There is a huge jump in imports of viscose yarn compared to the previous year, which is hurting domestic yarn manufacturing spinning mills, according to the Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF). This can be addressed if the domestic spinning industry is able to buy viscose fibre at international prices and is also protected from low-priced yarn imports. In recent years, the demand and use of viscose products has increased in the Indian textile industry, as the sector is slowly and gradually moving towards making more blended products both for domestic and export markets in line with the changing fashion trends.

As a result, viscose products (including fibre, yarn, and fabric) are playing a major role in the growth of overall textile manufacturing sector, within both the MMF and blended product space. Due to this growing momentum in viscose usage, several new capacities have been added in viscose segment with considerable investments, creating lot of job opportunities across India. Even new technologies like air jet spinning have been introduced in the domestic viscose spinning segment, ITF said in a statement. However, these spinning mills are now getting affected due to a big jump in viscose yarn imports in recent months. Compared to imports of $58.85 million during April-March 2018-19, the first quarter of 2019-20 registered imports of $20.30 million, with June 2019 alone witnessing import of $8.64 million.

In rupee terms, the June 2019 import of viscose yarn works out to around Rs. 60 crore. If the trend continues, it would mean import of around Rs. 700 crore per year. “This amount is very high because viscose use is below one-tenth of cotton consumption or production in India,” ITF said. Explaining the reason for increase in viscose yarn imports, ITF said the main reason is the lower material cost for the Chinese and Indonesian spinning mills, from where most of the imported yarn is originating.

The Indian government has protected viscose fibre by imposing duties including anti-dumping duty. There is also 20 per cent customs duty on viscose fabric. This leaves viscose yarn unprotected paving way for higher imports, according to the ITF. Traders are exploiting this situation and are using the opportunity to import more viscose yarn and supply the same to the domestic weaving sector. “This situation calls for a level-playing field for the survival of the domestic spinning sector. We appeal to the government to make viscose fibre available to the spinning industry at international prices, or protect the sector from the current unprecedented low-priced yarn imports,” ITF added.