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MARKET WATCH 08 MARCH, 2018

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

DGFT to discuss protectionist measures by US, EU

NEW DELHI:Following the duty imposed by the US government on steel and aluminium products, Commerce Ministry is taking stock of protectionist measures by the US and all its major export markets and will also review India’s widening trade deficit. “There is a policy shift in the US, European Union and other emerging economies towards protectionism. In this context it is important to assess its impact on India’s foreign trade and to frame the policies accordingly,” said a senior official from Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The DGFT, which works under the aegis of the Commerce Ministry, is responsible for the export and import related matters. It raised concerns after the US President Donald Trump’s apparent decision to impose 10 per cent tax on imported aluminium and 25 per cent tax on imported steel. Even when US is not a major market for India for steel exports and accounts for only 5 per cent of its total exports, the DGFT fears that the protectionist stand may spill over to other sectors as well. The exports of finished steel from India dropped by more than 30 per cent to 0.616 million tonnes during January this year as compared to same month a year ago, according to the Ministry of Steel’s Joint Plant Committee. The country’s finished steel export stood at 0.890 million tonnes during the month of January 2017. The ministry had set the target that steel exports of should make up for around 6-7 per cent of country’s overall steel production in the coming few years. “The ministry will also discuss items which are being dumped by China and other Asian markets and will take all the measures to protect local manufacturing,” the official added.

Source: The New Indian Express

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Court backs JNPT in restarting arbitration claim against PSA

The Bombay High Court has allowed Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to restart arbitration proceedings against PSA International Pte Ltd, seeking ₹450 crore in damages from the Singapore government-owned firm. The damages claim — first brought before an arbitral tribunal by JNPT in 2015 — relates to a tender that collapsed in 2012 after PSA failed to sign an agreement within the stipulated time on winning the deal to build a new container terminal at the port. PSA had contended that the concession agreement containing the arbitration clause was never signed by the parties and hence there was no valid and enforcible agreement between the parties for JNPT to invoke the arbitration clause to press its claim for damages. On April 18. 2016, the sole arbitrator passed an order holding that there was no arbitration agreement between the parties and thus there was no question of referring any dispute to the arbitral tribunal. It also held that the arbitral tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the said dispute.

Concluded contract

JNPT submitted before the court that the issuance of letter of award (LoA) to PSA on emerging the successful bidder formed a concluded contract between the parties. “The LoA dated 26 September, 2011 issued by the petitioner (JNPT) to the respondents (a consortium of PSA and ABG Ports Ltd) in response to the highest financial offer made by the respondents and return of the said LoA duly counter signed by the respondent No:1 (PSA) formed a concluded contract between the parties,” Justice RD Dhanuka wrote in his March 1 order. “In my view, signing of a concession agreement after issuance of LoA was one of the requirement to be complied with by the respondents and was not a condition precedent for formation of the contract as sought to be canvassed by the respondent No:1 (PSA). The contract was already concluded between the parties prior to the date of signing the concession agreement,” Justice Dhanuka wrote in the order that set aside the order passed by the sole arbitrator in April 2016. By holding that “the arbitration agreement recorded in clause 19.3 of the concession agreement exist between the parties”, the court restored arbitration proceedings and directed the sole arbitrator to “proceed with the arbitration proceedings expeditiously”.

‘Landmark judgment’

The Shipping Ministry has hailed the order passed by the high court as a “landmark judgment”. “The judgment strengthens the hands of ports in case successful bidders refuse to sign concession agreements upon completion of tendering process by holding that the issue of LoA and its acceptance by the successful bidder will be treated as execution of a valid contract. “Once it’s a valid contract, all legal remedies will be available to the ports,” said a ministry official.

The judgment helps JNPT on two counts.

First, the encashment of bid security of ₹67 crore as liquidated damages in line with tender conditions becomes final. PSA had claimed refund of this amount citing absence of a valid contract. Secondly, JNPT’s claim for ₹450 crore as loss of business opportunity becomes enforceable. The arbitrator has to quantify the damages.

