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MARKET WATCH 14 MARCH, 2019

NATIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

RBI allows importers to raise $150-m trade credit

In a bid to give a leg-up to oil/ gas refining and marketing, airline and shipping companies, the Reserve Bank of India’s amended Trade Credit Policy has allowed them to raise trade credits of up to $150 million or equivalent per import transaction under the automatic route. For others, trade credits (TCs) can be raised up to $50 million or equivalent per import transaction, the central bank said in its amended trade credit policy, which was issued to banks authorised to deal in foreign exchange (Category-I Authorised Dealer Banks or ADs). The policy comes into force with immediate effect. The all-in-cost (including rate of interest, other fees, expenses, charges, guarantee fees whether paid in foreign currency or rupee) ceiling per annum has been pegged at the benchmark rate plus 250 basis points spread. TC refers to the credits extended by the overseas supplier, bank, financial institution, and other permitted recognised lenders for maturity – as prescribed under this framework – for imports of capital/non-capital goods permissible under the Foreign Trade Policy of the government. Depending on the source of finance, such TCs include suppliers’ credit and buyers’ credit from recognised lenders. The period of TC, reckoned from the date of shipment, will be up to three years for import of capital goods. For non-capital goods, this period will be up to one year or the operating cycle, whichever is less. For shipyards/shipbuilders, the period of TC for import of non-capital goods can be up to three years. When it comes to security for TC, the RBI said bank guarantees may be given by ADs, on behalf of the importer, in favour of the overseas lender of TC, not exceeding the amount of TC. The period of such guarantee cannot be beyond the maximum permissible period for TC.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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US opens new front in trade war, complicates ties with India

US President Donald Trump notified Congress on March 4 after months of speculation that he would terminate the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for India and Turkey, starting a 60-day countdown period, after which the US President has the right to take action against the two countries on his own authority. This was after the US had in April last year started a review process of this preferential program as some US companies had complained of non-tariff barriers being imposed on their exports to India. India, according to the US, had failed to provide any assurance of unhindered market access to its products in the Indian market which was perceived by the Trump administration as creating a negative impact on equitable and reasonable market access. The discussions between the US and India were quite extensive and there was hope that things would be worked out in such a way that India would be able to continue to be part of the GSP, and the complaints in the area of dairy and medical devices would be looked into by India. Under this program, India in 2017 exported duty-free goods worth $5.7 billion, including auto components, industrial valves and textile materials to the US. India exported a total of $48 billion worth of goods to the US in 2018 with a trade surplus of $21 billion. India was also placed on a watch list of the treasury department for currency manipulation. India had behaved with great restraint to not retaliate when the US unilaterally increased duty on a range of Indian products. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said that the withdrawal of GSP will have a minimal effect on India's exports and India would keep working at addressing the issues the US had. The US has indeed opened a new front in the trade war by taking this decision against India and Turkey, even when the big issue of working out a trade deal with China is still ongoing. For India, which is going into a general election that will be held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19, the announcement was bad news as the opposition will surely make use of this as one of the failures of the Modi government, even though the government spokesperson has pointed toward only an impact of $190 million per year. Already there is a lot of pressure in India because economic growth has not created the jobs that are so critical for inclusive development, nor have exports grown as planned. Exports do create a lot of jobs directly and indirectly. There is indeed a more pronounced political affect as there are growing voices in India calling for a tougher stand on trade negotiations with other countries, including the US. In the US, Trump has made trade negotiations a rallying point and before the next elections, we are certainly going to see a new round of tensions with key trading nations and the US. There is a lot of chatter about the US considering revoking India's Most Favored Nation status. Here again most Indians feel that this is more positioning intended to put pressure on India to give more access to US companies. India has its own domestic concerns which make it not possible to give into the pressures of the US administration. This first salvo from the US side of giving notice of its intent to terminate India from its GSP will put a lot of pressure on the Indian side, and it will need to take the bilateral talks on the liberalization of its economy with the US much more seriously. As the general elections are just round the corner in India, where there will be 900 million voters taking part in this election to select 543 seats in the lower house, one can't expect much will happen in the next 60 days as things will only start to move after the election results are out on May 23. The relationship between India and the US is very important, and both sides realize the importance of having a fair and equitable trade mechanism in place. Politically, it is quite likely that we will see both countries working together more closely in many areas. Being large countries with strong democratic political systems, there is a lot of common ground to build a future relationship on. But certainly, they have to treat each other with respect, and the US has to understand the political and economic compulsions of any government in New Delhi and give them the right environment to open up further and at the same time be able to achieve higher growth rates. This should be a win-win for both countries. After 2017, the US, Japan, India and Australia have become closer with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue being revived. All eyes will now be on the economic relationships and how these two important partners of the QUAD group sit across the table to work out their trade differences. Looking at the bigger picture, we can be quite optimistic of a good outcome. The author is executive director of Federation of the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Source:  Global Times

