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India imposes anti-dumping duty on Chinese polyester yarn

Commerce Ministry's investigation arm Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had recommended the duty after a probe into alleged dumping of 'High Tenacity Polyester Yarn' from China. India has imposed anti-dumping duty of up to USD 528 per tonne for 5 years on a Chinese polyester yarn used in automobile and other industries. The move will provide a level playing field to domestic players and guard them against below-cost imports. Commerce Ministry’s investigation arm Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) had recommended the duty after a probe into alleged dumping of ‘High Tenacity Polyester Yarn’ from China. The probe followed complaints by the domestic players, who alleged that below-cost import of the yarn from China is hurting the industry in India. The finance ministry has imposed the duty on the product after considering the recommendations of DGAD. “The anti-dumping duty imposed…shall be effective for a period of five years (unless revoked, superseded or amended earlier) and shall be paid in Indian currency,” the Finance Ministry said in a notification. The duty imposed is in the range of USD 174-528 per tonne. High Tenacity Polyester Yarn, also called industrial yarn, is used for manufacture of tyre cord fabric, seat belt webbing, ropes, coated fabric, conveyor belt fabric and automotive hose. Countries carry out anti-dumping probe to determine whether their domestic industries have been hurt because of a surge in below-cost imports. As a counter measure, they impose duties under the multilateral regime of WTO. The duty is also aimed at ensuring fair trading practises and creating a level-playing field for domestic producers with regard to foreign producers and exporters. India has already imposed anti-dumping duty on several products to check cheap imports from countries including China, with which India has a major concern of widening trade deficit. The deficit has increased to USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18.

Source: Financial Express

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India, US to intensify efforts to settle trade differences at meeting next week

With just about three weeks left for India’s retaliatory tariffs against the US to kick in, a team from the Commerce Ministry will go to Washington this weekend for the next round of meeting with senior officials from the US Trade Representative’s office to look for a possible settlement to a looming trade dispute. The meeting of trade officials, scheduled on July 16-17, will be a follow-up of the one held in New Delhi late last month, and will focus on convincing the US to rollback the penal import duties imposed by it on Indian steel and aluminium and continue the generalised system of preferences (GSP), scheme, a government official told BusinessLine. “In the meeting with the USTR’s team late last month, Indian officials explained in detail why the penal import duty of 25 per cent imposed on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium from the country was unwarranted. The Indian officials said not only did India export much smaller quantities than other trade partners of the US such as China, Japan and South Korea, the country had also taken steps to reduce the trade imbalance with the US,” the official said. The USTR officials, which included Assistant USTR Mark Linscott, assured their Indian counterparts that they would pass on India’s side of the story to higher officials in Washington, including USTR Robert Lighthizer. “India will get to know how senior officials at the USTR feel about India’s arguments in favour of a roll-back on penal import duties and it will an important input to the discussions in Washington next week,” the official said. New Delhi notified retaliatory import duties on 19 items from the US worth about $240 million on June 20 after all its attempts to convince Washington not to penalise its steel and aluminium failed. However, it postponed the date of implementation to August 4 as the USTR team was travelling to New Delhi to hold further talks. India also wants the USTR to renew the scheme which is a preferential import tax scheme allowing market access at nil or low duties for about 3,500 Indian products, including chemicals and textiles. The USTR is holding an eligibility review for India and is also looking at complaints from its medical equipment and dairy industries which have pleaded that the scheme should be extended only when they gain market access in India. “India has told the USTR team that the GSP extension should not be linked to market access issues. Officials argued that while price caps on medical equipment were for both domestic products as well as imports, dairy products could be imported only when certified that it was from animals that were given feed free of bovine contents as this was of religious significance to Indians,” the official said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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Hint of more tweak in GST

New Delhi: The GST Council may reduce the rates on sanitary napkins, handicraft and handloom products, besides certain services, at its meeting next week. Several industry bodies and stakeholders have been demanding duty cut on items, especially those linked to health and employment in the unorganised sector. "The council will take up the issue of rationalisation of taxes on various commodities in view of the demand raised by stakeholders. It would focus mainly on those items which are of general consumption and have low revenue implication," an official said. Most handloom and handicraft products as well as sanitary napkins are currently taxed at 12 per cent despite a demand to exempt them from the levy. Under the goods and services tax regime, there are four rates - 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Since its launch on July 1, 2017, the GST has subsumed over a dozen local levies and transformed India into a single market with a seamless flow of goods. The GST Council had, in its meeting in January this year, decided to slash the GST rate on 54 services and 29 items. At its November 2017 meeting, the council had removed 178 items from the highest 28 per cent category, while cutting the tax on all restaurants outside starred-hotels to 5 per cent. In the first year of the GST in 2017-18, the government earned Rs 7.41 lakh crore from the tax since July. The average monthly collection was Rs 89,885 crore.

