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MARKET WATCH 10 APRIL, 2018

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

India can benefit from global trade challenges: Prabhu

India can benefit from the ongoing challenges in global trade provided it plays its cards well, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday. He said some countries are taking steps which are testing the entire global trading system. “We are passing through a challenging but an opportune time. If we play our cards properly, and that is what we are trying to do... we can actually benefit from it by creating an opportunity around the issues that are happening globally. We have no choice but to respond in a positive manner,” he said. The Minister was speaking at the CII annual general meeting here. The decision of the US to impose duties on certain steel and aluminium products besides hiking tariffs against Chinese goods has triggered a global trade war, with China retaliating to the move. Trade experts worldwide have raised concerns over these measures. “In this context, we must be ready to not only to face the challenge but also make that into an opportunity,” Prabhu added. The Minister said the government is taking steps to boost exports, industrial growth and manufacturing activities. Indian economy would reach $5 trillion in the coming years; and despite the global situation, it is growing at a faster pace, he said.

Source: Business Line

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Maritime trade goes all electronic

Mumbai : P Manoj The government has made the use of e-Invoices, e-Payments and e-Delivery orders mandatory across the maritime trade as it seeks to push digitisation of trade processes to improve the ease of doing business. Stakeholders across major ports (owned by the Central government) and terminals therein, private ports, private terminals, container freight stations (CFS) and inland container depots (ICD) have been directed to use e-Invoices, e-Payments and e-Delivery orders, according to an order issued by the Shipping Ministry, with effect from April 2. The government has also directed stakeholders to use the Port Community System (PCS), a centralised web-based message exchange platform for the Indian maritime community run by the Indian Ports Association (IPA), to exchange the documents. PCS is linked to the Indian Customs Electronic Commerce/Electronic Data Interchange Gateway or ICEGATE, a portal that provides e-filing services to trade and cargo carriers and other clients of the Customs Department, enabling faster clearance. e-Invoice, e-Payment and e-Delivery Order features were added in the PCS over the past year.

Ministry order

 “On a review of the use of these functionalities in PCS by various stakeholders, it is seen that many stakeholders are yet to use these features. In order to improve the flow of sea trade among PCS and for the benefit of all stakeholders concerned, it is essential that all stakeholders across the maritime trade flow use these features. Wherever the link is broken, manual processes are resorted to resulting in increase in dwell time of cargo,” the Shipping Ministry order said. “In view of the above, it has now been decided that the use of e-Invoice, e-Payment and e-Delivery order, across the entire maritime trade through PCS shall be made mandatory for all stakeholders across all major ports, all terminals within the major ports, private ports, private terminals and CFS/ICD,” it added. “This will improve the turn-around time of shipments,” says Anand Dikshit, Commercial Director at freight forwarding firm Clearship Forwarders Pvt Ltd. “We can get shipments out in a couple of hours. Earlier, these documents had to be physically transferred to the point of delivery, entailing delays.”

Source: Business Line

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India signs deals to export 200,000 bales of cotton to China

Mumbai: India has signed contracts to export 200,000 bales of cotton to China in the past one week, the head of a trade body said, after Beijing last week sought to impose tariffs on cotton supplies from the United States. India, the world’s second-biggest cotton exporter, is expected to export 7 million bales (each of 170kg) of the fibre in 2017/18 against 5.8 million bales shipped in the 2016/17 season, Atul Ganatra, president of the Cotton Association of India, told Reuters. India is looking to sell 2.5 million to 3 million bales to China in the next season beginning October, up from around 800,000 bales of expected exports in the 2017/18 marketing year, Ganatra said earlier.

Source: Livemint

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India Runway Week Signs a MOU with Banka Silk

