Apex textile industry body terms 18 per cent GST 'severe blow' to synthetic sector

NEW DELHI: Textile industry body Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has termed the government's move to impose 18% Goods and Service Tax (GST) on manmade fibre and yarn a 'severe blow' to the synthetic sector. 

The apex industry association of the textile sector on Monday urged the government to reduce the levy to 12% to save the sector whose growth rate is stagnated due to high price, higher cost of manufacturing due to high input prices and competition from China, Sout .. "Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and unorganized mills will face severe challenges as their profits are very low," said CITI chairman J Thulasidharan. 

He added that the SMEs of synthetic fibres and yarns might not withstand the market pressure for more than three months. 

Moreover, the significance of the unorganized sector is reflected from the fact that only 4% fabric is produced in composite mill segment. 

"Disadvantage to man made fibre and yarn based textile goods will keep surmounting as India’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with ASEAN and SAFTA will allow imports of these items from countries like Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh which offers MMF textile goods at low and cheap prices," he said. 


New guide presents positive impacts of organic cotton

Textile Exchange has released Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, an overview of the positive impacts of organic cotton, including frequently asked questions and supporting facts that indicate organic cotton is the preferred fibre choice compared to its chemically produced counterpart.

“The Quick Guide to Organic Cotton, highlights the benefit of organic production as a pathway to restorative, resilient and regenerative landscapes and communities,” said La Rhea Pepper, the Managing Director of Textile Exchange. “Cotton production has evolved over the last 15 years, and greater awareness of the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic farming practices by farmers and buyers has influenced corresponding improvements in many cotton production systems, including the input intensive practices of chemically grown cotton.”

According to its Preferred Fiber and Materials Market Report, Textile Exchange reports that adoption of preferred cotton production methods has grown to 8.6% of the cotton market but organic cotton, in general, continues to have the lowest environmental impacts.

Health and environmental impacts

Textile Exchange’s Quick Guide to Organic Cotton includes the latest research from expert sources to create a comprehensive resource for the industry and media. The current research work reveals three top reasons to support the expansion of organic cotton agriculture.

The first one concerns health and environmental impacts of pesticides that must be acknowledged in a comparison of organic and chemically grown cotton production. According to the USDA’s National Organic Program, organic farming is defined as: “the application of a set of cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. These include maintaining or enhancing soil and water quality; conserving wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife; and avoiding use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering.”

Organic cotton is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides or fertilizers while chemical cotton is dependent on both. According to the Pesticide Action Network UK, cotton crops cover 2.4% of the world’s cultivated land but use 6% of the world’s pesticides, more than any other single major crop.

Higher yields

Another argument in support of chemical agriculture is that the yields are higher, the publisher reports. Chemically intensive agriculture, especially in irrigated systems, push the ecosystem year-on-year for higher yields. This requires the use of an ever-increasing amount of chemical inputs, including growth regulators.

Reality check about water and cotton

It is well established that cotton agriculture and apparel manufacturing, in general, require significant amounts of water. Whether the cotton is grown with chemicals, or organically, each farm and geographic region of the world will have different water usage and impacts. However, the notion that chemical cotton uses less water than organic cotton is false.

Textile Exchange initiated a peer-reviewed Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) on organically grown cotton that uses the same methodology and the same LCA consultancy as was used for chemically grown cotton to ensure the most reliable information to base comparisons. Based on the LCA findings, organic production of cotton for an average sized t-shirt resulted in a savings of 1,982 gallons of water compared to the results of chemically grown cotton.

The real issue about water is pollution. Toxic chemicals used in conventional cotton production are poisoning the very water it claims to save.

Influencing improvements

“Textile Exchange believes that consumers who care about the environment and the farming communities which produce the cotton for their clothing, should support brands and retailers using organic and preferred cotton,” advocates Liesl Truscott, Materials Strategy Director for Textile Exchange.

The latest Organic Cotton Market Report produced by Textile Exchange reveals the Top 10 users of organic cotton by volume: C&A; H&M; Tchibo; Inditex; Nike, Inc.; Decathlon; Carrefour; Lindex; Williams-Sonoma, Inc.; and Stanley and Stella.

The Preferred Fiber and Materials Benchmark (PFM Benchmark) provides a robust structure to help companies systematically measure, manage and integrate a preferred fibre and materials strategy into mainstream business operations, to compare progress with the sector, and to transparently communicate performance and progress to stakeholders.