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E-commerce players join hands to launch its own council, TECI

The rapidly growing ecommerce sector launched its own trade association under the name of The ECommerce Council of India (TECI) on Wednesday. The founding members of TECI include Snapdeal, ShopClues, UrbanClap, Shop101, Flyrobe, and Fynd along with online brands like Mamaearth, Superbottoms, and Azah. TECI members, account for more than 7.5 lakh online sellers and service providers. Every month, more than 100 million users interact with the online businesses operated by TECI members. More than 30 global and domestic institutional investors have invested more than $2.25 billion in the enterprises founded by TECI members. The e-commerce sector in India is witnessing fast growth supported with the rise in the number of internet users. While nearly 140 million Indians are already shopping online, the expansion of digital commerce into Tier 2 & 3 cities has opened the doors for the next 200- 300 million online buyers. According to a February 2019 Morgan Stanley report, India is adding one internet user every 3 seconds and the e-commerce sector in India is estimated to reach $230 billion by 2028, accounting for 10% of India’s retail. The fast growth of the digital commerce sector, fueled by global investments and evolving consumer habits makes it one of the leading contemporary influences and is expected to have a significant impact on social and economic landscapes in countries around the world. Policy makers in various countries, including in India, are engaged in discussion and debate to determine optimal policy frameworks for the sector, which will enable fast growth, while balancing the interests of all stakeholders. TECI expects to collate, crystallise and share the e-commerce industry’s viewpoint in this regard, working collaboratively with other stakeholders.  Besides policy advocacy, the council seeks to define and encourage the use of industry best practices relating to data privacy, logistics, payment processes, resolution of disputes, consumer protection, MSME development and other relevant issues. Siddharth Munot, Co-founder of Bewakoof.com, said in a statement, "TECI is one of a kind industry association that would help the industry and will work in line with other trade bodies for the betterment of the e-commerce sector and digital-first brands." TECI will provide a neutral and objective platform for discussion and debate on noncompetitive issues relating to the development of the e-commerce sector in India. Moreover, it also expects to provide thought leadership for the e-commerce sector and articulate the voice of the sector in the media. It will work in collaboration with trade bodies in India and outside to further the objectives of the association. Pratik Agarwal, Co-founder of Breya, said in a statement, “We believe TECI will play a big role in making major policy decisions in e-commerce sector, a more consultative process keeping in mind the larger interest of Indian Economy. We look forward to working with TECI members in a constructive way."

Source: Economic Times

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Karanj textile park inaugurated in south Gujarat

Surat could play a pivotal role in VisionNXT, a trend forecasting initiative of the government to create an indigenous fashion forecasting service, textiles minister Smriti Irani said inaugurating the ₹300-crore Karanj Textile Park in Mandvi taluka in south Gujarat recently. Entrepreneurs from Surat can immensely contribute to that initiative, she said. Surat is India’s largest man-made fabric hub. The trend forecasting lab was recently started in Delhi. Irani also appreciated the environment concerns at the textile parks in south Gujarat where the country’s first zero liquid discharge (ZLD) has been set up at the Gujarat Eco Textile Park (GETP) at Palsana under the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) scheme of the central government. More than 90 per cent of waste water from the GETP plant will be recycled at the ZLD plant, a report in a top Indian English-language daily quoted the minister as saying.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Uttarakhand to open excellence centre for Himalayan fibre