Source: The Telegraph

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GST Council to consider rate cut on items with low revenue impact on July 21

The GST Council may consider reduction in tax rates on host of items with low revenue implications as part of the tax rationalisation exercise in its next meeting on July 21.The items which could be considered for cutting of tax rates might include sanitary napkins, handicrafts and handloom goods, besides certain services.Several industry bodies and stakeholders have been demanding duty cut on items, especially those linked to general health and employment generation in unorganised sector. "The Council will take up the issue of rationalisation of taxes on various commodities in view of demand raised by stakeholders. It would focus mainly on those items which are of general consumption, and have low revenue implication," an official said. Most handloom and handicraft products, as well as sanitary napkins are currently taxed at 12 per cent, while there are demands to exempt them from the levy. Under the Goods and Services Tax regime, there are four rates -- 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Rolled out on July 1, 2017, GST had subsumed over a dozen local levies and transformed India into a single market with seamless flow of goods. The all powerful GST Council had, in its meeting in January 2018, decided to slash the GST rate on 54 services and 29 items. In its November 2017 meeting, the council had removed 178 items from the highest 28 per cent category, while cutting tax on all restaurants outside starred-hotels to 5 per cent. In the first year of GST in 2017-18, the government earned Rs 7.41 lakh crore from the tax since its roll out in July. The average monthly collection was Rs 89,885 crore.  In the current fiscal, the collections in April touched a record Rs 1.03 lakh crore, followed by Rs 94,016 crore in May and Rs 95,610 crore in June. Union Minister Arun Jaitley had exuded confidence that higher revenue collections will enhance the capacity of the government to rationalise tax rates going forward.

Source : Economic Times

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Economic picture might blur as industry data shows divergence

While purchasing managers’ index shows expansionary trend, the data on new investment announcements continue to disappoint. Two sets of statistic released last week paint divergent pictures about the Indian economy. Nikkei India purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for manufacturing and services in the month of June was valued at 53.1 and 52.6, respectively. A value above 50 shows an expansionary trend in the economy. June PMI values for both manufacturing and services are the highest in 2018. These trends stand in sharp contrast to the statistics from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s (CMIE) capex database which shows a continuous fall in value of new project announcements. These numbers are widely used as a measure of investment sentiment in the economy. This value has been witnessing a decline for the past eight quarters. Index of Industrial Production (IIP) paints a mixed picture. While IIP growth in April 2018 (latest available figures) was 50 basis points higher than the growth in March 2018, it was more than 200 basis points lower than the figures for January and February 2018. One basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point. Base effect disruptions caused due to demonetisation could have played a role in the higher growth figures for IIP in January and February. While IIP figures for May and June 2018 would shed more light on this confusion, they will not be available for some time. What do these divergent trends tell us about the level of economic activity in the Indian economy? Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at CARE Ratings said that the PMI data is intrinsically flawed when it comes to interpreting real production. This, Sabnavis said, is because it only covers the private sector and is based on binary questionnaire where you say yes or no. While PMI is a useful quick indicator, it never gels with the IIP numbers, Sabnavis added. Explaining the divergent trend between PMI and capex numbers, Sabnavis said, “Investment is different from production as we are dealing only with fresh capital being installed which has not increased. This is as capacity utilisation rates are low and demand for investment is low. Therefore this is true picture on capital formation. Aditi Nayar, principal economist at rating agency ICRA said that an improvement in both rural and urban consumption driven by a modest pickup in economic growth is likely to bolster capacity utilisation in various sectors, which could lead to a broad based capacity addition by the private sector in the second half of the ongoing fiscal year. What actually happens in the next few months will depend on pulls and pressure from various forces. Rise in Minimum Support Prices and a normal monsoon is likely to boost consumption demand. On the other hand, a rise in inflation, which could lead to another rate hike by the RBI could further discourage investment in the economy. We will have more clarity on this when GDP figures for the June quarter will be released around August.

