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MARKET WATCH 10 JAN, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

World Bank pegs India’s fiscal 2019 growth at 7.3%

Growth accelerating, driven by upswing in consumption and investments, says World Bank. The World Bank on Wednesday kept India’s growth projection unchanged at 7.3% for 2018-19 and 7.5% in 2019-20 even as it warned that if a trade war between the US and China leads to a global slowdown, the spillover effects on emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) could be profound. This comes in the wake of the Central Statistics Office on Monday projecting the Indian economy to grow at 7.2% in 2018-19 against 6.7% a year ago. It is of paramount importance for EMDEs to “rebuild policy buffers” while laying a stronger foundation for future growth by boosting human capital, promoting trade integration, and addressing the challenges associated with informality, the World Bank said in its latest Global Economic Prospects report titled “Darkening Skies”. India’s growth has accelerated, driven by an upswing in consumption, and strengthening of investment growth amid harmonization of the goods and services tax rates, though rising interest rates and currency volatility are weighing on activity, the World Bank said. “Private consumption is projected to remain robust and investment growth is expected to continue as the benefits of recent policy reforms begin to materialize and credit rebounds. Strong domestic demand is envisioned to widen the current account deficit to 2.6% of GDP next year. Inflation is projected to rise somewhat above the midpoint of the Reserve Bank of India’s target range of 2-6%, mainly owing to energy and food prices,” it said. Public sector banks in India, which represent roughly 70% of the banking sector assets, still report low profitability and high non-performing assets, the World Bank said. “Credit expansion could be limited in some major South Asia economies unless further steps are taken to deal with financial and corporate balance sheets,” it said. The Bank, which also reduced China’s growth from the June projections by 10 basis points to 6%, pared down global growth by 10 basis points to 2.9% in 2019. “Global growth is moderating as the recovery in trade and manufacturing activity loses steam. Despite ongoing negotiations, trade tensions among major economies remain elevated. These tensions, combined with concerns about softening global growth prospects, have weighed on investor sentiment and contributed to declines in global equity prices,” it said. Growth in the US will continue to be supported by fiscal stimulus in the near term, which will likely lead to larger and more persistent fiscal deficits, the Bank said. “Though the probability of a recession in the United States is still low and the slowdown in China is projected to be gradual, markedly weaker-than-expected activity in the world’s two largest economies could have a severe impact on global economic prospects,” it said. The Bank warned that the projected gradual deceleration of global economic activity over the forecast horizon could be more severe than expected given the predominance of substantial downside risks. “A sharper-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions, or a renewed rapid appreciation of the US dollar, could exert further downward pressure on activity in EMDEs, including in those with large current account deficits financed by portfolio and bank flows,” it said. Escalating trade tensions are another major downside risk to the global outlook, the Bank said. “If all tariffs under consideration were implemented, they would affect about 5% of global trade flows and could dampen growth in the economies involved, leading to negative global spillovers,” it said.

Source:  Live Mint

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Make GST input tax credit claims online: Suresh Prabhu

Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu Wednesday urged the finance ministry to make the process of refund of GST input tax credit online. Prabhu, along with commerce and revenue department officials, met exporters to discuss the problems faced by the sector. Banking issues, like caution listing of exporters, third party/ third country exports and list of items to be traded with Iran, were also discussed. The finance ministry officials would discuss the issues which were flagged in a meeting with banks on January 22, an official statement said. Prabhu also highlighted the declining trend of export credit in recent months and suggested that banks may be asked to encourage flow of credit to the export sector particularly to MSMEs for generating more employment. "The commerce minister also urged to make input tax credit (ITC) refund online to ensure that the export refund is seamless and also transparent and accountable," the statement said. As of November-end, Rs 91,149 crore has been issued to exporters as Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund, which was 93.77 per cent of total claims with the tax authorities. Representatives of the export sector highlighted the problems of pre-import under advance authorisation and requested the Commerce Minister to bring the notification deleting the condition with retrospective effect. "Suresh Prabhu asked DGFT and Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, to look into it so that genuine exporters are not harassed," the statement added. Representatives from Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Pharmexcil, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Engineering Exports Promotion Council and Chemexcil attended the meeting.