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Banka Silk and IFFD’s India Runway Week for benefiting 40000 plus weavers of Jharkhand & Bihar. The MoU was signed by Founder, IFFD AvinashPathania and Founder of Banka Silk, Udyan Singh. Banka Silk is an organization which already working with weavers for past 3 years. Banka silk with a strength of 10,000 weavers from home district ‘Banka’ and a direct association of 30,000 weavers under an MOU with the Jharcraft, ties up with India Runway Week to promote the weaver’s and artisan’s community and give their fabric a proper market across the country. Under the association, Banka Silk will also form an individual MOU with around 30 of the designers participating in IRW and give them access to pure handloom fabric at weaver’s price, giving promotion to handloom and handicrafts of our country and a pan India market at the same time. Whereas, India Runway Week is 5 year old platform with USP of providing platform to young fashion designers to showcase their work infront of media and buyers, they looking at this MOU as a medium to provide good quality handloom fabrics to the designers at weaver’s price without visiting any store to source the fabrics. In this 10th edition of India Runway Week, Banka silk will be showcasing its collection named “Bahar” in association with designer PoonamDubey. The collection is inspired from foliage, flowers, birds and butterflies and pays homage to the feminine community’s spiritual reverence for nature. Balancing the tradition of the handloom weaves of Jharkhand through cotemporary silhouettes and sensibilities, refreshing colours and hand block prints to create an influence that rejoices a mix of fine Indian craftsmanship and modern touch. Sustainable fabrics in silk, cotton and linen, applying traditional crafts, seek to cater to the affordable luxury segment with contemporary outfits with Indian influences. Each ensemble tells the story of nature in the hues of coral reds, lemon and mango yellows and rich emerald green. Clean and yet sophisticated lines having signature tailoring, exceptional drapes and layers; and with an option to mix and match pieces as per ones taste and style. AvinashPathania in said that “This is one of the step we are taking to support around 250 plus fashion designers from pan India. They will benefit from this agreement as Banka Silk will provide authentic handloom fabric at weavers price on their doorstep.” To add to this Udyan Singh, Founder Banka Silk told “Banka Silk came into existence to promote different clusters of weavers at different stage and to get them maximum remuneration for their work by being a direct channel between weavers and buyers”. This MOU will not only benefit designers but will benefit weavers more, as they will get direct orders from the designers and designers will also give some minimum commitment to banka silk under this MOU. This Mou will generate around 1,00,00,000 rupee business for weavers every season in initial stages with target of giving them business of 5,00,00,000 every season by next 2 years. The agreement was signed between the two institutions for collaborating designers and weavers where both will jointly work closely to benefit both young fashion designers and weavers.

Source: NewsPatrolling

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Why India’s oil economy needs prudent supply management

International prices of crude oil have been ruling firm in March 2018, close to $70 per barrel. Several factors are responsible for this buoyancy, which include, inter alia, demand-supply mismatch, global economic recovery, control over daily production by oil producing countries, trade war among major economies, and other geopolitical reasons. This is a major cause of concern for the oil importing emerging economies in general and India in particular. India is the third largest consumer of crude oil, next to the US and China. The country’s domestic consumption of crude oil, which was 158.4 million metric tonnes (mmt) in 2013-14, seems to have crossed 200mmt in 2017-18. Domestic production continued to remain stagnant, at around 36mmt, during the same period. As a result, import dependency has gone up from a little over 77% in 2013-14 to about 82% in 2017-18. Historically, the government subsidised consumers by regulating the prices of petroleum products. The fiscal burden arising out of petroleum products’ subsidy crossed Rs 1 trillion in 2008-09, forcing the Union government to deregulate their prices in a phased manner. After the global financial crisis, the fall in international prices of crude oil provided an opportunity to do so without disruption in the domestic economy. While petrol prices were deregulated in 2010, diesel prices became market related since 2014. As of now, while kerosene and LPG prices are still regulated, prices of other petroleum products have been freed before 2010. As part of prudent fiscal management, the Union government did not pass on the entire benefit of the fall in crude oil prices to the consumers by imposing excise duty on petroleum products. The state governments also collected sizeable amount of revenues from VAT/other state taxes imposed on such products. The oil sector, which has been a major source of receiving subsidy, has now emerged as a major source of revenue for both central and state governments in the deregulated regime (see table). Currently, the element of taxes (excise duty, road cess and state taxes together) on petrol and diesel at New Delhi has been approximately 48% and 39%, respectively. At Mumbai, the tax element on petrol/diesel is the highest. Dealers have separate margins of about 5% on petrol and 4% on diesel. A sizeable amount of revenues received from the oil sector has significantly contributed to fiscal consolidation at both central and state levels. In the deregulated regime, there has been a two-way movement of petrol/diesel prices depending on global crude oil prices. The Union/state governments have also reduced excise duties/state taxes on certain occasions when the burden on the consumers has been high. In the context of the recent increase in international prices of crude oil, the consumers expect the government to reduce taxes so that the burden on them shall be reduced, besides anchoring overall inflation. As of now, the fiscal situation is tight at both central and state government levels, following their commitment to achieve fiscal consolidation. Hence, it is natural for them to avoid cut in the taxes on petroleum products to prevent the fiscal arithmetic going haywire. On the other hand, the persistence of crude oil prices above $70 per barrel for a long period is likely to be inflationary. As indicated by the Reserve Bank of India, the global crude oil price is a major upside risk to inflation in the country. If inflation shoots up, the Monetary Policy Committee shall not hesitate to hike the repo rate at the earliest. The question, therefore, arises as to whether the inflationary impact of the rise in global crude oil prices should be handled through supply management or demand management? As crude oil price is essentially a supply-side problem, prudent supply management can contain inflation better than through demand management. Under the flexible inflation targeting regime, there is an implicit understanding that the government, besides adhering to fiscal consolidation, has to undertake suitable supply management as and when required. If inflation arising out of supply shock is controlled through demand management, the entire economy may have to pay a heavy price. After demonetisation and GST shocks, India’s economic recovery is at a nascent stage. Unless nurtured carefully, India’s recovery may be short-lived, particularly if the cost of credit goes up significantly. The oil ministry desires the GST Council to bring petroleum products under its ambit at the earliest. Tweaking of taxes on petroleum products, if any, can be done by the GST Council. The burden of revenue loss in case of a cut in taxes on petroleum products may be borne by both Union and state governments. It is advisable to bring petroleum products under the ambit of GST at the earliest, at least from the point of view of having a uniform price of each petroleum product throughout the country. But there are quite a few issues that need to be sorted out before central and state GST rates are finalised on each petroleum product. Being essential commodities, it may not be appropriate to impose the highest GST rate on petroleum products. The local taxes imposed on petroleum products by each state government are widely divergent. Moreover, it may take time to build consensus to bring petroleum products under GST. Adjusting the exiting tax element within 12% or 18%, particularly on petrol and diesel, may be difficult. Hence, both central and state governments may have to go in for reduction in excise duty/state taxes on petroleum products sooner or later, if global crude oil prices persist above $70 per barrel for a long time.