Source: Hindustan Times

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Domestic apparel firms can absorb higher costs, provided demand recovery sustains

ICICI Securities estimates domestic apparel companies such as Arvind Ltd, Page Industries Ltd, and Rupa and Co. Ltd to register double-digit revenue growth in the June quarter over a year ago. The current market price of cotton is already higher than the minimum support price (MSP) announced by the government. Therefore, the hike in MSP may not have much of an impact immediately for cotton farmers. But the government-determined rate can emerge as a floor price, if the MSP mechanism is implemented well. This may drive up costs of textile and apparel makers over a longer period. Ratings agency Icra Ltd warns that elevated cotton prices can drive up working capital requirements of textile companies and will “warrant a sustained calibration in pricing for end products”. This can worsen the scenario for textile exporters, who are on the back foot due to rationalization of export incentives, slow tax refunds under the goods and services tax (GST), and churn in the US, a large market for home textile exporters. Home textile companies have sufficient cotton inventory till October, providing a cushion from the price increase, points out JM Financial Institutional Securities Ltd. But high prices in the coming season can be a headwind given that US exports are already facing pricing and demand pressures. “Marketplace disruption (online vs. offline) and high cotton prices remain key concerns,” JM Financial said in a note last month. But everybody is not as precariously placed. Apparel companies in India are on the recovery path, thanks to stabilization of trade channels post- GST-related disruption, ICICI Securities Ltd said in a note. The companies also have high cotton inventories, which should aid profitability in the near term, added the brokerage firm. If the recovery in their business continues, then they will be in a better position to pass on higher costs once they begin to buy raw material at higher rates. ICICI Securities estimates domestic apparel companies such as Arvind Ltd, Page Industries Ltd, and Rupa and Co. Ltd to register double-digit revenue growth in the June quarter over a year ago. A favourable base is expected to aid Rupa and Co., while Arvind is expected to benefit from healthy growth in brands and retail segment. On this front, the situation is not very encouraging for home textile exporters. Data from JM Financial and ICICI Securities shows a softening of textile exports to the US in January-April this year. The June quarter results should reflect this. Analysts’ estimates of revenue growth for home textile companies are not yet available.Of course, both businesses—domestic apparel and textile exporters—have different dynamics. The domestic apparel sector is returning to normalcy after GST disruption. Also, home textile exporters do have a silver lining in the depreciating rupee acting as a cushion against rising cost pressures. Even so, in a rising raw material-cost environment, sustained demand recovery is crucial to pass on the costs. Companies with more exposure to the domestic market are better placed now. How strong or durable the recovery will be is the question. The June quarter results and management commentary should provide some clarity.

Source: Live Mint

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State Govt forms ‘Heritage Cabinet’

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to preserve and spread the history and culture of Odisha and enrich Odia language, the state government constituted a ‘Heritage Cabinet’ which will be headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The state cabinet at a meeting December 26 last year in Puri had decided to set up a ‘Heritage Cabinet’. The department of parliament affairs issued a notification in this regard, an official said here Wednesday. There are eight members in the Cabinet. Besides Chief Minister, ministers of finance, Odia language, literature & culture and tourism, handlooms, textiles & handicrafts, SC, ST development, higher education, school & mass education and electronics & IT have been appointed as its members. Chief Secretary is the secretary of the cabinet while secretary of Odia language, literature & culture is its convener. Secretaries of all six departments will be special invitees on the cabinet. It will take policy decisions and give advice. Another aim of the panel is to study, research and preserve Odia language & culture and work in tandem with institutes of repute. The cabinet will prepare and approve short-term and long-term plans to maintain harmony among Odia language, literature and culture. In 2016, the state government had formed an agriculture cabinet to fast-track policy making.