Uttarakhand has decided to set up a centre of excellence for Himalayan fibre in Kumaon region’s Almora district. The decision was taken recently at a cabinet meeting in Dehradun, according to state urban development minister Madan Kaushik. The centre will be set up with support from the Northern India Textile Research Association (NITRA) in Ghaziabad. A proposal to allot land for the centre at Bercimi village in Almora was also approved, a news agency quoted Kaushik as saying. Setting up of the centre is part of the state’s efforts to optimise the use of local trees such as pine, bhimal (Grewia optiva) and oak. It was on Tamta's request that NITRA explored the possibility of using pine needles to make fibre products. Work is under way to produce a blend of fibre and yarn, said Shweta Saxena, a senior scientific officer at NITRA. Bhimal, another common tree of the lower Himalayan region the leaves of which make for excellent fuel and cattle fodder, is now being used to make fibre from which products like slip-ons, baskets, mats and bags are prepared. A group of women, supported by the Bhartiya Gramotthan Sanstha in Rishikesh, is experimenting with bhimal fibre and jute to produce handloom items.

Source: Fibre2Fashion

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Zero tariffs on EU goods coming into NI in no-deal Brexit

The UK will not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving across the land border into Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, it has been announced. Under a temporary and unilateral regime announced by the British government, EU goods arriving from the Republic and remaining in Northern Ireland will not be subject to tariffs. However, tariffs will be payable on goods moving from the EU into the rest of the UK via Northern Ireland under a schedule of rates also released this morning. The British government insists that this will not create a border down the Irish Sea, as there will be no checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain. Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system. MPs accepted that the new regime will cause "concerns" to Northern Irish businesses and farmers about the impact on their competitiveness. But they said these were the only steps that could be taken to deliver on the government's commitment to avoiding a hard border in the case of no-deal. MPs said that, overall, the changes would represent a "modest liberalisation" of the UK's tariff regime.

Source: RTE

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One chart for all

The introduction of the ‘Indian standard size’ for apparel will not only boost online shopping, but also the country’s textile industry as a whole. A recent research study revealed that approximately 40 per cent of apparel purchased online are returned or exchanged. For most customers, the top reason was the cloth’s poor fit. Well, shopping comes with a lot of problems. But there’s one that rules them all — choosing the perfect size. For instance, for some brands, a woman could be size 10 but size 12 for some others. How is she supposed to decide her perfect fit online? Hence, consumers aren’t satisfied or confident about the fits unless they try on a garment. The end result? Lost profits, increased labour and shipping costs, wasted inventory, logistical nightmares, frustrated customers, and a failure to take advantage of online services. Initially, it was noticed that when parents would get garments stitched for their child as per their sizes, in order to save the efforts, the same garment would be passed down to the next sibling. This is when it was noticed that the range of body dimensions did not vary too much. Set of people’s sizing did not vastly differ from each other. This paved a way for the creation of the ‘Standard Sizing’ apparel, which has henceforth evolved as a common methodology for sales in the US, UK and Europe today. It is a suitable option which is cost-friendly for the makers and convenient for the buyers. However, the sizing charts could indeed be confusing when it comes to choosing them online. Well, now it is India’s turn to be on the sizing chart and create its own standard size for apparel. Researchers say that setting up the Indian chart will not just help the consumers but the Indian textile industry as a whole. The ‘India size’ specifications will require a lot of data and insights to prepare a final chart of standard sizes. With the onset of convenience shopping, this could be a welcome move for the Indian textile industry since consumer shifts and mindsets are towards its tangent. The industry will be further benefitted through the B2B trade, as our partners are becoming more aware of their end customers’ needs. Since such a study has never been done before, it becomes imperative to finally ascertain the magnitude of textile consumption in India. It will help the industry to project better forecasts and thereby improve overall sector growth. The entire process of determining sizing sets will begin with a ‘Mass Measurement Movement’ by noting down sizes of people from across the country. This will include — (i) Horizontal torso, including the shoulder, neck, bust-line, rib-cage waist, upper hip and lower hip measurements; (ii) Vertical torso, including the back, waist to shoulder length, shoulder to bust length, waist to bust length and the two waist-hip lengths’ measurements; (iii) Sleeve measurements; (iv) Height measurements. It will be a mammoth task but once completed, the analysis collected during this process will be a gold mine of knowledge and data. High-level machinery would be employed to craft a standardised size-chart that will lead to well-fitting clothes extended to both offline and e-marketplaces for costumers to choose. Post measurements, the sizes will have to be grouped into the ‘same bracket’ ranges so as to mark the number variations and deviations. On the basis of that, the categories are further sub-grouped to create a standard size that would accommodate two ranges. Well, the best part about the exercise is that once the standard size charts are finalised, they will positively affect a variety of sectors, ranging from sub-divisions of the apparel industry (fitness, casual-wear, party-wear) to diverse ones like aerospace, because the collected data would be useful for their products and services being offered to Indians. However, it is indeed wonderful that India will soon get its standard size chart, carving a way for million Indian consumers who get baffled up when the size chart showing the UK, US and Europe’s sizes pop up on online shopping sites.