Source: Financial Express

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FIEO sees huge potential in China

Coimbatore : With India’s exports to China registering a record increase of over 53 per cent in 2017, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) foresees huge potential in the Chinese market for start-ups and small exporters. The federation has urged exporters to tap the market potential in China and invited them to participate in the 25th China Export Import Fair, scheduled between June 14 and 20 at the Kunming Dianchi International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Yunnan Province, China. With new trade restrictions being imposed by the US and the developed nations, it is time for Indian exporters to look for opportunities that are closer to home and the China-South Asia Expo cannot have come at a better time with huge opportunities available for the exporters to explore. The B2B and B2C expo will give exporters a chance to sell their products directly to the Chinese consumers, FIEO said in a release. FIEO has offered to provide stalls to small exporters at concessional rate at the Indian pavilion. The organisation foresees huge potential for export of organic chemical, textiles and garments, silk, food products, granites, minerals and medical device, pharmaceuticals, ayurvedic products, jewellery, handicrafts, tourism and building material. China has started liberalising its import rules and regulations and this has helped boost exports considering the geographical location and logistics costs, the FIEO release said.

Source: Business Line

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Cotton acreage estimate down by 15% as farmers shift to lucrative soyabean

The area under cotton acreage is likely to decrease by around 15% with farmers shifting towards soyabean in the hope of better returns and after the Pink Bollworm infestation in Maharashtra and Telangana that damaged the crop reducing farmer incomes. Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta said that the shift in area under cotton may not be significant. The area under cotton acreage is likely to decrease by around 15% with farmers shifting towards soyabean in the hope of better returns and after the Pink Bollworm infestation in Maharashtra and Telangana that damaged the crop reducing farmer incomes. The drop in cotton planting is likely to see a rise in soybean planting after farmers received good rates during the ongoing season and a rise in import duties, Cotton Association of India (CAI) president Atul Ganatra said on Monday. “The Kapas sowing is expected to reduce by 10-12% in Maharashtra and Telangana due to the Pink Bollworm attack. The area under cotton could fall to 108 lakh hectares in the 2018/19 marketing season that starts at the beginning of October, down from 122.6 lakh hectares in the current year, he estimated. On the other hand, soyabean prices have jumped by about Rs 1,000 per quintal in the last few months from Rs 28,000 per quintal to Rs 3,800 per quintal. Ganatra was speaking at the Cotton Meet on ‘Challenges Facing Cotton Trade’ on Monday. Textile Commissioner Kavita Gupta said that the shift in area under cotton may not be significant. “There may not be much decline in total production as area under cotton in other states may compensate for any decline in area in pink boll worm affected states,” she said. The Commissioner suggested that Indian textile industry should strive to become world class on the lines of Egypt. Pasha Patel, chairman, State Agriculture Price Commission (SAPC) pointed out that if soybean prices rose, farmers would shift to soybean and there would be no takers for cotton. Earlier, he had stated that last year the area under soybean in Maharashtra was 39 lakh hectares and area under cotton was 26 lakh hectares. “There was no MSP for cotton. This season, the area under cotton in Maharashtra has gone up to 42 lakh hectares while area under soybean has dropped to 36 lakh hectares. This season,farmers are seeing cotton planting as a risk. On the other hand, soybean is a sturdy crop and even if the planting doubles, the crushing capacity is available in the country,” he pointed out. India imports 70% of its vegetable oil needs and produces only 30% which means there is huge scope for growth, he said. Soyabean prices are likely to remain supported in the short term as production of Argentina has declined from 550 lakh tonnes to 400 lakh tonnes. Meanwhile, Ganatra said that the country has signed contracts to export 200,000 bales of cotton to China after Beijing last week sought to impose tariffs on cotton supplies from the United States. India is expected to export 70 lakh bales (each of 170 kg) of the fibre in 2017/18 against 58 lakh bales shipped in the 2016/17 season, he said.

