Cyclical downturns lead Surat’s textile industry to fulfill export dreams
After battling several frequent cyclical downturns in the domestic market, Surat’s synthetic textile industry is now increasingly looking overseas.
The largest synthetic fiber textile (MMF) group in the country, Surat was largely focused on the domestic market with over 90% of sales. However, the industry is now eyeing the upgrading of different processes along the textile value chain, even as it sniffs success amid reduced reliance on China among international buyers like Africa, Turkey and Europe, among others.
An early sign of growing export potential, the industry recently held an exhibition for international buyers under the auspices of the Synthetic Rayon Textile Export Promotion Council (SRTEPC), during which the textile industry mmf of Surat has secured deals worth $150 million with an additional $300 million. being processed.
“Gradual efforts are being made to modernize with the aim of increasing exports. While those who can afford it are investing alone or by going into debt, others are waiting for a change in the Technological Modernization Fund (Tufs) scheme. which could even lead to further expansion,” said Dhiraj Shah, Chairman of SRTEPC.
According to industry estimates, MMF accounts for 5% of the total textile and apparel (t&c) industry worth approximately $140 billion and 15% of total t&c exports worth approximately $40 billion. However, Surat, which is the largest MMF or synthetic textiles cluster in the country, comprising almost half of the sector, has always depended on the domestic market. While the size of Surat’s textile industry in terms of value could not be determined, it stands at 40 million meters per day in terms of volume, 90% of which is so far largely focused on the internal market.
“On the one hand, international buyers have learned during the pandemic to also look for alternatives to China in mmf textiles. On the other hand, the frequent cyclical downturns in the domestic market have also forced the industry to look to And for this, capital spending and expansions have increased within Surat industry,” said Narain Aggarwal, Managing Director of Surat-based Prafful Group of Industries and former Chairman of SRTEPC.
Although this export driven modernization and expansion has now started happening across the textile value chain in Surat, the industry needs government intervention for the same to happen in the vertical of the transformation.
“Historically, the Surat-based textile processing industry has not only been price conscious and avoided capital expenditure, it has also been constrained due to pollution standards. Being a water-intensive vertical with a lot of effluent discharges that need to be treated, the textile processing sector in Surat will need clusters to be set up with the help of the state government for any upgrading or expansion. with the government about it,” Aggarwal said.
Meanwhile, other verticals such as weaving are increasingly investing in machinery that not only meets international standards but also produces finished products at higher volumes in less time and at lower cost.
Apparently, the share of modernized looms such as water jet, rapier and electronic jacquard machines is gradually increasing in Surat.
“Compared to just 25 meters in 12 hours with a conventional loom, these modern machines can produce 400 meters in the same period. Also, while conventional machines can produce gray garments which then need to be sent for knitting , processing and other works work before they can be called finished products, more modern ones produce almost finished products,” said Babubhai Sojitra, one of the leading weavers and president of the Laskana-Weavers Association. Kamrej.