Source: Economic Times

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GST Council meet : Small businesses likely to get tax relief

In its 32nd meeting on Thursday, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will likely consider several proposals aimed at providing relief to smaller taxpayers — a segment that is believed to be struggling after losing exemptions enjoyed by them in the pre-GST regime. GST, GST 32nd meeting, GST  Council, GoM, GST revenue, gst networkThe group of ministers (GoM) had also considered a proposal to partially refund taxes paid by these firms as relief measure but decided that raising exemptions was a more practical solution. In its 32nd meeting on Thursday, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council will likely consider several proposals aimed at providing relief to smaller taxpayers — a segment that is believed to be struggling after losing exemptions enjoyed by them in the pre-GST regime. One of the major proposals that is likely to be approved by the Council is raising the annual revenue threshold for GST to Rs 75 lakh from Rs 20 lakh currently. The group of ministers (GoM) had also considered a proposal to partially refund taxes paid by these firms as relief measure but decided that raising exemptions was a more practical solution. After its last meeting in December, the Council had expressed concern over the lack of smaller service providers not opting for GST registration, which was attributed to relatively higher tax rate of 18% and cumbersome compliance. To correct this, the Council is also likely to approve a benign composition scheme — with quarterly returns and nominal tax rate — for such taxpayers with a revenue threshold of up to Rs 1 crore. Such a scheme already exists for manufacturers and traders but given that the value addition in service sector can be quite large, the same was not made available to service sector till now. Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of ClearTax, said: “Composition scheme for small service providers and quarterly payment of taxes will improve compliance and reduce the effort required by them significantly. The GST Council must continue to focus ITC claim process and simplification of GST returns as they are the cornerstones for GST success.” Finance minister Arun Jaitley had also cited lower-than-expected growth in the real-estate sector as a reason for subdued GST collections this fiscal. The proposal before the Council is to slash GST rates of under-construction housing units to 5% from 12% currently and deny the builders input tax credit, which is not being passed to consumers effectively anyway, Jaitley had said. Currently, the GST is levied at 12% on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats where completion certificate has not been issued at the time of sale. GST is not levied on properties with completion certificate. Although the higher overall GST threshold would allow nearly half of nearly 1.2 crore GST registrant to go out of tax net, higher threshold is unlikely to either bring down taxpayers base or revenue. Even as the mandatory lower limit for a firm to register for GST is Rs 20 lakh, more than half of the firms registered are those with turnover below that level. Though these sub-Rs 10 lakh firms contribute just 1.5% of the GST revenue, they prefer to be in the tax chain for the benefit of input tax credit and to keep large businesses (which are in the GST chain) as their buyers. Similarly, a quarter of the firms registered with the GST Network (GSTN) have turnover between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 1 crore, their share in the government’s GST revenue mop-up is just 5%. Additionally, the GoM which was tasked with examining the option of raising revenue for flood relief in Kerala via a cess, has proposed that the affected state should be allowed to levy a higher SGST to generate the extra revenue for relief and reconstruction. The Council will take a call on this issue as well as a pan-India cess was not favoured by many states.

Source: Financial Express

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‘Women entrepreneurs are major beneficiaries of Mudra scheme’

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday that women entrepreneurs are the major beneficiaries of the Centre’s Mudra scheme. This is because women have cornered about 75 per cent of the total disbursals. She said through policy interventions, the Central Government is ensuring that more and more women would join the organised sector. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a flagship scheme of the government to provide loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs. The loans are being given by banks, small finance banks, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions. The scheme aims to strengthen forward and backward linkages for robust value chains anchored by industries, aggregators, franchisors and associations. The minister said there are 14 crore loans that have been processed. “Of these, 75 per cent have gone to female entrepreneurs. That speaks a lot about the latent entrepreneurial talent of Indian women and that is where the key lies for exponential growth,” the minister said. She was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2019 here. Irani added that in the textiles sector, about 70-75 per cent of the workforce are women. She also said that people from the industry have realised more people would stay longer in a company as well as learn and enhance their skills if the girls are assured of a residence and education. Regarding the delay in the passage of the Women Reservation Bill in Parliament, the minister stated, “We have time and again said that all political parties need to come to the forefront and help us pass this bill, that is an offer we have made time and again, we have not found many takers.” The bill was passed during the UPA rule in the Rajya Sabha in March 2010, but could not be passed in the Lok Sabha.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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Fall-out of trade spat