Source: Financial Express

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Heritage walks to explore handloom tradition

Aurangabad: The 15th Heritage walk scheduled for April 15 will focus on handloom and handicraft tradition in Aurangabad. The medieval art and crafts, which was synonymous with the city during pre-Independence, will be explored by experts during the weekly heritage trail. Senior history expert Rafat Qureshi said, “Several prominent historical sites and areas around the city have been covered during past heritage walks. This time we will focus on the city’s handloom tradition during the next trail.” He added, “Aurangabad was once popular for making Himroo, Pathani and Bidri handloom. The heritage walk will explore traditional hand-woven style of making these fabrics.” The non-profit group Aurangabad History Society has been at the forefront of organising the heritage walk in the city on a weekly basis, with an aim to create awareness about local heritage. “Awareness is the first step to conservation. Events like the heritage walks can make public aware about the local history and culture. We hope that such walks continue on a sustained basis with excellent public participation,” Qureshi said.

Source: The Times of India

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Bespoke Living designs in the spotlight at Heimtextil India

New Delhi – Luxury linens and home furnishings will be showcased at Heimtextil India and Ambiente Indiathis summer. The co-located shows will launch a Bespoke Living section for home textiles, dining, lifestyle and giving products along featuring uniquely crafted brands. The product showcase is designed for interior designers, architects, hotel buyers, luxury goods buyers and luxury homes developers. “The term luxury décor is not restricted to brand names anymore,” said fair organizer Messe Frankfurt . “Be it the very popular Scandinavian themed houses to colorful cultural artefacts creating a soothing aura, Indians now want their homes and businesses to reflect their personal style with statement interiors.” The 2018 event will take place June 27-29 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi

Source: Home Textiles Today

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 2018-04-09

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1379.65

USD/Ton

-0.29%

4/9/2018

VSF

2315.27

USD/Ton

-0.68%

4/9/2018

ASF

2775.15

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

Polyester POY

1417.71

USD/Ton

0.56%

4/9/2018

Nylon FDY

3615.62

USD/Ton

-0.44%

4/9/2018

40D Spandex

5867.46

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

Nylon POY

5994.32

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

Acrylic Top 3D

1665.09

USD/Ton

0.48%

4/9/2018

Polyester FDY

3409.47

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

Nylon DTY

2981.30

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

Viscose Long Filament

1696.81

USD/Ton

0.47%

4/9/2018

Polyester DTY

3837.64

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

3060.59

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

32S Polyester Yarn

2161.45

USD/Ton

-0.07%

4/9/2018

45S T/C Yarn

3028.88

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

40S Rayon Yarn

3203.32

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2711.72

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

45S Polyester Yarn

2331.13

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2553.14

USD/Ton

0%

4/9/2018

10S Denim Fabric

1.48

USD/Meter

0%

4/9/2018

32S Twill Fabric

0.91

USD/Meter

0%

4/9/2018

40S Combed Poplin

1.27

USD/Meter

0%

4/9/2018

30S Rayon Fabric

0.71

USD/Meter

0%

4/9/2018

45S T/C Fabric

0.75

USD/Meter

0%

4/9/2018

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.15858 USD dtd. 8/4/2018). 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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China Is Studying Yuan Devaluation as a Tool in Trade Spat

