There is a desperate need for buyers to raise the purchase price of knitwear garments for the Tiruppur knitwear exports sector to sustain and face the challenging business environment arising in the last few months from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Raja M Shanmugham, president of the Tiruppur Exporters’ Association (TEA).

Shanmugham appealed to buyers to consider the overall increase in the prices of fabric and come forward to revise the prices of garments.

After the government announced increasing the minimum support price this year for raw cotton procured from the farmers lint, ginned cotton prices have been increased from Rs. 36,016/candy (355.54 kg) in August 2020 to Rs. 46,720/candy in March 2021.

TEA has requested the ministry of textiles to intervene to reduce cotton prices as well, he said in a press release.

Shanmugham said the increase in cotton yarn prices, coupled with the increase in accessories prices and dyeing charges have made the manufacturing of garments costlier and pointed out that the fabric cost for manufacturing garments was Rs. 384.16/kg in August last year and has gone up to Rs. 464.8/kg in March this year—an increase of 21 per cent.

The difference in cotton yarn prices of regular cotton yarn and organic cotton yarn was just Rs. 10/kg before November 2020, whereas now that difference is now almost Rs. 120/kg. The fabric cost for manufacturing garments was Rs. 390.88/kg in August 2020 and has now gone up to Rs. 566.72/kg—an increase of 45 per cent.

He said in case of cotton and spandex yarn, due to increase in prices of spandex yarn, the fabric cost for manufacturing garments was Rs. 432.32/kg in August last and has now reached Rs. 546.56/kg—a rise of 26 per cent.