Source: Orissa Post

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Start reducing oil prices or expect demand to sink, India warns OPEC

The world’s fastest growing crude consumer has a warning for OPEC: Start reducing prices, or waning demand will mean a curb in purchases from the crude cartel. At least that’s the suggestion from Sanjiv Singh, chairman of Indian Oil Corp., the country’s biggest refiner. If prices continue rising at the pace they’ve been gaining in the past month and a half, the South Asia nation’s consumers will likely see alternatives such as electric vehicles and gas as more cost-effective, replacing 1 million barrels of the country’s daily oil use by 2025, he said. “Demand cannot be seen in isolation to prices, especially for a price sensitive market like India,” Singh said. “You may not see an impact on demand in the short term, but in the long term, definitely it will have implications.” Fears of a global supply crunch following outages from Libya and Venezuela to Canada have led to an almost 5 per cent jump in oil since April. While the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have agreed to boost curbs to alleviate tightness, concerns remain that the additional barrels won’t be enough to meet growing demand, spurring US President Donald Trump to tweet a series of tirades against the cartel.

Increasing dependence

Singh says expectations that India’s oil consumption will grow to 10 million barrels a day by 2040, making it the fastest growing consumer worldwide, is based on the assumption that prices will be at $83 a barrel by 2025 and $113 by 2040. But with crude already near $80, it’s likely that the cost will be seen as too expensive, reducing demand in the next seven years, he said.

Vested Interests

“If instead of $83, prices reach $100 by 2025, then other forms of energy will become more competitive,” Singh said. India has a vested interest in lower oil prices. With little of its own natural resources, the country imported about 1.6 billion barrels (220.43 million tons) of oil last year, or about 80 percent of its crude requirements, mostly from OPEC nations. Now with prices hitting fresh three-year highs and with Brent up about 36 percent since the start of last year when OPEC and allies including Russia began reducing production, the country has grown louder in its criticism over the cost of crude. Indian Oil, also the nation’s biggest fuel retailer, has been preparing for alternatives to crude by expanding into natural gas, renewables and electricity to power vehicles. It’s building a liquefied natural gas import terminal in southern India, has about 202 megawatts of renewable energy capacity from solar and wind projects, and is testing India’s first hydrogen fuel cell-based bus with Tata Motors Ltd.

Stretching It

But arguing alternative energy is enough to help substitute 1 million barrels a day might be a bit of a stretch, says Abhishek Kumar, a senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy. “India’s growing economy will propel its demand for gasoline and diesel, and it will be no mean feat to find alternatives,” Kumar said. Natural gas as a transport fuel “is unlikely to challenge the dominance of oil products till India becomes self-sufficient in natural gas production, which is at best a long-term prospect. Pressure is on OPEC to do more from key customers, including India.” Singh says OPEC is aware of these threats. “It’s not that they don’t realize,” Singh said. “We have told them, kindly don’t think grow will come only because everyone is projecting it. It is heavily linked with prices.”

Source: Business Line

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India’s import of Iranian oil declined 25 per cent in June

India's oilNSE 0.38 % imports from Iran showed a decline of over 25 per cent in June, but some shipments loaded last month are expected to arrive this month, government and industry officials said today. After scaling imports to around 770,000 barrels per day in May, imports from Iran were down to 570,000 bpd in June as India considers acquiescing to US President Donald Trump's demands for ending oil imports from Iran by November 4. Officials said actual shipment reaching Indian shores has shown a decline but some of the oil that was loaded in June arrived this month and has not been accounted for in the June numbers.While New Delhi says it does not recognise unilateral restrictions imposed by the US on any country and instead follows UN sanctions, oil firms have been asked to be prepared for channels to pay for Iranian oil getting blocked by November, following sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation, they said. Russia's Rosneft-based Nayara Energy and private sector Reliance Industries as well as state-owned Indian Oil CorpNSE 2.69 % (IOC) showed lesser Iranian purchases, but Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MPRL) sourced more oil.Imports from Iran, which currently is India's third largest supplier of oil after Iraq and Saudi Arabia, are likely to come down gradually and will have to be replaced with more purchases from countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, they said, adding imports from Iran after November 4 will be possible only if Iran accepts alternates like rupee payments. The Trump administration is piling pressure on India, China, and other buyers to end all imports of Iranian oil by a November 4 deadline as it looks to choke the Persian Gulf state's economic lifeline with sanctions over its nuclear programme. The US, which in May pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal and said sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran within 180 days, has threatened to cut off access to the American banking system for foreign financial institutions that trade with Iran. This means India, Asia's second-largest importer after China, will have to give up the euro payment mechanism for Iranian crude imports from November when US sanctions against Iran come into force. But, it still could continue imports if Iran accepts an alternative payment or offers a longer credit period. State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, has communicated to oil refiners that the euro payment route will be not available after November 3. The current payment mechanism involves Indian refiners transferring funds to SBI when they use Germany-based Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank to pay euros to Iran. During the first round of sanctions in 2012 when European Union (EU) joined the US in imposing financial restrictions, India initially used a Turkish bank to pay Iran for the oil it bought but beginning February 2013 paid nearly half of the oil import bill in rupees, while keeping the remainder pending till opening of payment routes.It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased. Besides, New Delhi had sought to get around the restrictions by supplying goods, including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products to Iran in exchange for oil. Back in 2012, EU put restrictions on insurance of Iranian oil and ships carrying them. To get around the problem, Iran supplied oil in its own tankers. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonnes of crude oil during April 2017 and January 2018 (first 10 months of 2017-18 fiscal). Iran was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme pushed it to the 7th spot in the subsequent years. Sourcing from Iran increased following the lifting of sanctions. Iranian oil is a lucrative buy for refiners as the Persian Gulf nation provides 60 days of credit for purchases, double the amount of time given by other producers. Following Trump's announcement, companies are not allowed to strike new deals in the Iranian oil and energy sector. By August, transactions in Iranian government debt or currency and purchases involving the country's automobile sector or Iranian gold and other metals must end. In November, deals involving Iran's oil and energy sector, shipping and ports, and insurance services will be prohibited.