At a recent ASEAN summit, it was observed that “perhaps one day ASEAN would have to choose between US or China.” ASEAN, with a population of 630 million having a combined GDP of $2.4 trillion, forms the fourth largest export market for the US. It could benefit from the trade dispute between the US and China. The dispute, driven by US tariff measures, primarily targets intermediate goods in the electronic and machinery sectors. It favours the countries of ASEAN, which have strong regional trade ties in the form of free-trade agreements (FTAs) along with the recently agreed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The impact will be felt strongly in the sectors of information and communication technology (ICT), automotives and readymade garments (RMGs). These sectors also constitute major segments in US-China bilateral trade. A report produced by the EIU on “Creative disruption: Asia’s winners in the US-China Trade War”, offers interesting insights into the effects of the trade dispute. The US has imposed tariffs on ICT, being its largest import from China, amounting to $150 billion. The aim is two-fold: to cut the trade deficit with China; and to obstruct the Make in China development agenda of 2025, which formulated to enhance its key technological innovations. Malaysia and Vietnam will benefit most, especially in the manufacturing of consumer goods such as mobile phone and laptops. Major ICT companies such as Dell,  Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and Intel have their presence in these countries. The presence of strong trade infrastructure, corporate laws, and an SEZ environment makes Malaysia and Vietnam potential locations for the ICT industry. Benefits may accrue to India, Indonesia and Thailand, given their ICT exports-oriented market. The US is the largest destination for auto parts and automotives. “International Trade Centre statistics indicate that finished vehicle exports accounted for only 0.3 per cent of China’s total exports in 2017, at a value of $7.2 billion. The impact of the trade war on Chinese auto-parts exports, which were worth $31 billion over 2017, will be greater”, the report observes. Thailand and Malaysia will benefit most from the trade dislocation in automotives. In Thailand, trade links in the automotive sector are well diversified with exports to the US, Japan and other ASEAN counterparts. The medium term benefits will be reaped by India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan will be minimally impacted. For Asian markets, the bigger concern is tariffs on steel and aluminium and the Section 232 report of the US Department of Commerce. Out of $257 billion annual Chinese textile and apparel exports, $38.7 billion went to the US market. As per WTO, in 2016, China accounted for 36.2 per cent of global textile and 34.5 per cent of clothing exports. Bangladesh, India and Vietnam will gain from the trade tension in RMGs. India has the potential to attract the apparel market. Mild benefits may go to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. With rising concerns over land and labour in China, nations in South and South-East Asia are preferable markets for MNCs and private enterprises to establish their manufacturing base. The ongoing US-China trade conflict shifts the export manufacturing site from China to Asian markets. However, greater benefits to ASEAN may be expected only in 2020 or later. The writer is PhD Fellow, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru.

Source:  The Hindu Business Line

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Strengthening the SME loan infrastructure in India

To address lender uncertainty around SMEs, the government can guarantee to repay a substantial portion of SME debt. From kirana stores to local businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are central to the Indian economy. According to the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, these firms contribute about 30% to India’s economic output and provide employment to over 111 million people. But despite this importance, India’s small firms are starved of funds. One way to address this, according to a new study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), is to establish credit-information infrastructure for SMEs and provide credit guarantees to ease their access to finance. In the study, Naoyuki Yoshino and Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary say SMEs face difficulties in accessing cheap finance because creditors lack clarity about the financial health of SMEs. Assessing financial health requires audited accounts and financial statements which SMEs often do not maintain. This increases collateral requirements for lending to SMEs and higher interest rates to compensate creditors for the increased risk. The authors suggest that the development of SME credit risk databases, credit bureaus and credit ratings can help lenders gauge the risk associated with lending to small companies. For instance, in Japan, the “credit risk database” association uses scoring models to evaluate creditworthiness of SMEs and align loan prices with credit risk. Similarly, in Thailand, a National Credit Bureau collects and processes credit information of financial institutions’ clients. While these may be long-term measures, the authors suggest there are short-term methods for analysing SME credit risk by using financial data which captures SME activity, profitability and liquidity. The authors also highlight the importance of credit guarantee schemes for lowering credit risk. To address lender uncertainty around SMEs, the government can guarantee to repay a substantial portion of SME debt. This will ease lender concerns and attract more finance to the sector.