Source: Daily Pioneer

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In slow mode: on manufacturing and inflation data

Manufacturing, inflation data give monetary policy makers room for an interest rate cut Manufacturing activity in the country continues to remain becalmed. The latest Index of Industrial Production data show that output across the broad sector expanded 1.3% in January, a clear loss of momentum from the 3% pace in December and a drastic slowdown from the 8.7% growth seen in January 2018. Overall, industrial output growth slumped to 1.7%, from 2.6% in December, and 7.5% a year earlier, as production in 12 of the 23 industry groups that comprise the manufacturing sector shrank from a year earlier. These are quick estimates that are likely to be revised. But the fact that key job-creating industries, including textiles, leather and related products, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastic products, and motor vehicles, reported contractions hardly bodes well for the real economy. A look at the use-based classification of industries also gives little cause for cheer. Capital goods, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, contracted 3.2%, a telling contrast with the 12.4% expansion posted 12 months earlier. A sustained revival on this vital front may still be some time away. A recent survey by IHS Markit of business activity expectations, conducted over two weeks in the latter half of February, shows that Indian businesses plan to curb outlays on hiring and capital spending, with sentiment on capex at a one-year low. And growth in consumer durables output was an anaemic 1.8% (7.6% in January 2018), another clear sign that spending on consumption of non-essentials remains in search of favourable winds.  If the IIP poses cause for concern, retail inflation data hardly provide much reassurance. While price gains measured by the Consumer Price Index accelerated to a four-month high of 2.57% in February, it is the persistent deflationary trend in the prices of some farm items that is deeply disquieting, reflecting as it does a collapse in pricing power in the agrarian heartland. Vegetables, fruits and pulses and products all posted negative rates of inflation from a year earlier, of –7.69%, – 4.62% and –3.82% respectively. While urban consumers may cheer the increased affordability of vegetables and fruits, rural demand for manufactured goods will remain depressed unless there is a meaningful turnaround in the farm sector’s economic fortunes. Looking ahead, with Saudi Arabia committed to deepening its production cuts in order to keep crude oil prices well-supported, it appears unlikely that India’s fuel and energy costs will stay soft for much longer. And with political parties sure to open the spending spigot in a bid to woo voters, inflationary impulses will quicken. For now, though, with growth slowing and inflation still comfortably within the Reserve Bank’s 2%-6% target range, monetary policy makers would feel justified in pressing ahead with one more interest rate cut at their meeting next month.

