Led by a rise in global sourcing, exports of Viscose Staple Fibre (VSF) rose 40 per cent to 23 KT during the second quarter of the financial year from 16.5 KT recorded during the fourth quarter of previous fiscal.
The fourth quarter of the previous fiscal was when lockdowns were implemented, while the second quarter of this financial year saw easing across many global markets.
The rise in exports mirrors an increase in production, a recent shift in the sourcing of textiles away from China and increased adoption of VSF-based garments globally due to awareness of the environment-friendly fibre. Global retailers such as Ikea, Tesco, Walmart, Zara, Marks & Spencer and H&M have also expanded their sourcing from India, riding on the growing demand for VSF-based garments across the world.
India, which is now emerging as a major hub for cellulosic fibre, had exported 16.5 KT of VSF in the first quarter of this fiscal. VSF-based garment exports have grown over 11 per cent per annum during the five years between FY14 and FY19, according to senior officials of the Association of Man-made Fibre Industry of India (AMFII).
“VSF is the fastest-growing fibre in the Indian textiles basket and is one of the major contributors to Indian textile exports. The growth in VSF consumption over the last 5 years has led to the doubling of spindles deployed on VSF, thus generating additional employment of nearly 50,000 in the downstream value chain, M.P. Joseph, Secretary-General, AMFII said.
VSF consumption in India has more than doubled over the last five years to 594 KPTA in FY20, recording 14 per cent an annual growth rate, while that across the world remained at 5 per cent.
“We have grown around 900 per cent in our production capabilities. Liva (the fashion ingredient brand from Birla Cellulose) has been a great success in branding of quality products,” said K. Thirunavukkarasu, Managing Director Sri Choleeswarar Spinning Mill Group.
“The growth of the VSF industry has energised the entire value chain and the downstream ecosystem over the last few years. This has not only paved the way for increased investments but also created employment opportunities,” said S.P. Chandrasekaran, Executive Director of JPP Mills.
The Indian VSF industry had earlier earmarked investments of Rs 7,000 crore to strengthen value chain and boost employment generation. Above all, it will also give a fillip to the Government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.