Source: Business Line

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HC directs Centre and Maha to resolve GST issues by Apr 24

The Bombay High Court has directed the Centre and the Maharashtra government to resolve the citizens’ grievances related to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by April 24 this year. A bench of Justices SC Dharamadhikari and PD Naik also said that the authorities must also ensure that all infrastructure related to implementation of the GST regime was also put in place by the above deadline to ensure that the citizens did not face any problems. “We trust that the Central and state authorities will resolve all outstanding and pending problems being faced by citizens while following the provisions of the GST regime. “The authorities must create necessary infrastructure and make the new system fully operational by the next date of hearing (April 24) ” the bench said. The bench was hearing a petition filed by Abicor and Benzel Technoweld Pvt Ltd a company engaged in the manufacture of robotic and automation equipment. The petitioner had approached the HC in February this year claiming that it was unable to access its online profile on the Goods and Service Tax Network without which it was unable to generate e-way bills and was unable to move its goods anywhere. The petitioner argued that while the Union government had decided to put in place an automated and electronic system of accepting tax returns based on self-assessment without access to its online profile it was unable to file its tax returns pay tax move its goods or undertake any other compliances that were required under the GST rules. Today Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh told the bench that the GST Commissioners from the state and Centre had conducted a joint meeting with the petitioner company on March 1 this year and had resolved the petitioner’s grievances. Singh also submitted a report detailing the steps taken by the state authorities so far to resolve problems related to GST. The bench observed that it was hopeful that both the Centre and the state will resolve all the problems related to the GST by the end of the next month. The petitioner had claimed that while it was unable to file its GST returns online due to technical glitches the state GST authorities were insisting that the company pay late fees. At previous hearing the bench had observed that it had come across several other petitions in different courts with grievances against GST. The bench had also hoped the Union government would “wake up” and take corrective measures.

Source: Tecoya Trend

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Raymond eyes small towns expects 10% volume growth

 MUMBAI MAR. 07— Spotting a big demand gap in small towns textile and apparel major Raymond is looking to spread its presence into such markets and expects up to 10 per cent like-to-like sales growth from this initiative a senior company official has said. “We had conducted a study last year and identified at least 1 200 urban townships with a population of over 50 000. We have no presence in at least 800 of those towns” Raymond retail director Mohit Dhanjal told PTI. “We are looking to set up mini Raymond shops in these tier IV V and VI towns through an asset-light franchisee model ” he explained. He said typically it would cost Rs 50-60 lakh to set up a mini Raymond shop and the company has tied up with local investors for this. He expects these stores can generate a revenue of Rs 1 crore each. In the past two months the company has set up about 40 mini Raymond shops and will open another 60 stores by the end of 2018 he added. The company has chosen small format stores as these towns do not require large stores that need higher investment.

Source: Tecoya Trend

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India-China bilateral trade hits historic high of US Dollar 84.44 bln in 201

BEIJING : The India-China bilateral trade has reached USD 84.44 billion last year an historic high notwithstanding bilateral tensions over a host of issues including the Doklam standoff. A rare novelty of the bilateral trade otherwise dominated by the Chinese exports was about 40 per cent increase of Indian exports to China in 2017 totalling to USD 16.34 billion data of the Chinese General Administration of Customs accessed by PTI here showed. The bilateral trade in 2017 rose by 18.63 per cent year-onyear to reach USD 84.44 billion. It is regarded as a landmark as the volume of bilateral trade for the first time touched USD 80 billion well above the USD 71.18 billion registered last year. The trade touched historic high despite bilateral tensions over a number of issues including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor China blocking India’s efforts to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e- Muhammad leader Masood Azhar Beijing blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as the longest military standoff at Doklam lasting 73 days. The bilateral trade stagnated around USD 70 billion for several years despite the leaders of both the countries setting USD 100 billion as target for 2015. Though it is still about USD 20 billion short officials on both sides expect trade and Chinese investments in India to pick up further this year as both the governments are trying to scale down tensions and step-up the normalisation process. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit China in June this year to take part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Qingdao. Reciprocal visits by Chinese leaders too were expected to take place this year. There were also expectations that the new Commerce Minister of China to be named later this week in government reshuffle was expected to visit India in the coming weeks for talks to improve bilateral trade. While the bilateral trade reached a new landmark the trade deficit too continues to remain high at USD 51.75 billion- registering a growth of 8.55 per cent year-on-year in 2017. According to India’s trade figures the deficit had crossed USD 52 billion last year. India has been pressing China to open the IT and Pharmaceutical sectors for Indian firms to reduce the massive trade deficit. As per the Chinese trade data India’s exports to China increased by 39.11 per cent yearon- year to USD 16.34 billion last year. India’s imports from China increased by 14.59 per cent to USD 68.10 billion. India has emerged as the seventh largest export destination for Chinese products and the 24th largest exporter to China. Significantly diamonds along with copper iron ore organic chemicals and cotton yarn contributed to the increase Indian exports to China. India’s exports of diamonds grew 4.93 per cent totalling to USD 2.59 billion. India was the second largest exporter of diamonds to China with a market share of 33.06 per cent after South Africa. Also Indian exports of copper registered a significant increase of 115.78 per cent to reach USD 2.15 billion. India’s cotton including yarn and woven fabric exports to China showed an increase of 1.86 per cent to reach USD 1.30 billion. India was the second largest exporter of cotton to China with 15.04 per cent market share last year. India’s exports of Zinc to China showed a sharp increase taking it to USD 240 million. China’s exports on the other hand were dominated by electrical machinery and equipment registering an increase of 28.23 percent to USD 21.77 billion. India was the largest destination for China’s Fertilizers exports registering 16.98 per cent of its total Fertilizers worth USD 1.03 billion to India.