Source: The Hindu

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Private manufacturing firms made 24.9% net profit growth in Q3: RBI

The private companies in manufacturing sector posted a 24.9 per cent growth in net profit in the October-December quarter of the current fiscal on annual basis, benefitting from lower tax provisions, the RBI said Wednesday. The analysis is based on the performance of private corporate sector during the third quarter of 2018-19 drawn from abridged financial results of 2,703 listed non-government non-financial (NGNF) companies, it said. "The manufacturing sector continued to record strong growth in net profits, benefitting from the lower tax provisions in Q3:2018-19," the RBI said while releasing the latest data on performance of the private corporate business. The companies posted a net profit of Rs 77,500 crore in the third quarter of the fiscal compared to Rs 57,800 crore in the year-ago period. Their profit was Rs 71,900 crore in the July-September quarter of 2018-19. However on the sales front, demand conditions in the manufacturing sector weakened on year-on-year basis.  "This moderation was observed mainly in textiles, iron and steel, motor vehicles and other transport equipments industries whereas sales growth improved for consumer-driven sectors such as food product and beverages, and pharmaceutical," the central bank said. The interest expenses incurred by manufacturing sector also witnessed a dip from a year ago level, reflecting ongoing deleveraging in the corporate sector. In IT sector, RBI said, sales growth remained broadly unchanged in relation to the previous quarter, while the services (non-IT) sector maintained the pace of sales growth, riding on the improvement recorded by the transport and storage services industries. The telecommunication sector continued to experience contraction in sales. As per the RBI, pricing power in terms of operating profit and net profit margins remained flat in manufacturing sector. Net profit margin of the IT sector declined marginally.

Source: Millenium Post

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Filatex India to invest Rs 400 crore in capacity expansion

Polyester yarn manufacturer Filatex India NSE -9.20 % plans to invest around Rs 400 crore in expanding the capacity of its plants in Dadra and Dahej, besides setting up a captive power plant to reduce the company’s energy costs. The Delhi-based company has earmarked Rs 275 crore to augment the yarn manufacturing and polymerisation capacity of its plants from 3.28 lakh MT per annum to 3.65 lakh MT by next year. A 30-MW captive power plant, with an investment of Rs 145 crore, in Dahej would be operational by 2020. “The environmental clearance for the plant is in advanced stage,” said Madhu Sudhan Bhageria, Chairman & Managing Director, Filatex India. The company, which exports manmade yarn to 34 countries globally, also has in the pipeline a fabric plant to make fabrics from the yarn it produces. Its yarn is used in manufacture of carpets, rugs, tapes, ribbons and zippers. On the US’ recent move to end preferential benefits to Indian exports, Bhageria said the industry is unlikely to get impacted majorly. Processed food; leather products other than footwear; plastic products; building material & tiles; hand tools such as spanners, wrenches, drilling equipment; engineering goods such as spark ignition, turbines and pipes, parts of generators, cycles; made-ups including pillow/cushion covers; woven women’s dresses were eligible for higher benefits under the US’ Generalized System of Preferences scheme.

Source: Economic Times

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Rupee up 17 paise versus dollar

The Indian rupee, on Wednesday, clocked its third straight session of gains, rising 17 paise to close at a fresh two-month high of 69.54 against the US dollar on sustained foreign fund flows. The US dollar’s weakness against its key rivals overseas strengthened forex market sentiment domestically. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the domestic unit opened at 69.71 and advanced to a high of 69.42 during the day. It finally settled at 69.54, a rise of 17 paise against the dollar. This was the best closing level for the Indian unit since January 1 this year, as it ended that day at 69.43. The rupee has gained 60 paise in the last three sessions.

Source: Business Line

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Strata opens new geosynthetics plant in India