Source: Live Mint

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India Inc expect faster growth in 2019: FICCI-PwC report

India’s economy is projected to grow anywhere between 7.3 – 7.7 per cent. Business leaders expect faster growth in the next 12 months driven by expanding domestic market, technology and increased spending, according to a report. The India Manufacturing Barometer 2019 by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and PwC reports that close to 74 per cent of companies surveyed believe that the next 12 months will see faster growth in their sector. Around 58 per cent of the respondents believe that their sector would grow faster by at least 5 per cent. The sample for the survey includes companies that contribute approximately 12 per cent to the manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. The sectors include automobiles, chemicals, electrical machinery, food processing, leather, pharmaceuticals and textiles. India’s economy is projected to grow anywhere between 7.3 – 7.7 per cent. Domestic market remains a major demand driver for India Inc. However business leaders anticipate an increase in turnover from global demand in the future. Speaking at the launch of the report here on Wednesday, Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Group, said that majority of the investment that happen in India are to cater to the domestic market. “Our exports accounted for 1.5 per cent of the total exports in 2013 and 1.7 per cent in 2017,” he said and added that for a country this big our exports should reflect that. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ICRIER, a think tank, agrees. He said, “Our domestic market is big. But to be competitive you need to serve the global market.” As India expands it manufacturing footprint, Kathuria said the companies should improve their logistics better. Logistics cost in India is about 15 per cent of the overall cost whereas the cost is less than 10 per cent in countries like Japan. “Efficient logistics now will go a long way than it did in the past,” he added. Other road blocks for exports include restrictions imposed by importing countries such as certifications, testing procedures, customer and technical barriers such as labelling regulations. Some countries impose price control measures that impact the custom value and limiting sales of goods to certain areas.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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ATIRA gets special recognition from ministry of textiles

Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) received ‘Special Recognition in Textile Sector’ award in the category – Technical Textiles. The award was given at an event held in Delhi on January 5, 2019. ATIRA director MN Subramanian received the award on behalf of the organisation from Union minister of textiles Smriti Irani. “ATIRA’s efforts in composites have resulted in innovations such as low cost toilets, jute composite, cotton composites, GFRP, KFRP, CFRP components and CFRP hybrid products. The organisation is also pursuing 32 geo technical textile projects in North East India for strengthening roads, stabilising slopes and lining water reservoirs. Antimicrobial face masks with 99.8 per cent virus filtration efficiency and water filters are some of its nano textile innovations,” the ministry of textiles said in the award presented to ATIRA. “ATIRA has developed mission critical components such as reflectors, cylinders, blocks, struts for ISRO. They have already been installed in already launched space-crafts including GSAT-29, Chandrayaan-2, and Cartosat-3,” the award added.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Rupee rules higher at 70.39 against dollar

The rupee inched up 8 paise to 70.39 against the dollar early Thursday because of selling in the American currency by banks and exporters. The local currency, however, opened 6 paise down at 70.53. “Today, the USD-INR pair is expected to quote in the range of 70.40 and 71.05,” Motilal Oswal Financial Services said in a report. The rupee on Wednesday extended its losses by another 25 paise to close at 70.47 as the continued rise in global crude oil prices weighed on sentiment. Yesterday, the greenback rose against its major crosses on speculation that talks between US and China could resolve their stand-off and ahead of the important FOMC minutes. Fed minutes suggest that officials at the central bank expressed increasing worries when they met last month, as they grappled with volatile stock markets, trade trade tensions and uncertain global growth. The threats, they said, made the future path of interest rate hikes “less clear”.

Source: Economic Times

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Indian rupee seen facing more punishment, but no new record low: Reuters poll