Lower GST on job work of textile yarn to help SMEs

Reduction in GST rates on job work of textile yarn and fabric manufacturing to 5 per cent from 18 per cent will give a leg-up to SMEs in power loom, knitting and processing sectors, said CITI. 

According to Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) J Thulasidharan, reduction of service tax on job work would bring relief to the textile industry from the extra burden as bulk of the work is with SMEs and carried on through job works. 

Textile mills want to improve efficiency and get cleaner. Working closely with key customers in India and China, Novozymes launched BioPrep® Fusion for cleaner pre-treatment – with big success.

Textile mills have long required solutions that improve their manufacturing processes, decrease water consumption, and reduce the pollutants they release as wastewater. It’s now an urgent need as consumers demand clothes produced in a sustainable way and environmental regulations get tougher.

For example, Tirupur, one of India’s biggest textile hubs, was close to collapse in the year 2011, after a High Court order had shut down over 750 dyeing units over environmental concerns.

A particularly tough challenge for these mills is the textile scouring process, which requires high process temperatures, harsh chemicals and plenty of water to remove impurities from the fabric and prepare it for further processing.

Listen closely
In December 2014, Novozymes organized a workshop in Tirupur with more than 140 key professionals from India’s textile sector to identify industry challenges and raise awareness about the benefits of bioscouring.

The learnings from that event and from close interaction with key textile customers led to development of BioPrep Fusion, a new multi-enzyme solution which removes pectin and other impurities from raw cotton, and prepares textiles for the wet-processing stages to ensure excellent dyeing results. The product was first launched in Tirupur and the Guangzhou province in China in mid-2016.

“When BioPrep Fusion was introduced in Tirupur, it was the answer to textile customers’ request for new technology that would help them continue their journey towards more sustainable processing,” says Peter Faaborg-Andersen, Global Marketing Director at Novozymes.

More performance, lower footprint
Bioprep Fusion enables textile mills to reach desired performance and reliability, while working in neutral pH and at lower temperature. A growing number of mills in India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh are using the technology. They are realizing improved fabric quality, less weight loss, and substantial savings in water (67% reduction), time (50%), energy (50%) and chemicals discharge (30 % less COD/BOD in waste water) compared to conventional pre-treatment.

“BioPrep Fusion has been designed to make it compatible with textile knits manufacturing processes, which are prevalent,” says Peter Faaborg-Andersen. “Recent results show that BioPrep Fusion technology can also work well for yarn and towel manufacturing.”

China significantly reduces spun yarns import from India

India’s spun yarn exports in March 2017 declined 47.6 per cent in volume terms and fell 39.3 per cent in value terms. Spun yarn (all kinds) shipments were at 64.55 million kg worth US$198.6 million, implying per unit realization of US$3.08 per kg which rose US cents 13 from previous month and were up US cents 42 as compared to March 2016.

With Indian yarn imports declining significantly in China, Bangladesh emerged as the largest importer of spun yarns in terms of value in March. Bangladesh imported spun yarns worth US$40.19 million while China imports were worth US$34.40 million during the month.

In March 2017, 83 countries imported spun yarn from India, with Bangladesh at the top accounting for 20.24 per cent of the total value with imports plunging 41 per cent in terms of volume YoY and declining 32 per cent in value YoY. China was the second largest importer of spun yarns in March and accounted for around 17 per cent of all spun yarn exported from India. Export to China were down 65 per cent in volumes and 59 per cent lower in value.

Pakistan was the third largest importer of spun yarns, which saw volume rising 3.1 per cent while it was up 4.6 per cent in value. These three top importers together accounted for around 44 per cent of all spun yarns exported from India in March.

Cotton yarn was exported to 71 countries with Bangladesh as the largest importer from India in March, followed by China and Pakistan. The top three together accounted for more than 49.35 per cent of cotton yarn exported from India.

Brazil, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Madagascar were among the fastest growing markets for cotton yarn, and accounted for 3.47 per cent of total cotton yarn export value. Eleven new destinations were added for cotton yarn export, of which, North Korea, Chile, Oman and Austria were the major ones.

Eight countries did not import any cotton yarn from India, including Venezuela, France, Norway and Sudan. They had imported yarns worth US$1.25 million in March 2016. In March 2017, significant deceleration was seen in export to Bahrain, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Romania and Greece.

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