Strata Geosystems, a joint venture of Glen Raven, headquartered in Mumbai, and a leading specialist in the soil reinforcement industry, has opened a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Daheli, Gujarat, last month, to meet the growing demand for geotechnical products in India and around the globe. “We are indeed a truly unique company,” said Ashok Bhawnani, Founding Director of Strata Geosystems, during the grand opening ceremony of the company's new manufacturing facility located in Daheli, Gujarat. “As the largest reinforced soil wall builder in India, we differentiate ourselves by using re-engineered yarn to build high-performance structures for highways.” Strata began as a manufacturer of geogrids in 2004 and has evolved to become both a manufacturer and India's largest developer for reinforced soil structures. Today, Strata has built over 400 bridge ramps on national highways across the country and is a leader in the technical textiles industry. Reinforced soil technology has been adapted across the country, which led the company to expand its capacity and more effectively cater to the growing infrastructure needs in India. “Using geogrids to reinforce soil is analogous to using steel for concrete reinforcement, and this technology is being used for a wide range of applications including ramp construction, landfills, mining dykes, and other engineered structures,” said Narendra Dalmia, CEO and Director. Strata had the honour of hosting its joint-venture partners from Glen Raven, a global performance-textile company headquartered in the USA. Among Glen Raven's attendees were Leib Oehmig, CEO and Harold Hill, President of the Technical Fabrics division. “This is a tremendous milestone for the entire Strata global organisation,” said Harold Hill. The plant was constructed using Strata's own technical textiles for flooring, internal roads, water-proofing, slopes and embankments, and loading aprons, providing a testament to the products' benefits. Further reiterating its commitment to India and Prime Minister Modi's ' Make in India' vision, this new facility is the largest geogrid plant and will provide sufficient capacity to cater to India's demand while continuing to strengthen existing export markets. The plant enables the production of the widest geogrid, (made on 245" knitting machines), high-strength uniaxial and biaxial geogrids, and improved technical parameters like enhanced stress strain values. Additionally, the facility, located over 10 acres, houses an exclusive, custom-built coating machine, efficient material handling capabilities, and an advanced laboratory, which will be accredited with global standards. This new facility also aligns with the efforts of The Ministry of Textiles towards the promotion of technical textiles in critical infrastructure applications.

Source: Innovation in Textiles

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Ronak Rughani takes over as new SRTEPC chairman

Ronak Rughani, joint managing partner of Rughani Brothers, has taken over as the chairman of The Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC) from March 7. Rughani has been the vice-chairman of the council for the last two years, actively involving himself in the various activities of the council including export promotional programmes. Rughani has been instrumental in making the government include the merchant exporters under the Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES), SRTEPC said in a press release. The demand of the textile industry to extend the benefits of the Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES) to merchant exporters was a long pending issue which Rughani could effectively resolve. Rughani’s role was also crucial in increasing the MEIS rates on exports of fabrics, upward revision of DBK rates, etc. A visionary leader at 40, Rughani is the youngest chairman of an export promotion council in India. He is a commerce graduate with a post-graduate diploma in family business from NMIMS, Mumbai."Rughani has led delegation to Panama during his tenure as vice-chairman. He also led roadshows to Egypt and Morocco for 'Source India 2018' and to Turkey for 'Textiles India 2017'," the release added. (RR)

Source: Fibre2fashion

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Global Textile Raw Material Price 13-3-2019

Item

Price

Unit

Fluctuation

Date

PSF

1329.38

USD/Ton

-0.22%

3/13/2019

VSF

1899.11

USD/Ton

-0.23%

3/13/2019

ASF

2444.27

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Polyester POY

1318.21

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Nylon FDY

2904.53

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

40D Spandex

4721.72

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Nylon POY

5630.31

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Acrylic Top 3D

1571.42

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Polyester FDY

2696.00

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Nylon DTY

2606.63

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Viscose Long Filament

1496.95

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

Polyester DTY

3127.95

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

30S Spun Rayon Yarn

2696.00

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

32S Polyester Yarn

2018.27

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

45S T/C Yarn

2874.74

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

40S Rayon Yarn

2993.90

USD/Ton

-0.50%

3/13/2019

T/R Yarn 65/35 32S

2532.15

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

45S Polyester Yarn

2174.67

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

T/C Yarn 65/35 32S

2576.84

USD/Ton

0%

3/13/2019

10S Denim Fabric

1.37

USD/Meter

0%

3/13/2019

32S Twill Fabric

0.83

USD/Meter

0%

3/13/2019

40S Combed Poplin

1.12

USD/Meter

0%

3/13/2019

30S Rayon Fabric

0.65

USD/Meter

-0.23%

3/13/2019

45S T/C Fabric

0.71

USD/Meter

0%

3/13/2019

Source: Global Textiles

 

Note: The above prices are Chinese Price (1 CNY = 0.14895 USD dtd. 13/03/2019). 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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Zero tariffs on EU goods coming into NI in no-deal Brexit

