing fabrics" can be applied to existing structures to monitor strain or detect cracks in their early stages, thereby minimizing maintenance costs, environmental impacts and disruptions to the people's lives and businesses. In 2016, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America's infrastructures an overall grade of D+, indicating they urgently need major repairs and improvements to make them safe, sustainable and economically efficient. The new textiles aim to contribute toward that effort. "Optical fiber sensors are very suitable for structural health monitoring due to their lightweight, low-cost, survivability in harsh environments and immunity to electromagnetic environments," said Wang, a Shrewsbury resident. "More importantly, they can provide fully distributed sensing information about an object's structural integrity. Combined with novel textile technology, the sensing fabrics will be relatively easy to install and maintain. They will be very useful for long-distance sensing applications." The project is supported by an $853,000 grant from the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), which is part of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation Institutes. AFFOA's mission is to enable the manufacturing industry to transform traditional fibers, yarns and textiles into highly functional integrated and networked devices and systems. In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded the researchers a $550,000 grant through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Innovation Initiative (M2I2).

A State of Disrepair

The ASCE estimates that a $2 trillion investment over the next decade is needed for the necessary repairs and upgrades of the country's infrastructure. "The unique sensing capability of our proposed fabric will enable engineers to better predict the structural health of civil infrastructures and assist decision makers and stakeholders to better distribute limited resources for infrastructure repair, rehabilitation or rebuild," said Yu, who lives in Andover. Corrosion, one of the issues causing deterioration of infrastructure, does $13.6 billion in damage to highway bridges annually, according to the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. "The use of our proposed sensing textiles can help proactively assess the structural integrity of concrete and steel bridges," Yu said. From 2014 to 2017, there were nearly 4,000 railway accidents in the country. Of these, more than 430 involved derailments and close to 450 were related to railway structural failures, according to the latest report from the Federal Railroad Administration's Office of Safety Analysis. Replacing the rails currently costs approximately $1 million to $2 million per mile, according to Kurup, who lives in Lexington. "Our proposed sensing textile product can be used on concrete ties and steel rails as well as under ballasts to monitor the structural health of railroad tracks. A distributed sensing system for railroads will enable engineers to mitigate local damages through effective repair and strengthening, thereby avoiding unnecessary and costly rail replacement," he said. There are more than 470 tunnels located around the U.S. and millions of miles of oil, gas and water pipes, according to Kurup, who said maintenance of all of these represents significant challenges for those responsible. For example, he said, the American Water Works Association estimates $1 trillion will be needed over the next two decades to implement much-needed repairs and upgrades. The team's sensing textile will allow engineers to detect damages early on, thereby preventing catastrophic failures, Kurup says.

Developing a Technically Trained Workforce

Yu says that the development of the sensing fabrics will also create new business with the manufacturing, installation and maintenance of the fabrics as well as the processing and analysis of the sensor data. "This research project combines two traditional industries - textiles and construction - to create innovative sensor and sensing system products for the aging infrastructure problem faced by all countries in the world," said Yu. "We envision that this Massachusetts-based R&D effort will expand the local economy by creating new products to address a critical need nationwide, as well as strengthen the technical edge of the U.S. in today's globally competitive market." Scientists, engineers, interns and co-ops at Saint-Gobain will be trained in this emerging technology, the team said. "At UMass Lowell, we anticipate that the project will be used to train future engineers at both undergraduate and graduate levels in civil and electrical engineering," said Yu. "In addition, Saint-Gobain and UMass Lowell will hold training workshops designed to educate users on the value of infrastructure sensing and system capabilities." UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 18,000 students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

Source: EurekAlert

Back to top

 

Subscribe to SRTEPC mailing list

Exchange Rates