While the currency recovered nearly 6 percent after touching a record low of 74.485 per dollar on October 11, the January 2-8 poll of more than 65 analysts showed the rupee will weaken again. However, fewer than 20 percent of contributors in the latest poll expected the rupee to breach that all-time low in the next 12 months, compared to nearly 50 percent in a November survey and about one-third in December. After falling about 9 percent in 2018 - its biggest decline since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014 - the Indian currency was forecast to weaken 1.9 percent to 71.50 per dollar in a year, from about 70.20 on Tuesday.Two-thirds of those who gave a year-ahead forecast predicted the currency to be weaker - trading at more than 70 per dollar, with the most pessimistic call at 80. The others either had it around where it is now or a touch stronger. "Overall there's nothing to be greatly optimistic about the rupee. There are lots of uncertainties, both on economic and political fronts lingering as we enter into 2019," said Prakash Sakpal, Asia economist at ING, adding that elections and political uncertainty pose "the biggest risk"."Things could go either way. We might see the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) retaining its power by a very thin margin. On the other extreme, there could be a coalition. This would obviously not be viewed by the international community positively, which of course is going to be bad for the currency," Sakpal said. A deep sell-off in emerging market currencies last year was triggered by a resurgent dollar and the US-China trade war, making the rupee the worst-performing major Asian currency in 2018. In recent weeks, the dollar has lost momentum on economic growth worries in the US and a dialing back of rate hike expectations, benefiting emerging market currencies - with the MSCI emerging market currency index rising to levels last seen in late July. But growth conditions in most emerging economies aren't much to write home about either, potentially limiting the upside for those currencies. The rupee's path this year will largely be determined by the results of national elections in May, oil price moves and the Reserve Bank of India's policy. With foreign outflows from Asian equities the biggest in at least seven years in 2018, the US-China trade war and a widening Indian fiscal deficit at a time of slowing economic growth globally, the rupee is not likely to rise. India's government is expected to miss its deficit target of 3.3 percent of gross domestic product this fiscal year as data showed the April-November deficit was already 115 percent of the budgeted target. That poses a big threat to economic expansion. India's annual economic growth fell to a worse-than-expected 7.1 percent in the July-September quarter. "Slowdown will become a trend this year, especially as external demand will remain on a weakening path, whereas without much downside in oil prices, imports will remain elevated, so we should see a bigger hit to GDP growth from continued widening in the trade deficit this year," added ING's Sakpal. But not everyone was convinced about a weaker rupee, as expectations of fewer US Federal Reserve rate hikes are likely to restrain the dollar from making further gains. "We see the retreat in global oil prices and a pause in the Federal Reserve hiking cycle outweighing domestic concerns," said Rini Sen, FX strategist at ANZ. "This will see the rupee regain lost momentum, but much of this reversal is expected to come post the general elections in mid-2019."

Source: Money Control

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 09-01-2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1264.61

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

VSF

1932.65

USD/Ton

-0.38%

1/9/2019

ASF

2349.80

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Polyester POY

1176.36

USD/Ton

-0.43%

1/9/2019

Nylon FDY

2654.65

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

40D Spandex

4740.45

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Nylon POY

2479.62

USD/Ton

-0.58%

1/9/2019

Acrylic Top 3D

2494.21

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Polyester FDY

1392.96

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Nylon DTY

2931.79

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Viscose Long Filament

5498.92

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

Polyester DTY

1458.60

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2661.95

USD/Ton

-0.27%

1/9/2019

32S Polyester Yarn

1961.82

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

45S T/C Yarn

2844.27

USD/Ton

-0.51%

1/9/2019

40S Rayon Yarn

2960.96

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2479.62

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

45S Polyester Yarn

2114.97

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2494.21

USD/Ton

0%

1/9/2019

10S Denim Fabric

1.34

USD/Meter

0%

1/9/2019

32S Twill Fabric

0.82

USD/Meter

0%

1/9/2019

40S Combed Poplin

1.09

USD/Meter

0%

1/9/2019

30S Rayon Fabric

0.64

USD/Meter

0%

1/9/2019

45S T/C Fabric

0.69

USD/Meter

0%

1/9/2019

Source: Global Textiles

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14586 USD dtd. 09/01/2019). 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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US-China trade talks conclude on optimistic note in Beijing