The UK will not introduce any new checks or controls on goods moving across the land border into Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, it has been announced. Under a temporary and unilateral regime announced by the British government, EU goods arriving from the Republic and remaining in Northern Ireland will not be subject to tariffs. However, tariffs will be payable on goods moving from the EU into the rest of the UK via Northern Ireland under a schedule of rates also released this morning. The British government insists that this will not create a border down the Irish Sea, as there will be no checks on goods moving between Northern Ireland and Britain. Instead, normal compliance and intelligence methods will be used to detect any traders attempting to abuse the system. MPs accepted that the new regime will cause "concerns" to Northern Irish businesses and farmers about the impact on their competitiveness. But they said these were the only steps that could be taken to deliver on the government's commitment to avoiding a hard border in the case of no-deal. MPs said that, overall, the changes would represent a "modest liberalisation" of the UK's tariff regime.

Source: RTE

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 Pakistan: Govt releases Rs65.4mn for Statistics, Textile division projects

The government has thus far released the funds worth Rs 65.4 million for Statistics Division and Textile Industry Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2018-19). Solely, for statistics division’s project for upgradation of rural area frame for the conduct of census or survey, an amount of Rs 52.8 million has been released under the PSDP. Though, the total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs 249.4 million, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. Whereas for the Textile Industry Division’s Faisalabad Garment City Training Center project, the government released Rs12.6 million. Overall, the federal government has so far released Rs 365.99 billion for several ongoing and new schemes of different divisions against the total allocation of Rs 675 billion under PSDP (2018-19). The Planning Commission of Pakistan releases funds after following a specific mechanism. During first quarter (July-September) it releases 20 per cent of development funds, in second quarter (October-December) 20 per cent, third quarter (January-March) 30 per cent and fourth quarter (April-June) 30 percent.

Source: Ary News

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Sri Lanka's trade deficit significantly narrows in December 2018 reflecting the effect of policy measures

The year-on-year deficit in the trade account narrowed significantly in December 2018 following a notable decline in the import expenditure, the Central Bank said today in its External Sector Performance review for the month. Earnings from merchandise exports grew marginally by 1.4 percent in December 2018 to US$ 1.033 billion compared with December 2017, mainly driven by industrial exports while agricultural exports continued to decline. Earnings from industrial exports grew by 2.1 percent during December 2018 due to higher exports of textiles and garments, while earnings from agricultural exports fell by 1.4 percent, reflecting the poor performance in almost all categories except coconut, seafood and vegetables. On a cumulative basis in the year, year-on-year exports earnings increased by 4.7 percent to US$ 11.89 billion from US$ 11.36 billion a year earlier. Reflecting the effect of policy measures taken by the Central Bank and the Government, expenditure on imports declined by 15.3 percent (year-on-year) to US$ 1.734 billion in December 2018 from US$ 2.048 billion a year ago recording the lowest import value for the year. All major import categories namely intermediate goods, consumer goods and investment goods contributed to this decline, the Central Bank said. On a cumulative basis, expenditure on merchandise imports increased by 6.0 percent to US$ 22.233 billion in 2018 in comparison to 2017 mainly driven by higher expenditure incurred on fuel, personal motor vehicles, textiles and textile articles and fertilizer imports. The trade deficit declined to US$ 701 million in December 2018 from US$ 1.029 billion a year earlier. Cumulatively trade deficit increased 7.5 percent from US$ 9.62 billion to US$ 10.343 billion in the year. Earnings from tourism remained healthy with a 4.8 percent (year-on-year) growth in December 2018, resulting in a total income of US$ 4.4 billion in 2018, a growth of 11.6 percent from 2017. Workers' remittances recorded a marginal decline of 2.1 percent in 2018 to US$ 7.0 billion, including the drop of 13.0 percent in December 2018. In the financial account, the government securities market and the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) recorded outflows in December 2018. The government securities market continued to experience a withdrawal of foreign investments recording a net outflow of US$ 162 million in the month of December, raising the net cumulative outflow to US$ 802 million by the end of the first eleven months of 2018. Meanwhile, foreign investments in the CSE, including both secondary and primary market foreign exchange flows, recorded a net outflow of US$ 55 million during the year 2018. As at end December 2018, gross official reserves were estimated at US$ 6.9 billion, which is equivalent to 3.7 months of imports. Total foreign assets, which consist of gross official reserves and foreign assets of the banking sector, amounted to US$ 9.6 billion as at end December 2018, which is equivalent to 5.2 months of imports. During the year 2018, the Sri Lankan rupee depreciated by 16.4 percent against the US dollar. However, during 2019 up to 13 March, the Sri Lankan rupee appreciated by 2.2 percent against the US dollar.