Source: Tecoya Trend

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Ministers from key nations may skip Delhi ‘WTO meet’

The informal Ministerial meeting of select World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries to be hosted by New Delhi later this month may not turn out to be as eventful as was being hoped for. Trade Ministers from influential members such as the US, the EU, Japan, Brazil, Canada and South Africa could be giving the event a miss, going by the confirmations received so far. On the bright side, though, more than 22 invitees have so far confirmed that their representatives would be sent to the meet which include senior officials, permanent representatives to the WTO and in some cases deputy ministers. “It is a bit disappointing that many Trade Ministers are not finding it convenient to attend the meeting. But we are glad that several important countries are sending their representatives to the meet,” a government official told BusinessLine. The Commerce and Industry Ministry invited more than 40 countries to participate in an informal meet of Trade Ministers from WTO countries on March 20 to identify ways in which the global trade talks could be re-vitalised. “The invitees represent the whole world and the agenda of the meeting is how to keep WTO alive and kicking. It is important to have such a discussion as people raised doubts about the relevance of WTO at Buenos Aires,” Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu had told reporters following a stakeholders meeting last month.

US presence

While US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has not confirmed his presence, the country will be represented by Assistant USTR Sharon Bomer Lauritsen. European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, too, seems unlikely to attend as the bloc has named European Commission Director-General Jean-Luc Demarty as head of the delegation. Trade Ministers and Deputy Ministers who have confirmed their presence include Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maksim Oreshkin, New Zealand’s Associate Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor, Mexican Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade Juan Carlos Baker and Colombian Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade Olga Lucia Lozano. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, too, has confirmed his participation in the informal meet. “We are happy that the WTO DG has confirmed his presence as he could give a focus to the talks and also help re-shape the on-going negotiations at the WTO in Geneva on the basis of the output of the meet,” the official said. Countries that have confirmed the participation of senior officials or permanent representatives to the WTO include Switzerland, Korea, Japan, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, Egypt, Turkey, Norway, Guatemala, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Although India sent an invitation to Pakistan for the event, the country has not sent its confirmation yet. This is on expected lines as trade level talks between India and Pakistan came to a stand-still a couple of years ago when diplomatic relations came under strain. The Commerce Ministry is hopeful that some more confirmations would flow in before the meeting.

Source: Business Line

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Donald Trump’s tariffs leave no winners

Last week, US president Donald Trump took the extra-ordinary decision to impose import tariffs of 25% and 10% on steel and aluminium, respectively, by invoking the provisions of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. This provision allows the Administration to take measures to protect domestic industries for “national defense” and “national security”. While announcing his decision, the president has also insisted that the increase in tariffs, he has sanctioned, would be for an “unlimited period”. Trump’s action was backed by an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the US Department of Commerce, the report of which was released last month. This investigation had made a strong case for the imposition of tariffs on the two metals for national security, based on the understanding that “national security can be interpreted more broadly to include the general security and welfare of certain industries, beyond those necessary to satisfy national defense requirements that are critical to the minimum operations of the economy and government.” Armed with such sweeping powers given to it by its national legislation, the US Administration has, thus, undermined the global trade rules governed by the WTO that abhors unilateral actions by any member of the organisation, particularly, when the interests of the other members are adversely affected. Two significant issues must be highlighted in the context of the Trump Administration’s decision to increase steel and aluminium tariffs. The first is this is not the first instance of the tariff protectionism by this Administration, and the second is that the decision is threatening to impart a shock to the global economy just when it is showing signs of overcoming the impact of the recession of 2008. Given the importance of the steel and aluminium, countries around the world are taking a serious view of Trump’s imposition of high tariffs affecting these industries. But, the problems caused by this recent round of US trade protectionism run much deeper because of the two reasons. One, there has been excessive use of anti-dumping measures on steel. Second, there are two other products, namely washing machines and solar cells and modules, whose imports have been restricted by the US president in the recent months. Until the middle of last month, the US had 169 anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders in place on steel, of which, 20 are against India, and there are seven more ongoing investigations. As a result of such extensive use of anti-dumping actions, India and the other major exporters face considerable uncertainties in the world’s largest export market for steel. At the beginning of the year, Trump authorised imposition of restrictions on the imports of washing machines and solar cells and modules using the provisions of Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, the first time such authorisations have been made in the past 16 years. Section 201, which is the analog of the “safeguard measures” under the WTO, allows, as a temporary measure, to raise import duties or imposing non-tariff barriers on goods entering the US that injure, or threaten to injure, domestic industries producing similar goods. In case of washing machines, import quotas have been established for three years, wherein, in the first year, 20% tariffs would be imposed on imports of up to 1.2 million washing machines and 50% tariffs would be imposed on imports beyond the above threshold. The safeguard measures, in case of solar cells and modules, would last for four years, with 30% tariffs being imposed in the first year. The bigger concerns arising from the safeguard actions are Trump’s assertions that these actions, authorised only two months ago, have already helped in the sprouting of factories in both sectors. In other words, the president has developed his own narrative about the “positive” impact tariff protection is bringing to the US businesses. Given his record of steadfastly standing by his narrative, there remains a high probability that the president would feel the strong urge to take similar protectionist measures in other sectors as well to “make America great again