Source: Economic Times

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China sets eye on 'Made in Turkey' textile goods

Turkish towel and bathrobe exporters have identified China, which is increasingly interested in Turkish textile goods, as one of its key target markets. Exporters from southwestern Turkey's Denizli, which accounts for almost $1.5 billion in the country's total $3.5 billion annual home textile exports, have turned toward alternative markets. The exporters are carrying out a branding campaign called "Turkish Towels" under the Turquality project, the world's first state-sponsored branding program. They have sponsored a number of leading international events so far. While Denizli exports products mostly to the U.S. and Europe, its textile exports to China in 2017 soared to $11.73 million, with a two-fold increase compared to the previous year. Turkish towels and bathrobes are sold as luxury products with the image of European goods in China. The exporters plan to open a warehouse and hold promotional events in China so that Turkish towels and bathrobes can claim a larger share of the Chinese market. Chairman of Denizli Exporters' Association, Hüseyin Memişoğlu said that they are planning to participate in the annual Canton Import-Export Fair, to promote Turkish products China. He said that as many as 20 companies from Denizli will showcase their products at the "Turkish Towels" booth. "The number of people in China's high-income group is more than double than that of our country. There are quality products in that country, but there is a common perception that wealthy people buy European goods. We are a European country. For this reason, it is very likely that Turkish products will find a good market there," he said. Memişoğlu said this is an important perception. "Many well-known global brands have stores in China. We can easily find a market there if we open warehouses, stores and brands," he said

Source: Daily Sabah

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Mobius says trade war is just a warm-up act for financial crisis

A US-China trade war and a further 10 per cent drop in emerging-market stocks might not be the worst things to happen this year, according to Mark Mobius. The veteran investor in developing nations also sees a worldwide financial crisis on the horizon. “There’s no question we’ll see a financial crisis sooner or later because we must remember we’re coming off from a period of cheap money,” he said in an interview in Singapore. “There’s going to be a real squeeze for many of these companies that depended upon cheap money to keep on going.” Tighter liquidity as the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank normalize monetary policy has weighed on emerging markets this year, along with the rising dollar and deteriorating trade backdrop. The dispute between the US and China will probably worsen as President Donald Trump is unlikely to suffer much blow-back from his tariffs, as their inflationary impact will be matched by rising US wages at a time when unemployment is low, Mobius said. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index will likely fall another 10 per cent from current levels, predicted Mobius, who left Franklin Templeton Investments earlier this year to set up Mobius Capital Partners LLP. That would tip the gauge, which has fallen around 16 per cent from a peak in late January, into a bear market. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index has dropped around 7 per cent from a high in late March, forcing central banks from Turkey to Argentina and Indonesia to raise rates to defend their currencies. The rate hikes may be a “short-term fix,” but could be counter-productive for countries with high amounts of debt, Mobius said, adding that governments need to put their finances in order to restore investor confidence.