China is evaluating the potential impact of a gradual yuan depreciation, people familiar with the matter said, as the country’s leaders weigh their options in a trade spat with U.S. President Donald Trump that has roiled financial markets worldwide. Senior Chinese officials are studying a two-pronged analysis of the yuan that was prepared by the government, the people said. One part looks at the effect of using the currency as a tool in trade negotiations with the U.S., while a second part examines what would happen if China devalues the yuan to offset the impact of any trade deal that curbs exports. The analysis doesn’t mean officials will carry out a devaluation, which would require approval from top leaders, the people said, asking not to be named as the information is private. “It seems as if Beijing is showing the full extent of policies they could deploy,” said Viraj Patel, a strategist at ING Bank NV in London. The yuan weakened as much as 0.2 percent to 6.3186 per dollar in onshore trading on Monday, before trading little changed as of 5:49 p.m. local time. China’s central bank didn’t immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. While Trump regularly bashed China on the campaign trail for keeping its currency artificially weak, the yuan has gained about 9 percent against the greenback since he took office and has been steady in recent weeks despite an escalation of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The Chinese currency touched the strongest level since August 2015 last month.

Yuan in Play?

China is said to evaluate the potential impact of a gradual yuan depreciation. Other markets have been far more turbulent as both the U.S. and China proposed tariffs on $50 billion of goods and Trump instructed his administration to consider levies on an additional $100 billion of Chinese products. The S&P 500 Index has slumped more than 9 percent from this year’s peak in January, while the Shanghai Composite Index has lost 12 percent on concern that tensions between America and China could devolve into a full-blown trade war. Yields on U.S. Treasuries have also declined from this year’s highs as investors shifted into haven assets. While a weaker yuan could help President Xi Jinping shore up China’s export industries in the event of widespread tariffs in the U.S., a devaluation comes with plenty of risks. It would encourage Trump to follow through on his threat to brand China a currency manipulator, make it more difficult for Chinese companies to service their mountain of offshore debt, and undermine recent efforts by the government to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate system. It would also expose China to the risk of heightened financial-market volatility, something authorities have worked hard to avoid in recent years. When China unexpectedly devalued the yuan by about 2 percent in August 2015, the move fueled capital outflows and sent shock-waves through global markets. “Is it in their interest to devalue yuan? It’s probably unwise,” said Kevin Lai, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. “Because if they use devaluation as a weapon, it could hurt China more than the U.S. The currency stability has helped to create a macro stability. If that’s gone, it could destabilize markets, and things would look like 2015 again.”

Source: Financial Express

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Bangladeshi exporters face highest US import duties

Bangladeshi exporters face highest US import duties Pew Research Center found that Bangladesh and Vietnam export large volumes of clothes and shoes to the US,  and those are the items the US taxes at disproportionately high rates Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune. In 2017, Bangladesh’s exports to the US totaled $5.7 billion, and 95% of them were clothes, shoes, headgear, and related items. Bangladeshi exporters are among the highest tariff payers among the 232 exporting nations to the US as the North American country imposes substantial import taxes on apparel and footwear, according to findings by a Pew Research Center report. After analyzing data from the US International Trade Commission (ITC), the DC-based think tank found that Bangladesh and Vietnam export large volumes of clothes and shoes to the US, and those are the items the US taxes at disproportionately high rates.  According to the report, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Vietnam, and other such nations face the highest import duties in absolute figures, because of their substantial trade in clothing and footwear. For Bangladesh, tariffs were 15.2% of the value of all its shipments. The US now imports more than 97% of its clothing. Typically, items the US imports in large volumes face fairly low duties, but Pew has pointed out that clothes are the main exception. It also highlighted that sweaters generate more tariff revenue than any incoming product except personal cars. “Nearly all Bangladeshi imports were subject to US duty,” reads the Pew report, “and the tariffs on them were equivalent to 15.2% of the total value of that country’s shipments to the US—the highest such average rate among the 232 countries, territories and other jurisdictions in the ITC database.” Average U.S. tariffs vary widely from country to country. In 2017, Bangladesh’s exports to the US totaled $5.7 billion, and 95% of them were clothes, shoes, headgear, and related items. According to ITC, the reason for the high tariffs is protectionism. Big brands, retailers, and the groups that represent them, such as the Footwear Retailers and Distributors of America, have battled against these duties for some time.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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Dubai textile firm plans garment unit in Kenya's Naivasha