Beijing: China and the US wrapped up three days of trade talks and are reportedly coordinating how to characterize the results publicly as officials from both nations expressed optimism that progress had been made. People familiar with the discussions said positions were closer on areas including energy and agriculture but further apart on harder issues. As of 8:25 pm in Beijing, neither the Chinese side nor the Americans had released a statement -- a possible sign of message coordination as the US delegation returned to Washington. Stocks rose across Asia and Europe, and equity futures indicated an increase in the US on Wednesday, on signs the world’s two largest economies are trying to resolve their trade war. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said a one-day extension in talks showed both sides are serious about the talks. Some disagreements remain on structural issues and they need to be addressed when more senior negotiators meet later on, according to Chinese officials involved in the discussions who asked not to be identified. The editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a state-run Chinese newspaper known for its nationalist leanings, said on Twitter around 4 pm in Beijing that he’d heard the two sides were still consulting on the wording of coordinated statements. China and the US plan to release a message on trade talks at the same time Thursday morning in Beijing, he said later in another tweet. The talks, though arduous, were conducted in a pleasant and candid atmosphere, he said. Later this month, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is expected to meet with Vice Premier Liu He, President Xi Jinping’s top economic aide who is leading negotiations for China, a person familiar with the situation said last week. Liu made a brief appearance at the talks in Beijing on Monday, boosting optimism that China was serious about making progress on a deal. The mid-level talks were the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since their leaders met on 1 December. Prior to the meeting, China made a number of concessions to US demands including temporarily cutting punitive tariffs on US-made cars, resuming soybean purchases, promising to open up its markets for more foreign investment, and drafting a law to prevent forced technology transfers. The negotiations were extended from the two days initially scheduled, according to the Chinese. President Donald Trump tweeted “Talks with China are going very well!” late on Tuesday in Beijing. The US president is increasingly eager to strike a deal with China soon in an effort to perk up financial markets that have slumped on concerns over the trade war, according to people familiar with internal White House deliberations. The S&P 500 Index has fallen about 8% since Trump and Xi agreed on a 90-day truce at their meeting in Argentina last month.

Source: Bloomberg

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Vietnam sees export, trade opportunities in Cambodian market

Vietnam’s exports to Cambodia exceeded 3 billion USD last year, setting a record high in a decade and opening up opportunities for local firms to capitalise on untapped potential of the neighbouring market, statistics show. In the past three years, the value of Vietnamese shipments to Cambodia increased continuously from 2.2 billion USD in 2016 to 2.77 billion USD in 2017 and 3.4 billion USD in the first 11 months of 2018. According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, during the January-November period last year, the export of steel, petroleum, and garment-textile products to Cambodia recorded significant increases and together accounted for the lion’s share of the country’s total, at 49.63 percent. Notably, 1.2 million tonnes of steel products were exported to the market for over 796 million USD, annual increases of 53.04 and 74.36 percent, respectively. Firms have been advised to continue coming up with business plans to boost construction material shipments to Cambodia. Fruit export also soared to reel in 2.4 million USD in the period, indicating a rosy outlook for the sector. Material plastic and timber-woodwork products also joined the upward trend, bringing in 15 million USD and 9.98 million USD, up 110.99 and 44.37 percent on year, respectively. Recently, upbeat signals have led to a forecast that Vietnamese enterprises will have more chances to make gains from the Cambodian market. Last year, the Cambodian Government introduced the Rectangular Strategy-Phase 4 which covers a priority of boosting economic development via increasing business activities with major partners and foreign direct investments, as well as improving international trade. It means Vietnam has favorable conditions to invest in the economy. At the Vietnam – Cambodia business forum held in Hanoi on December 6 last year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said the local government has adjusted the investment law to facilitate foreign investors. He added that it also put forth a series of measures to better the country’s business climate, which simplifies and automates customs procedures, and cuts official and unofficial fees to boost import-export. Official statistics announced at the forum showed that as of November 2018, Vietnam had 210 investment projects in Cambodia with a combined registered capital surpassing 3 billion USD. Among the 77 countries and territories worldwide, Vietnamese investors are pouring the third biggest sum of their capital in Cambodia.

Source: Vietnam News Association

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Bangladesh biggest textile machinery market for China

