Indian Textile Industry Should Diversify; Dependency Only On Cotton Not Healthy

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LRT is a market leader globally in Ring Travellers and catering to the requirements of over 5500 spinning mills in over 40 countries. Over 60 Million spindles are working with LRT – Ring Travellers. In the changing dynamics of the textile trade, J.M. Balaji, Head – Marketing, LRT, speaks exclusively to Textile Value Chain on the need for the industry to diversify. 

Textile industry is going through turbulent times globally. But the Indian market is showing signs of improvement. We hope in the next few months there will be a improvement compared to the slow down we had in the last one year. As far as machinery purchase is concerned people are having a wait and watch approach. The decision for machinery purchase taken a long time back , who had delayed purchasing it , are now going for the actual purchase. Some are going for modernization. In case the spinning industry does not modernize , they will not be able to compete.

In India, more than 15-year-old machines are still in the market for which many mills are planning for modernisation. “The challenge there is in terms of finance or funds. As the banks and financial institutions are not ready to support the small and large textile business owners, modernization is also in the slow phase.”, says Balaji. According to him, the financial ecosystem is not conducive to lend to the textile ecosystem. That is a challenge. “Provided once finance is available, there is no stopping Indian spinning sector from modernizing and expansions will also happen in a big way. There will be a good amount of growth in this industry.

He also says that India is weak in post spinning. We do not have high speed looms and dyeing and processing segments is also weak in India. In the garmenting sector , India has small-size units and scale is a big issue.

“Today 30-35% of yarn is exported from India. When there is a pressure on yarn exports, then Indian mills are forced to sell in the local market which brings down the prices significantly and profitability is greatly affected.”, he feels.

Last two or three months, yarn exports from India has picked up and overall, the industry will be better if this situation continues. “100 to 110 million tons of export of yarn from India has to happen for the industry to be in the good condition. We have 47 million spindles working in India. On an average, we produce 350 million tons of yarn in India. Out of which, 100 million tons, needs to be exported. In 2019 , till October , the average was below 70 million tons of export.”, he avers also sharing that if the yarn export is above 100 million tons, we can expect the situation to be better.

On the scenario of the global spinning industry, 200 million spindles are running around the world. India is having manufacturing cost advantage in ring yarn production and also availability of most of the raw materials and hence India will always be a leader in Ring yarn spinning.

According to him, the future is going to be more of manmade fibres used globally. “Presently 65% of yarn production in India is cotton yarn and 35% non-cotton and blends. Going forward, I feel that cotton focus is going to come down . More focus is going to happen specially on the non-cotton segment.”, he says . Balaji strongly feels that India should not be dependent only on Cotton and diversify to other fibres. That will make India more competitive in the global yarn market.