Dubai-based textile company United Aryan plans to build a garment factory that could employ up to 10,000 workers at Olkaria geothermal fields in Naivasha town of Kenya’s Nakuru county to take advantage of lower electricity costs. The factory, likely to come up in the next two years, will manufacture apparel like trousers, knit tops, fleeces, shirts and robes. The factory, which is likely to offer indirect employment to around 40,000 Kenyans, will manufacture products for sale in Kenya, the United States and Europe, according to company founder-chairman Pankaj Bedi. United Aryan currently operates at Baba Dogo’s Balaji Export Processing Zone in Ruaraka, where it manufactures apparels for export, an African business daily reported. Covering 20 acres, the factory will have six units with the capacity to produce and wash more than 100,000 pieces of attire daily.

Source: Fibre2fahsion

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US textile & apparel imports up 7.26% in Jan-Feb 2018

The import of textiles and apparel by the United States increased by 7.26 per cent to $17.943 billion in the first two months of 2018, compared to imports valued at $16.729 billion in January-February 2017. With 36.63 per cent share, China was the largest supplier of textiles and clothing to the US during the year, followed by Vietnam with 11.53 per cent. Apparel constituted the bulk of the textiles and garments imports made by the US in January-February 2017, and were valued at $13.588 billion, while non-apparel imports accounted for the remaining $4.354 billion, according to the latest Major Shippers Report, released by the US department of commerce. Segment-wise, among the top ten apparel suppliers to the US, exports from Cambodia showed double-digit growth of 14.75 per cent year-on-year. On the other hand, imports from Indonesia and Sri Lanka registered a decline of 0.70 per cent and 5.66 per cent respectively, compared to the same period of the previous year. In the non-apparel category, among the top ten suppliers, exports from Vietnam, China and Italy shot up by 106.64 per cent, 31.34 per cent and 29.84 per cent year-on-year to $110.823 million, $2.041 billion and $93.287 million, respectively. Imports from Mexico and Turkey too grew by 18.20 per cent and 14.57 per cent. Of the total US textile and apparel imports of $17.943 billion during the period under review, cotton products were worth $8.018 billion, while man-made fibre products accounted for $9.049 billion, followed by $485.626 million of wool products and $390.063 million of products from silk and vegetable fibres. In 2016, the US textile and apparel imports had increased by 1.27 per cent year-on-year to $105.992 billion, with apparel alone accounting for $80.286 billion. (RKS)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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South Korea's Lotte to merge fashion biz with apparel arm

South Korean retail giant Lotte will merge the management of its various fashion businesses under its apparel affiliate for better competitiveness in the domestic market. Lotte Shopping, which operates the group’s department store chain, will transfer its global fashion business unit to its subsidiary NCF in June. Lotte purchased NCF for $18 million in 2010. NCF is expected to launch new brands and carry out mergers and acquisitions of famous brands, though many expect Lotte will need time to catch up with Handsome, an affiliate of Hyundai Department Store, or Shinsegae International, a subsidiary of another retail giant, Shinsegae, according to a Korean news agency report. (DS)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Pak-China commerce chamber identifies sectors for JVs

The Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) recently identified seven high potential sectors, including handicrafts, textile, leather and sportswear, for joint ventures (JVs) and investment. PCJCCI presented a research paper to Teng Shaung, deputy minister in the Jinan sub-council of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Teng headed an 81-member delegation to participate in an automobile show in Karachi recently, a Pakistani newspaper report quoted a PCJCCI spokesperson as saying. Teng visited trade bodies, expo centres and wholesale markets and shared her primary research with local stakeholders. (DS)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Egypt to raise cotton production to meet high export orders

After a disastrous year for Egypt’s cotton industry in 2016, the country’s agriculture ministry has initiated measures to boost the cotton sector by improving and raising production of long-staple and medium-length cotton. It also plans to increase the area under cotton cultivation to 224,208 acres to meet export market demand. Despite the increase in production, Egyptian cotton exporters say production cannot meet the high export demand, according to a reportin an Egyptian newspaper. The government needs to ensure that cotton production in 2019 reaches at least 2 million quintals so that it can meet the global demand, Nabil al-Sanrisi, head of the Egyptian Cotton Exporters Association, reportedly told a local news outlet. According to Adel Abdul Azim, head of the country’s Cotton Improvement Fund, cotton growing areas would increase to 415,200 acres by 2019. Statistics show the value of Egyptian cotton exports fell by 4 per cent between 2012 and 2016. (DS)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Pakistan working on 5-yr strategic trade policy framework