Source: Financial Express

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VDMA: German Technology meets Indian Textiles and Nonwovens – visitor registration is now open

Frankfurt / Mumbai, 7 March 2018 – Decision-makers from the Indian textile and nonwoven industry are warmly invited to register under www.germantech-indiantextile.de for the next VDMA Textile Machinery Conference and B2B-Forum from 15 to 16 May 2018 in Mumbai (Hotel The Leela). Registration is mandatory. The VDMA will bear organizational costs (no entrance fee). Deadline for registration: April 30, 2018. The VDMA organizes the event in close co-operation with the VDMA India Office, important media partners and Indian textile associations such as CITI. More than 30 well-known VDMA textile machinery and component manufacturers (link) will hold 36 application-oriented presentations about spinning, knitting, weaving, finishing, dyeing and embroidery. Other important cross topics, such as automation, digitalization (Industry 4.0) and smart production technologies will show all kind of Indian textile manufacturers how to improve their competitiveness.

State-of-the-art-technology will be presented in three sessions:

• Textile machinery & components for the fiber & yarn industry (May 15, 2018)

• Textile machinery & components for the technical textiles and nonwovens industry (May 15 & 16, 2018)

• Textile machinery & components for the apparel, home textile & carpet industry (May 15 & 16, 2018) – program: www.germantech-indiantextile.de/program.html

Networking among the participants and experts will be reached also through a B2B meeting area and conference dinner / high tea. In addition, a training seminar at Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute will take place on 17 May 2018 at the premises of VJTI in Mumbai. Mrs. Regina Brückner, chairperson of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association states: “The knowledge needed to keep up in the textile business is changing at a faster rate, which makes lifelong learning a must. The knowledge transfer at the VDMA event will improve the competitiveness of the Indian textile industry not only in the short but also in the medium and long-term. The students of today are the decision-makers and technical managers of tomorrow.” Caption: In 2013, more than 270 decision-makers and technical management of Indian textile manufacturers participated in the VDMA conference and B2B-Forum.

Source: VDMA Press Release

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Silk and Cotton Expo attracting huge crowds

S R Nagar: The exhibition cum sale at S.R.Nagar Community Hall is successful with good public response from women. The Expo organiser Akbar Ali said it has a Summer Fashion collection of silk and cotton, handloom and handicraft products from all over India for this Telugu New Year Ugadi festival purpose. It has a rich variety of Uppada, Kalamkari, Venkata giri, Pochampally, Gadwal,  Narayanpet, Dharmavaram, Ikkat Sarees, Chanderi, Bhagalpur designer sarees, Kota, Kanta Work Sarees, Tusser, Hand black Print Sarees, Dhaka Mushlin Sarees, Dress Materials, Linen, Lucknow Chikan Sarees, Designer Blouses, Designer Suits, Khadi Shirts, Khadi Materials and Warangal Towels, One Gram Gold Jewellery, Handicraft Jewellery and many more . The exhibition ends on March 14.

Source: The Hans India

Global Textile Raw Material Price 2018-03-07

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1445.33

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

VSF

2306.22

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

ASF

2764.30

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

Polyester POY

1390.84

USD/Ton

-0.11%

3/7/2018

Nylon FDY

3617.28

USD/Ton

0.22%

3/7/2018

40D Spandex

6002.48

USD/Ton

1.33%

3/7/2018

Nylon POY

1642.78

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

Acrylic Top 3D

3814.73

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

Polyester FDY

5970.89

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

Nylon DTY

1630.94

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

Viscose Long Filament

3364.55

USD/Ton

0.24%

3/7/2018

Polyester DTY

2969.65

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3017.04

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

32S Polyester Yarn

2211.44

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

45S T/C Yarn

3017.04

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

40S Rayon Yarn

2353.60

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2543.16

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

45S Polyester Yarn

3143.40

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2653.73

USD/Ton

0%

3/7/2018

10S Denim Fabric

1.47

USD/Meter

0%

3/7/2018

32S Twill Fabric

0.90

USD/Meter

0%

3/7/2018

40S Combed Poplin

1.26

USD/Meter

0%

3/7/2018

30S Rayon Fabric

0.70

USD/Meter

0%

3/7/2018

45S T/C Fabric

0.75

USD/Meter

0%

3/7/2018

 

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15796 USD dtd. 7/3/2018). The prices given above are as quoted from Global Textiles.com.  SRTEPC is not responsible for the correctness of the same.