Source: Economic Times

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China has arsenal of non-tariff weapons to hit back at Trump

Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of imported Chinese goods could see China retaliate with a wide range of non-tariff barriers. Because China only imports around $130 billion worth of goods from the U.S., its ability to match the tariffs dollar-for-dollar is limited. The U.S. imported $505 billion of goods from China last year. While China may jack up existing tariffs beyond the 25 per cent level imposed so far, it could also inflict significant pain by increasing regulatory oversight of American companies, slowing down approvals processes, cancelling orders for U.S. goods or encouraging consumer boycotts. Big American companies including Walmart Inc. and General Motors Co. host large operations in China and have plans for expansion that could be stymied. China has used these tactics before, notably against South Korea and Japan during previous political spats, with carmakers from the two nations among the victims. One example: Japanese automakers took a major hit in their China sales in 2012 after the fight over disputed islands in the East China Sea worsened. Another: China put a huge a dent in tourism in South Korea by banning package tours in 2017 amid a dispute over a missile shield. Then there’s the currency. China has pleased trading partners in recent times by allowing greater appreciation of the yuan, but there is no guarantee it will stick to this. The yuan is the worst-performing currency in Asia since mid-June, sliding more than 3 per centAnd of course, there’s also the “nuclear option.” While it seems unlikely as China would also suffer greatly, it could offload some of its huge hoard of U.S. Treasuries. Unless the U.S. and China reach a compromise, the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies looks to be headed for a new level.

Source: Financial Express

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Here are the Chinese products that Trump is threatening with new tariffs

  • The U.S. releases a list of Chinese goods — with an annual trade value of about $200 billion — that may be subjected to 10 percent tariffs.
  • That list includes electronics, fish, produce, beauty goods and more.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released a list of Chinese goods— with an annual trade value of about $200 billion  that may be subjected to 10 percent tariffs. That was the latest salvo in an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies. On Friday, the U.S. initiated a round of 25 percent levies on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, which affected products such as water boilers, X-ray machine components, airplane tires and various other industrial parts. China soon after implemented retaliatory tariffs on its own list of $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, pork and electric vehicles. Tuesday's list appears to target China’s important manufacturing export industries. It includes electronics, textiles, metal products and auto parts. Under those industries, specific products such as refrigerators, bags, cotton and Chinese steel and aluminum products are on the list. The food and personal products industries are also set to be affected. Fish products such as sardines, tuna and cod are on the extensive list, as are many kinds of produce such as garlic, cabbage, oranges and cherries. Beauty goods including shampoos and make-up products are also set to be penalized.

Source: CNBC

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Pakistan imposes 2% duty on import of cotton, yarn

A 2 per cent customs duty was recently imposed by Pakistan’s Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on import of cotton and yarn to encourage use of the local crop and save foreign exchange reserves. The duty goes into effect from July 15. The board also withdrew exemption of additional customs duty on import of basic raw materials for the textile industry. The country spent foreign exchange of around $915 million on importing raw cotton between July 2017 and May this year, showing a rise of around 20 per cent, according to Pakistani media reports. Cotton output grew 11.8 per cent to 11.935 million bales in fiscal 2017-18. Cotton production was 10.671 million bales during fiscal 201-17.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Cameroon to impart training for clothing sector

The Central African country of Cameroon will impart vocational training and certify instructors to develop skills for employment in the country’s textile, clothing and fashion industry. South Korea, Switzerland and Turkey will provide technical and financial assistance for the project aimed at developing textile and clothing base in the country. At present, local manufacturing caters to mere one per cent of the domestic clothing market, according to a report in a Cameroonian daily. The agreement for imparting vocational training in Cameroon was signed last month by the country’s ministry of employment and vocational training and the Cameroonian Association of Textiles, Clothing and Fashion Professionals. The training should boost the local use of raw materials and result in a dynamic market, said association president Loga Mahop, according to the report.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Indonesia formulates schemes to reduce imports

JAKARTA -- Indonesia's related institutions are now formulating the needs of several industries to reduce imports which have been increasing in the last few months, an Indonesian minister said here on Wednesday. The import-reduction formulas would, among others, be applied in manufactures in food and beverage, rubber, textile and electronics industries, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said. "We would formulate the actual needs of the respective industry. The aim was to reduce imports in middle and long hauls, so as to make us less-depended on imports and spurs exports as well," she said. The formulas would be suited with the situation faced by each industry as they have their different issues to run their businesses, she added. Different approaches would be used to allow those industries to import supporting materials for their productions, particularly for export goods, the minister said. She added the new formulas would be arranged by her ministry's taxation directorate general, customs office and fiscal policy agency. The formula would also involve national export and import financing institutions to support the technical aspects as well as providing warranties for their export and import activities. Indonesia posted 17.64 billion U.S. dollars of imports in May this year, 28.12 percent higher than in the corresponding period last year and 9.17 percent higher than a month earlier, according to Indonesia's statistics bureau.