Bangladesh will continue to grow as a major textile machinery market as local textile millers are expanding business riding on higher demand for garment items from international consumers, industry people said yesterday. Local fabrics makers, textile milers, spinners and garment manufacturers spend a few billions of dollars every year to buy machinery. “Bangladesh is the biggest machinery market for Chinese textile and garment machine manufacturers,” said Chen Ji, secretary general of the China Sewing Machinery Association. Ji said Chinese sewing machinery manufacturers exported equipment worth more than $1 billion to Bangladesh every year. “The textile and garment business will continue to grow in Bangladesh over the next many years as the demand is increasing every year both in the international and local markets,” Ji told The Daily Star at the 16th Dhaka International Textile & Garment Machinery Exhibition 2019, also known as DTG 2019. The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) and Yorkers Trade & Marketing Services Co. Ltd, Hong Kong jointly organised the four-day exhibition at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka. This is the largest textile machinery exhibition in Southeast Asia, the organisers said. This year 1,200 exhibitors from 37 countries are showcasing latest machinery in the textile and garment sectors at 1,650 booths set up at the venue. Last year, 1,100 exhibitors from 36 countries took part. Judy Wang, president of Yorkers Trade & Marketing Services Co., said every year the number of participants was increasing as renowned textile and garment manufacturing companies in the world wanted to sell their goods in Bangladesh. Local spinners can meet 80 percent of the demand of the knitwear sector, while only 35 -40 percent of the woven sectors' demand can be met by local suppliers, she said. “So, there is room for further big investment in the woven sector where local entrepreneurs will need to install machinery worth of billions of US dollars,” she said. Wang said the DTG was a very good platform to invite international buyers targeting the woven sector, which has immense potential to grow. BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon, in his inaugural speech, said buyers of textile and apparel products now recognised Bangladesh as one of their major sourcing destinations. “Textile machinery manufacturers value Bangladesh as the centre of textile and clothing machinery business hub,” he said. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, urged the government to continue policy support and political stability. "We need predictable and consistent policies. We want to know what the price of energy would be in the next 10 years. We do not want any erratic policy in the financial sector.”

Source:  The Daily Star

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Lack of EU regulatory coherence ‘impacting’ mobile phone and textiles sectors

The absence of coherent regulation in the EU means that potentially hazardous chemicals are "continuously" being used in all stages of the production process in the textiles industry, a Norwegian study has said. And current EU policies for this sector and for mobile phones "often let member states shape the laws and their implementation themselves", the European Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade (Smart) project said in a release. This leads to "more use of chemicals and less sustainable waste management”. Smart, funded by EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, focuses on the environmental and social footprint of global supply chains for clothes and mobile phones. It comprises researchers from 25 institutions from around the world. It started in March 2016 and will run until February 2020. The EU today has "a wide range of sustainability-oriented policies and regulations, but there is a lack of coherence and sufficiently stringent and enforceable regulation," Smart project leader Beate Sjåfjell said. "Reforms adopted by the EU to promote sustainability often give a broad scope to the member states on how to implement these. Unfortunately, member states tend to aim for minimum implementation, out of fears of jeopardising their own competitive position or that of their businesses," she added. Commenting on the study, Mauro Scalia from textiles and apparel industry association Euratex said: "Coherent regulation is already in place, yet the enforcement is a competence of the member states and it significantly varies, both on domestic production and especially on imported goods." He added that "different and difficult" enforcement and non-application of REACH outside the EU can lead to chemicals being used in "very different ways" in textile manufacturing globally. That, however, does not mean a "responsible business would use more chemicals within the current EU regulatory framework", he said. On the contrary, Mr Scalia added, an "ample set" of high level industry standards have "for decades" ensured strict levels of protection. Considering the mobile phone sector, the Smart project said lack of consistency means hazardous materials end up being spread across the world, often in low-income countries where waste management is lacking. In Ghana, for example, phones are used and repaired until "only a few parts" are "collected for recycling abroad, and most just gets thrown away", Smart’s Maja Van der Velden said. "The lack of sustainable recycling practices leads to the pollution of land, water and air," she added.

Missing information

It is not easy for consumers to consider sustainability when making their purchasing decisions because "there is a lack of public information from the companies regarding their business operations and their various impacts," Smart’s María Jesús Muñoz Torres said. Smart's Tineke Lambooy added that the EU should "introduce new regulation that mandates companies to disclose reliable and comparable information, and operate in a more sustainable way”. Businesses, she went on, "cannot do this alone because there has to be a level playing field. So, it is up to the regulators to introduce this, at least that is what many companies and/or their representatives express." The Smart project results will be presented on 24 January at the European Commission Department for Justice (DG Just) in Brussels. DG Just is responsible for the Commission's policies on justice, consumer rights and gender equality.