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FTA under negotiation between Turkey and Pakistan

Free Trade Agreement between the two countries Turkey and Pakistan is under-negotiation. Trade will jump once FTA is finalized. Pakistan especially Lahore is an investment hub for the Turkish investors. Turkish Ambassador Mustafa Yurdukal said that friendly and cordial relations between Turkey and Pakistan should be translated into trade and economic ties. Ambassador Mustafa Yurkukal speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday said that the Ambassador agreed with the LCCI President that that the volume of bilateral trade between both countries is $497 million only which is very low. It should be increased through joint efforts and close contacts between the businessmen of the two countries. The LCCI President Malik Tahir Javaid said that Pakistan's exports to Turkey are constantly decreasing since 2011 when it reached US $756 million. In 2016, the value of total exports to Turkey reached down to $237 million. As far as imports from Turkey to Pakistan are concerned, these have been ranging between $160 million to $260 million from the year 2011 to 2016. Hence the total volume of bilateral trade is around $497 million in 2016. Former President LCCI Shahid Hassan Sheikh stressed the need for reducing taxes on garments and carpets. Pakistan mainly exports cotton, articles of apparel and clothing (knitted and non-knitted), other made up textile articles etc., to Turkey. This FTA can potentially help them in increasing the bilateral trade to $4 billion from the current level of $497 million. To achieve this objective, elimination in tariffs along with the concerns regarding non-tariff barriers need to be addressed in the FTA. With the implementation of FTA, both countries will come closer to each other and will open a new horizon in economic and commercial ties.

Source: YNFX.

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USA : Apparel and Textile Imports Rise in January Amid Trade War Threats

Though President Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum and trading partners have alluded to retaliation on items like Levi’s jeans, textile and apparel imports to the U.S. are on the upswing for, increasing 2.6% to 5.61 billion square meter equivalents (SME) in January over a year earlier. Textile imports rose 4.5% to 3.19 billion SME, while apparel shipments increased 0.2% to 2.42 billion SME, according to a monthly report released Wednesday by the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel. Among the top 10 U.S. suppliers, China—still No. 1 by a very long shot—saw its imports increase 0.9% in January to 2.76 billion SME year-over-year. Meanwhile India, the No. 2 supplier of textiles and apparel to the U.S., notched an 11.4% gain to 455 million SME, and Vietnam, the third largest supplier, posted a 0.6% rise to 425.6 million SME. Among the top suppliers with declines in shipments, South Korea saw the biggest drop, with its goods to the U.S. falling 9.4% to 115.8 million SME. Imports from Pakistan to the U.S. dipped 0.3% to 222.6 million SME, and Indonesia’s fell 5.4% to 148.1 million SME. The remaining countries making gains, Cambodia saw the steepest increase, with its U.S.-bound textiles and apparel jumping 27 percent to 112.2 million SME. Canada followed closely in terms of growth, with the U.S. taking in 25 percent more of its goods to reach 100.2 million SME, and Mexico saw its shipments rise 2.4% to 191 million SME. As tensions grow increasingly strained in the North American Free Trade Agreements, however, that growth could be threatened. In value terms, textile and apparel imports to the U.S. rose 4.24% in January to $9.29 billion compared to $8.91 billion a year earlier. Imports from China increased 0.68% to $3.41 billion, garnering a 36.44% market share, while Vietnam saw a 4.16% gain to $1.16 billion and a 11.5% share. Amid the NAFTA talks, Mexico posted a 14.16% increase in shipments valued at $374.53 million and a 4.53% share, and Canada notched a 14.48% rise to $107.37 million and a 1.23% share. Among the major Asian suppliers, the value of imports from India increased 2.69% to $649.76 million, taking it to a 6.96% share. Bangladesh’s shipments rose 1.95% to $509.69 million and a 4.97% share, Pakistan’s moved up 5.52% to $251.13 million and a 2.61% share, and Cambodia’s jumped 22.87% to $226.88 million and a 2.14% share. Imports from Indonesia, on the other hand, fell 1.73% to $428.49 million and a 4.47% share. Among Central American countries, Honduras saw the value of its imports to the U.S. increase 13.92% to $157.1 million and a 2.36% share, El Savador’s shipments rose 0.93% to $123.15 million and a 1.84% share and Nicaragua’s shipments increased 10.96% to $117.35 million and a 1.41% share. Footwear imports were up 6.6% to $1.78 billion in January compared to December. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. trade deficit in goods and services increased 5 percent to $56.6 billion in January from $53.9 billion in December, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). BEA reported that January exports decreased 1.3% to $200.9 billion compared to December and were essentially flat at $257.5 billion from a year earlier. Exports of apparel and clothing accessories increased 11.2% to $277 million in January from December and grew 21.5% compared to a year earlier. Exports of fabric and yarn increased 6.7% month-to-month and 4.8% year-to-year to reach $960 million in the month. Footwear exports fell 8.7% to $69 million month-to-month, but rose 19 percent year-over-year.