Source: Asia & Pacific Edition

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Vietnam : Garment sector works to promote social dialogue

Hanoi (VNA) – Social dialogue in the garment-textile sector is expected to improve following the signing of a memorandum of understanding of a project to promote social dialogue and collective bargaining in the garment sector in Hanoi on July 10. The signatories were the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), CNV International Foundation of the National Confederation Trade Unions CNV in the Netherlands and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Addressing the signing ceremony, VGCL Vice President Mai Duc Chinh said Vietnam has integrated extensively into the world, and has signed many free trade agreements, requiring the country to satisfy international standards. The Vietnamese trade union sector has carried out programmes aiming to improve the quality of collective bargaining, inked collective work agreements and set up a library storing tens of thousands of collective work agreements of enterprises. The project will be piloted in a group of businesses in Van Lam district, the northern province of Hung Yen. CNV Internationaal has worked with trade unions in developing countries since its establishment in 1967, promoting workers’ rights using a consultative model.

Source: Vietnam News Association

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ZDHC releases public disclosure portal for wastewater

ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has announced the release of the public disclosure portal to improve the quality of wastewater across the globe. This online tool aims to help the industry in particular the brands and facilities to identify gaps and drive performance accordingly to meet the requirements of the wastewater guidelines as per ZDHC. The ZDHC Programme aims to drive the global textile, apparel and footwear industries (including leather) towards the use of more sustainable chemistry. Its approach focuses on chemical inputs and the backbone of the programme is based on the ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL); a list of chemical substances banned from intentional use in facilities that process textiles, leather and trim parts in apparel and footwear. The public disclosure portal builds on the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines by providing clear public information on conformance. The portal helps to identify the most impacted areas worldwide and prioritise actions to mitigate the environmental impact of supply chains. It is aimed at all value chain actors with the goal to drive both demand and supply for sustainable chemistry and improved wastewater treatment practices. The portal draws information from verified facility wastewater test data from the ZDHC Gateway - Wastewater Module (i.e. testing conducted against the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines indicating conformance and areas for improvement), and unverified wastewater test data from the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) platform. In the portal’s interactive map, colour-coded spots represent individual facilities’ aggregated wastewater data. Green indicates all tested analysis meet the ZDHC Wastewater Guideline requirements, red indicates that at least one tested analysis does not meet the requirements, and yellow confirms that at least one tested analysis does not meet the requirements, and that a corrective action plan has been submitted. In the public disclosure Portal, the name of facilities is not disclosed and their exact location is limited to a regional level. By comparison via the ZDHC Gateway - Wastewater Module, ZDHC contributing brands and retailers enjoy full visibility. "This tool is a major step forward to encourage all actors to take up the ZDHC mission to advance towards zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile, leather and footwear value chain. By moving the entire industry towards conformance, we are working to ensure wastewater discharge from the textile, leather and footwear Industry does not adversely affect the environment and surrounding communities," said Stefan Seidel, head of corporate sustainability at Puma.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Walmart launches new virtual shopping tool for home

The concept allows customers to take a 3D virtual tour of a curated apartment showcasing nearly 70 items from both national and private label brands. As shoppers browse, they can click on products in each room to get more information. “For the first time, we’re making it possible to add a group of items to a cart to buy a complete look,” said Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager for Home, U.S. e-commerce. The curated collections are designed for small spaces and dorm living. For Back-to-College, Walmart will also launch nine collections that each feature up to 20 of the items college students most often search for and purchase, the company said. “We know that many customers shop for their dorm rooms or apartments in the summer months, and we also know that many of them tend to buy certain items together,” Soohoo added. The new feature builds on the Shop By Style digital shopping experience Walmart launched earlier this year.

Source: Home Textiles Today

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