Source: Colombo Page

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Fibre innovation from Finland may change textile industry

The modern clothing industry is a marvel. Walk into any fashion store and you have your pick of thousands of different items in a huge variety of styles. Yet the industry is also marked by its unsustainability.  Some of the most popular materials, such as polyester, are derived from petroleum. Plastic microfibres from synthetic fabrics end up in the oceans and enter our food chain. In turn, production of natural fibres such as cotton demands an enormous amount of water. The very nature of fashion encourages people to toss their old clothes in landfills and buy the next popular thing. It is a monumental problem, but people are now aware of it. “Sustainability is becoming very important to the consumer today,” says Anna-Kaisa Auvinen, managing director of Finnish Textile and Fashion, a textile and clothing industry organisation. “In Finland we have great fibre innovations that will help the industry be more environmentally friendly. Increasingly we see new startups being formed in Finland with corporate social responsibility as the core of the company.” Several Finnish organisations have been puzzling over the issue of a sustainable raw material for textiles for years, including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Aalto University. Pirjo Kääriäinen, professor of design-driven fibre innovation at Aalto, estimates that seven or eight different projects are currently under way, and some of them have graduated out of the laboratory. Kääriäinen is involved in Ioncell, a project that has developed a method of creating high-quality textile fibres from wood or recycled materials. They found the perfect publicity for their product when Jenni Haukio, the First Lady of Finland, wore a dress made from birch-based Ioncell fibre to the annual Independence Day gala. “Traditional methods of creating fibre from cellulose, like rayon, require heavy chemicals,” Kääriäinen says. “The whole Ioncell production process is safe and non-harmful. It can even keep the colour: if you recycle red T-shirts you can get red fibres out of the process without needing to re-dye it.” Another company active in the field is Infinited Fiber. Its roots date back to the 1980s, when various Finnish corporations and VTT studied viscose production. “The breakthrough came in about 2010, when we discovered how to use waste paper as a raw material,” says CEO Petri Alava. “We can now use a huge variety of raw materials, like paper, carboard or textile waste. Availability is a big issue for the industry, but some of the infrastructure is already in place for these materials, like cardboard.” Infinited Fiber was spun off from VTT in 2015 and now has a pilot plant in operation. Their process separates fibre, turns it into a liquid, and transforms the liquid into a new cotton-like fibre. Cotton is a major material for the mainstream textile market, and Infinited Fiber plans to license their technology to big global producers. Their denim has already met 100 percent of commercial quality requirements. “It’s encouraging to see the high interest we are receiving from the market,” Alava says. “The younger generation wants environmentally sustainable clothing, and this is a major challenge for fashion brands.” Spinnova is located in the central Finnish city of Jyväskylä, at the heart of Finnish forest country. They use wood pulp as their raw material, but their process has a different spin. “We use no harmful chemicals at all,” says CEO Janne Poranen. “We use a mechanical process to spin the natural fibres through small nozzles to create textile filaments.” The only by-product of Spinnova’s technology is water that evaporates during drying and is reused in the spinning process. The closed-loop system caught the attention of Finnish fashion icon Marimekko and a partnership began. At the time of writing, the two companies are planning to bring their product to customers in the near future. “Our pilot plant is in the startup phase and then we will begin to scale up,” Poranen says. “In two or three years we expect to see big volumes.” Finnish innovators such as Spinnova, Ioncell and Infinited Fiber have a huge goal: to find a sustainable process with sustainable materials for the world’s textile needs. They employ different methods, but there’s more than one way to stride down a catwalk.

Source: Finland.fi

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