Source:  Journal Online

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Pakistan-Trading activity remain moderate at cotton market

Trading activity remain moderate due to renewed buying interest at the lower level at the cotton market on Tuesday. However, the availability of quality cotton resulted in some trading activity. Trading on ready counter was fairly moderate as needy spinners went for quality cotton. The following deals were reported to have changed hands on ready counter: 7,000 bales, Alipur, at Rs7,000; 400 bales, Jalalpur, at Rs7,100; 2,487 bales, Rahimyar Khan, at Rs7,300; and 800 bales also, Rahimyar Khan, at Rs7,000. At the Karachi Cotton Association (KCA) spot rates were firm at overnight level at Rs7,100 per maund. As the current cotton season is coming to a close, supply of quality lint is also running short. Presently less than 0.6 million bales are lying with ginners — a sign that there is little chance of getting larger quantity of quality cotton. In the domestic market after prices in the world leading cotton markets lately started to surge, there is a strong demand for lint. On global front, New York cotton closed at a season high level of US 86 cents per lb. Cotton prices in India also rose by Rs400 to Rs41,300 per candy (356kg) while the Chinese market was also up. Though there is no major development responsible for the sudden increase in international cotton prices, however a weaker dollar against other world currencies is reckoned to be a possible factor.

Source: YNFX.

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Turkey likely to hike duties on imports of American cotton

Turkey, home to a major textile industry and companies that supply global fashion brands such as Zara, Adidas and Nike, imported USD 519 million worth of US cotton in 2016, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute. Turkey is likely to hike duties on imports of American cotton, as retaliation against potential US steel tariffs, said one of President Tayyip Erdogan's economic advisers on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump said that he would impose broad tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to protect American national security, sparking concern from US trade partners and causing turmoil in global stock markets. Starting with Turkey, countries affected by the US tax imposition are preparing to answer the US in alternative goods - such as Turkey in cotton. The Economy Ministry said that it had spoken to European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malstrom regarding the issue and that they had agreed to cooperate on it in the World Trade Organization (WTO). US cotton accounted for 42 percent of its total imports that year, the biggest share of any country, the data showed. Turkey is the world's eighth-largest steel producer and the sixth-largest exporter to the United States. The reaction so far from Turkish steelmakers to Trump's proposal has been relatively sanguine, with one saying it could ramp up its U.S. business in response. An industry association has said Turkish steel producers could still remain competitive thanks to lower costs.

Source: YNFX.

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Cambodia : Some employers have escaped because of gambling debts: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday that some garment workers have not been paid because their employers shut down the factories and fled after they lost money gambling. Speaking to thousands of garment workers in Kandal province, Mr Hun Sen said that some of the factories were shuttered because their managers stole the workers’ wages for gambling. “Their managers lose money gambling; they do not know what to do. They spend the workers’ wages and then they panic. They have to escape,” he said. He said he usually asked his officials to find solutions for the workers when they protested by holding pictures of him and his wife, Bun Rany. “Recently, the government paid cash in advance to the workers whose employers escaped. The government loses money, but it must provide wages to the workers,” he said. Last week, the government announced it would pay cash in advance to workers whose bosses escaped without paying their wages and bonuses. Mr Hun Sen said the government was prepared to pay $4.6 million to 4,100 workers whose bosses escaped, meaning each worker would get about $1,100. More than 1,000 workers of Yu Da Garment, S.R.E Garment and Yu Fa Garment in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district have lost wages after their employers fled. Heng Sour, spokesman for the Labour Ministry, said the government has already prepared cash for garment workers if their employers flee. “Please don’t be worried. The government has cash for them to pay their missing wages and then we will sell off properties,” he said, referring to equipment left behind in the abandoned factories. Toun Saren, a secretary with the Collective Union of Movement of Workers, said workers were unsure why their employers fled, but regardless of the reason, they needed to get paid. “The workers need to get paid on time when their employers escape. Sometimes, they do not know what problems their employers face, but they panic when factory representatives disappear,” he said. Last week, the Ministry of Labour said that if employers escaped without paying workers, the ministry would confiscate property of the factories and sell it to compensate workers or put it back into the state budget. The National Employment Agency will find new jobs for the workers. The ministry will also take legal action against those who advised owners or company representatives to shut down their factories and flee.