Source: Chemical Watch

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Crude Oil rises 3% on US-China trade talk optimism

LONDON: Oil prices climbed around 3 percent on Wednesday as the extension of U.S.-China talks in Beijing raised hopes that the world's two largest economies would resolve their trade standoff. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $51.36 per barrel at 1500 GMT, up $1.58, or 3.17 percent, the first time this year that WTI has topped $50. International Brent crude futures were up $1.63, or 2.78 percent, at $60.35 per barrel. Both crude price benchmarks added to Tuesday's 2 percent gains and have now been on the rise for eight straight days - their longest rally since June 2017. "After a dreadful December for risk markets, crude oil continues to catch a positive vibe," said Stephen Innes at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, citing tensions between the superpowers which have cast a pall over the world economy. The trade talks in Beijing were carried over into an unscheduled third day on Wednesday, amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities and increased U.S. access to China's markets. "Talks with China are going very well!" U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, without elaborating. State newspaper China Daily said on Wednesday that Beijing was keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the United States, but that any agreement must involve compromise on both sides. Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil, warned against excessive optimism."Buyers have placed all their betting chips on the US and China resolving their trade spat," he said. "A failure to secure a meaningful breakthrough in the coming days will therefore spark a turnaround in sentiment. It is also worth noting that the global economic outlook continues to darken," he added. The World Bank expects global economic growth to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019 from 3 percent in 2018, it said in a semi-annual report released late on Tuesday. More fundamentally, oil prices have been receiving support from supply cuts started at the end of 2018 by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia. The OPEC-led cuts are aimed at reining in an emerging supply overhang, in part because U.S. crude output <C-OUT-T-EIA> surged by around 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 to a record 11.7 million bpd. Official U.S. fuel storage data from the Energy Information Administration is due at 1800 GMT on Wednesday.

Source: Economic Times

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Yarn Expo to have 50 suppliers in Fancy Yarn Zone

Frankfurt: Yarn Expo, known for diversity of suppliers with visitors able to meet all their sourcing needs in one place, will feature around 50 prominent yarn suppliers from all around the world in the Fancy Yarn Zone. The expo, to be held during March 12-14 in Shanghai, can supply industry buyers all kinds of synthetic, fancy and specialty yarns and chemical fibres. Meanwhile, high-quality natural yarns and fibres can also easily be found, including high-end European linen and cotton from countries such as Egypt, India, Turkey and Vietnam, as well as an array of eco-fibres and carbon fibres for visitors seeking sustainable, light-weight materials. The fair will take place alongside Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics and three more concurrent fairs. Between 2016 and 2018, Yarn Expo Spring saw increases of 29 per cent and 20.9 per cent in exhibitor and visitor numbers respectively. Following a year of fluctuating demands and trends in the textile industry, especially in China and the Asia-Pacific region, it’s more important than ever for suppliers to continuously innovate and produce strong products in order to survive in the uncertainty of the recent economic climate. Yarn Expo Spring presents itself as a leading fair for exhibitors to establish their brands, introduce their latest products, and reveal new innovations to their targeted audiences both in China and globally. “As the demand for functional fabrics continues to increase, we can also see this trend in Yarn Expo,” said Jiang Chang, marketing manager of Hangzhou Gaoxi Technology, China, highlighting just one of the trends evident at last year’s Yarn Expo Spring. “Therefore, the fair helps us to learn about the industry’s developments.” The strength of Yarn Expo is its continuous evaluation of its audience and industry trends. At the last edition of Yarn Expo Spring, Wendy Wen, senior general manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) summarised the local buying trends: “Local buyers were showing strong interest in the offerings from Asian countries such as Indonesia and Korea, while Vietnamese cotton exhibitors reported increased orders from China due to the favourable trade policies between these countries.” The fair responds to visitor interest by presenting an array of high-quality exhibitors from a variety of countries and regions, including China, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan, Singapore, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. What’s more, exhibitors can enjoy a unique opportunity to leverage the fair’s premium business platform, with the four concurrent fairs. From apparel to home furnishings, the entire textile supply chain will gather under one roof for Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition, Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Spring Edition, PH Value and the China International Fashion Fair (CHIC). The fair will feature natural fibres (cotton, wool, silk and flax/ramie), man-made fibres (regenerated and synthetic), specialty fibres, natural and blend yarns (cotton, wool, silk and linen/ramie), man-made and blend yarns (regenerated and synthetic), elastic yarns, fancy yarns and specialty yarns. Yarn Expo Spring is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) and the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT. (SV)

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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