Pakistan’s export growth is being hindered by high cost of business and issues of market access and exchange rate, but the government has been working on a five-year strategic trade policy framework to resolve these problems, commerce secretary Younus Dagha said recently at the launch of the International Apparel Federation (IAF) membership in Lahore. The local currency has already been devalued by around 10 per cent to maintain the exchange rate so that exports could be enhanced, he said. The extension offered by the European Union for the generalised system of preferences (GSP) plus benefit has helped increase exports of value-added textile products by up to 90 per cent, leading to a growth of 13 per cent between July last year to February this year, a Pakistani newspaper report quoted him as saying. Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA) senior vice chairperson Sheikh Luqman Amin said though the government had given assurance to clear all pending claims, more and more refund claims are piling up.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Texas is No. 1 in U.S. cotton production, and the farmers need your support

Cotton is deeply woven into the cultural and economic fabric of Texas. Despite seismic changes in the state's economy from the first wildcatters in East Texas at the turn of the last century to a different kind of wildcatters who built the new Silicon Hills of Austin, cotton's influence and importance has remained. Texas has consistently led the nation in cotton production. The 5-million-acres-per-year contribution of the Lone Star State is about half of the cotton produced by the nation as a whole. Each year, cotton is the leading cash crop in the state, generating $2.2 billion in crop value in 2016 alone. Cotton's broader economic footprint in Texas has been estimated to be as high as $24 billion annually. Despite the economic contributions that cotton brings, the industry has suffered from extreme weather and political whims. The most recent examples were the devastating drought that hit the plains of West Texas in 2011 and cotton's lone exclusion from the Title 1 safety net in the 2014 Farm Bill. All of this is in the face of unfair competitive advantages for countries such as China that enjoy higher government subsidies and lower production costs. Cotton producers are ready for the next chapter. Pump jacks and wind turbines are visible inside a cotton field near Lamesa The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, fellow Texan Mike Conaway, is deeply committed to finding workable and reliable policy solutions to ensure a viable cotton industry. We have pledged our support to helping him achieve this goal and enact a new Farm Bill before the current law expires. And we've already begun to work toward that end. In the February disaster spending package, a seed cotton provision was signed into law that ensures cotton producers have the same risk management tools for their crop as their neighbors who farm corn, grain sorghum and wheat. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rolled out ginning cost share assistance as a lifeline for cotton farmers as they transition back into the Farm Bill's safety net and who, without this immediate relief, could be put out of business. Fortunately, cotton farmers still have a voice in Washington. In the last several months, we have met with a number of producers who have shared their stories of the challenges of recent years and the optimism for a brighter future in farm country. These farmers, through a variety of national and Texas-based cotton groups, have been meeting with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to describe the crisis in cotton country and how we can improve farm policy moving forward. Homegrown food and fiber is a matter of national security, and while we see fields white with cotton each fall, the case for cotton needs to be brought to the attention of our urban and suburban counterparts in Congress. As President Dwight Eisenhower once said, "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." Less than 2 percent of Americans grow the crops that feed and clothe our families. Unless we want to depend on foreign countries for our food and fiber needs, it is in our best economic and national security interest to support the hard-working men and women of agriculture. While we cannot fully protect them from the volatility of the market or the vagaries of the weather, we owe it to our cotton farmers to make sure they have the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace and maintain this great agriculture industry. Together, we'll work to ensure that in Texas, cotton remains king. John Cornyn is a Republican senator from Texas. Jodey Arrington is a Republican representing Lubbock in the U.S. House. This column first appeared in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

Source: Dallas News

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Sweden : TMAS established in Vietman – support growing textile industry