Source: Khmer Times

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China's economic shift to propel global growth

Already a major driving force for the world economy, China is poised to make greater contributions with its reaffirmed commitment to economic rebalancing. In a report on government work earlier this week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to strengthen the fundamental role of consumption in driving economic growth, open China's market wider and defend free and fair trade. Experts believe these efforts will inject new impetus into China's growth and further boost the global economy. "With a population of 1.3 billion, China's economic modernization will have a huge spillover effect on more robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive global economic growth," said Zhang Zhanbin, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Governance. China's economy, once heavily reliant on fixed-asset investment and exports, is increasingly fueled by services and consumption. Official data showed that consumption contributed 58.8 percent of GDP, and the service sector accounted for 51.6 percent. China now has the largest middle-income group in the world, with a population of about 400 million, and it is growing fast. Wang Yiming, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council, expected the group to have stronger and more sophisticated consumer demands. "This year, China's retail sales are projected to surpass those in the United States in another sign of China's transformation from a 'world factory' into a 'world marketplace,'" Wang said. While maintaining strong exports, China is also buying more from the world, with its imports up 18.7 percent year-on-year to 12.5 trillion yuan (about $2 trillion) in 2017. "Not only did China's imports continue to grow, they also cover a broader range of sectors, benefiting both developed and developing economies," said Li Daokui, an economist with Tsinghua University. For instance, China's increased imports of crude oil and iron ore helped boost the economy of resource-rich countries, while its imports of integrated circuits and metal-working machines have benefited developed economies. China has promised to further boost its imports. The Ministry of Commerce forecast last November that China would import more than $10 trillion of goods and services in the next five years. This year, China will host the first China International Import Expo (CIIE), showing its determination to open wider to the world and increase consumption of its fast-growing middle-income group. More than 1,000 enterprises from over 120 countries and regions have signed up to attend the event slated for Nov 5 to 10 in Shanghai. Despite the rising protectionism in major economies, China has remained a staunch champion for free trade. In his report, Premier Li reiterated China's support for promoting economic globalization and protecting free trade. China calls for trade disputes to be settled through discussion as equals, opposes trade protectionism, and will resolutely safeguard its lawful rights," he said, noting that the country is ready to work with all parties to advance multilateral trade negotiations. "This demonstrates China's resolve to support the right course of economic globalization, and to help address issues such as lack of inclusiveness during the process," said Liu Shangxi, head of the Chinese Academy of Fiscal Sciences. World Bank data show that China contributed 34 percent to world economic growth from 2012 to 2016, more than the United States, European Union and Japan combined. "China will continue to be the strongest driving force and stabilizer for the world economy," said Li Daokui, the economist.

Source: China Daily.

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Bangladesh-Jute could be next main driver of economy