Textile Machinery Association of Sweden (TMAS) is now firmly established in Vietnam with the purpose of assistance in making Vietnam one of the world’s leading textile and garments manufacturer. According to Innovation in Textiles, the office has been in the 7th district of Ho Chi Minh City, with Tran Phuoc Thanh as the head of the office. He specializes Business Development Representative for TMAS in Vietnam. And the development brings great optimism for TMAS: “We see our involvement in the Vietnamese textiles industry as just beginning. We have been steadily building business since early 2017. Our deep understanding of the market, knowledge and competence make us very positive about our plans for tapping into exciting new opportunities that will benefit our customers and ourselves. As well as help the local industry and communities to prosper,” said Therese Premler- Andersson, Secretary General of TMAS, to Innovation in Textile. TMAS specializes in providing costumers with the likes of machinery, equipment and business solutions on top of general technical support and service worldwide. TMAS will be present at SaigonTex 2018, the biggest expo for the textiles and garment industry in Vietnam. This major textile and machinery trade fair will be held from 11-14 April in Ho Chi Minh City, offering an opportunity to showcase innovative Swedish technology, knowledge and quality.

Source: ScandAsia.com

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South Africa : Cargo pants with 'swastika' removed after complaint

A pair of cargo pants has been taken off the rack at a clothing store in Cape Town after a customer complained that a patch on the garment resembled a Nazi symbol. The pants featured a patch depicting a bird with its wings spread hovering over a circle containing a four-pronged symbol. A man complained to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies Cape Council about the symbol‚ which he believed looked similar to a swastika. He said the patch caught his eye as he walked by the store on Saturday. “Everybody knows what a swastika looks like‚” the man‚ who asked to remain anonymous‚ said. “I just think this is bad taste.” The patch bore resemblance to the Parteiadler emblem‚ according to Liza-Jane Saban‚ the head of communications for the SA Jewish Board of Deputies Cape Council‚ which monitors anti-semitism in the province. The emblem became Germany's national symbol under the Nazi Party in 1935‚ Saban said in an email to TimesLIVE. Saban‚ who said her group received complaints about the item‚ noted that “accidental” Nazi imagery was not uncommon in stores‚ but cautioned that retailers should be more vigilant. Saban said that the store‚ Choice Clothing‚ was owned by a member of the Jewish community who agreed to remove the item. Saban said the SAJBD Cape Council was pleased with the decision. Harold Hessen‚ who according to his LinkedIn account is associated with Choice Clothing‚ declined to answer questions about the garment. Hessen only said it “was an absolute mistake what happened.” Before they were removed from the store‚ the cargo pants were hanging on a rack at midday on Monday for R159.99.

“The SAJBD (Cape Council) believes that it is insensitive for any retailers to stock clothing with Nazi symbolism‚” Saban said. “It is not only highly naïve‚ but grossly offensive.”

Source: Times Live

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Sewport sews ideas into garments on e-platform

In one-of-its-kind, UK based Sewport has put in efforts to change the way brands and manufacturers interact by launching a modern online platform where brands, start-ups and fashion enthusiasts can seamlessly interact and develop clothing online. Sewport consolidates service providers and provides an online environment with tools for a better experience. Sewport aims to disrupt the billion dollar fashion industry and expand to other sectors to bring communication between manufacturers and customers to a new standard. Both experienced fashion brands and newcomers without any links to the apparel industry will benefit from the platform’s inquiry process as intelligent algorithms to categorise their projects and determine the best manufacturers for the job – bringing brands one step closer to manufacturing their product "With companies and brands already using the platform across the globe, Sewport represents a modern solution to the step-by-step garment production process by offering and guiding brands through the process automatically. Its intuitive functionality is built around accelerating and improving the way brands and service providers connect and communicate. The system also provides online tools that help jumpstart the path from a sketch to a product, secure payments and its own purpose built chat that helps boost and simplify the whole experience for both sides," Sewport press release stated. "Our users' say it’s the service they long been waiting for. Starting and running an emerging clothing brand has a very steep learning curve and it takes months and years to build the right connections – with our platform people can do the same in minutes. We are removing complexity around creating a piece of clothing and improving lead qualification for manufacturers at the same time. Our team has years of experience in the garment production industry. During this time we faced many struggles and observed how brands and manufacturers hit the same wall over and over again. We decided to address these issues and created Sewport – a unique space where anyone can turn their passion into products," Boris Hodakel, founder of Sewport, said. Sewport also enables collaboration of multiple service providers on a single project. The built-in multi-user chat room allows brands to invite multiple companies for a discussion and at the same time de-clutters their mailboxes. All communication, tech packs and attachment exchange conveniently takes place on the platform. As the result, manufacturers get a unique opportunity to pool their capabilities to satisfy clients’ most extravagant needs. (RR)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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