Jute and jute goods hold potential to become the next key driver of the economy as the present ones -- garments and remittance -- have little scope to contribute more in the long run, said an economist yesterday. “Bangladesh needs a new growth driver. In this case jute and jute goods can be the main driver soon,” said Hossain Zillur Rahman. The government has been favouring the garments sector over the years and should similarly give policy support on adding value to jute and jute goods and make non-performing jute mills profitable by keeping them running, he said. People worldwide are avoiding harmful polythene in their daily lives while entrepreneurs in the country are investing on jute and jute goods to regain its lost glory, said the former adviser to a caretaker government. He was addressing a seminar on diversification of jute for developing the industry at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in the capital. Thousands of jobs have been created by small and medium jute mills in Bogra and Jessore running with machinery of Adamjee Jute Mills, which has been shut down, said Rahman. Mirza Azam, state minister for textiles and jute, said jute production increased gradually from 65 lakh bales in 2014 to 70 lakh bales last year for better prices ensured by a government rule making its use mandatory in goods packaging. More than 100 crore sacks were additionally produced for the rule and local entrepreneurs expanded the export base increasing the types of jute goods from 135 last year to 240 this year, he said. The government gave out a 20 percent subsidy on diversification, said the state minister. “I am very much hopeful that the finance ministry will publish a circular within one week recognising jute goods as a product of the processed industry,” he said. This will help exporters avail the incentive on exports like other agro-processed goods, he said. Azad said the government recognised jute goods as a product of the agro-processing sector two years ago, but the finance ministry has not given the recognition yet. As a result, exporters are not getting the incentives, he said. The state minister called for producing skilled workforce as every year a lot of foreign currency is spent to hire foreign experts to run textiles and jute sectors. Currently, there are six colleges, 12 diploma institutes and 26 vocational institutes for textiles, said Azam. Md Shamsul Alam, director general of the Department of Jute, said Bangladesh gets Tk 1 on selling a garment item at Tk 4 but retains the whole amount in case of jute. He expects a maund or around 40 kilogrammes of jute to sell for Tk 3,000 by 2021. Jute traders get bank loans at 20 percent interest while other exporters can borrow from the export development fund at only 2 percent interest, said A Barek Khan, secretary to Bangladesh Jute Mills Association. Mahmudul Hasan, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation, said they needed investment from either the government or the private sector to commercially produce paper from jute, something already proven in laboratories. Moreover, by making viscose and paper pulp from jute at home, Bangladesh can save Tk 1,700 crore while earning $7 billion from jute and jute goods exports a year, he said. AFM Akhtaruzzaman, former director of Bangladesh Forests Research Council, said it was also possible to make high-value papers such as that for cheques, stamps and currency notes with jute. Abul Kasem Khan, DCCI president, called for enacting an act on mandatory use of jute and jute goods. In a keynote paper, Rashedul Karim Munna, managing director of Creation Private Ltd, said many renowned car brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Volvo have started making different environment-friendly components using jute. “So, the government should make a policy to export $5 billion-$7 billion worth jute in the next seven years,” he said.

Source: The Daily Star.

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Fashion Forward: Greening China's Apparel Manufacturing

Many consumers don’t realize that apparel manufacturing can be hugely polluting — and especially so to the environment in China, where roughly half of the world’s textiles are produced. Luckily, there are many easy ways for factories to cut down on energy and resource use and adopt more environmentally-friendly production processes. Part of the challenge is motivating factories to implement these best practices, which may seem daunting but can actually pose significant cost reduction benefits for manufacturers. We sat down with Linda Greer, Senior Scientist on the Health Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to discuss NRDC’s efforts to green fashion production in China. Linda launched NRDC’s Clean by Design program in 2009 in order help to alleviate the burden of textiles manufacturing on China’s environment and natural resources. The program works with brands’ manufacturers to scale up the adoption of low-cost, high-efficiency improvements that reduce the overall supply chain environmental load.Environment China is a weekly bilingual podcast from the Beijing Energy Network. The show features conversations with advocates, entrepreneurs, and experts working in the environmental field in China. We are looking to learn how they do their work, what new strategies and solutions they have found, and why now is the right time for real and positive changes in China’s environmental field.

Source: Environment China

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Pakistan : Hydrogen peroxide shortage hits textile industry

KARACHI: Textile processors are facing an acute shortage of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a chemical widely used in processing, dying, bleaching and printing of grey fabric. All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the government and accused local manufacturers for abruptly reducing the supply of the chemical. “The textile industry is the single largest consumer of hydrogen peroxide. The current acute shortage of the raw material is drastically affecting processing activities,” APTPMA chairman Saleem Parekh said. “The shortage has already pushed hydrogen peroxide prices higher and if the government does not take any action, a large scale shut-down of the processing industry is inevitable, thereby affecting exports of textile fabrics and made-ups,” Mr Parekh added. an urged the government to allow import of hydrogen peroxide on zero duty for the textile industry till such time local supply is back to normal in terms of price and delivery.

Source: Dawn.com

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Russia Participates in Modernizing Cuba's Textile Industry

HAVANA, Cuba, Mar 6 (ACN) Russia will participate in modernizing Cuba's textile industry, said Russia's Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Gueorgui Kalamanov. The Russian official is participating in bilateral talks with the objective of signing agreements with the Caribbean island, according to Cubadebate website. The Cuban partners, he said, made proposals for the modernization of a series of textile factories and now we need to define the exact amount and if the information of the required supplies are established. Gueorgui indicated that the major part of the machinery will be of Russian production and these projects are expected to materialize with the support of the Russian Export Center. Regarding the Russian-Cuban cooperation perspectives in other areas, the Vice Minister of Industry highlighted that both countries are carrying out intense work in several directions. He highlighted energy cooperation with the modernization of the Maximo Gomez and Habana del Este thermoelectric centers and the Antillana de Acero Steel Plant. We also expect to continue developing cooperation in cargo and light transportation supplying Kamaz trucks and Lada cars that has prestige in Cuba.

Source: Cuban News Agency

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