Bangladesh RMG sector reduce reliance on imported raw material

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-07-20 21:00:00 – Bangladesh

Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) manufacturers which dependent heavily on imported cotton yarn and woven fabric having gradually started using more such local raw materials for the export industry.


According to Textile Mills Association (BTMA), the country imported 236 million kilograms (kgs) of cotton yarn and 289 million kgs of woven fabrics in the last fiscal. The import figures were 240-million-kg yarn and 295-million-kg fabrics in the previous year.


The amounts indicate 1.59 percent or 3.83-million-kg less import of yarn and 1.95 percent or 5.73-million-kg less import of cotton fabrics in the last fiscal. The lower import save the government about 64.430 million US dollars.


The yarn and fabric imports came down marginally in the just-concluded fiscal year (2014-15), thereby increasing the quantum of local value addition to the apparels.


As a result, the import prices of cotton yarn and fabrics also declined fairly in the last fiscal. The price of cotton yarn and woven fabrics came down to USD 4 and USD 8.57 per kg as against USD 4.31 and USD 8.91 respectively in the previous year.


However, the import of knit fabrics increased about 1.93 percent to 51 million kgs in the fiscal from 50 million kgs in the previous year. Apparel manufacturers attributed the rise to import of some special types of fabrics, used for specialized garments, which are not produced in the country. The price of knit fabrics marked a slight increase to USD 7.03 per kg from USD 6.79 a year ago.


According to sources, the country spends huge amounts of foreign exchange every year to import raw materials and accessories to feed the RMG sector. In the FY 2012-13, the country spent about USD5.270 billion only to import cotton, cotton yarn and fabrics and knit fabrics.


But the dependence on import of yarn and fabrics can easily be cut down substantially if the Primary Textile Sector (PTS) is taken care of accordingly. The local fabrics market is still occupied and over-flooded with foreign-made fabrics. Local textile products fail to attract local customers and meet their demand due to diverse problems.


But the country made good progress in apparel export, marking about 15 percent growth, despite many odds and political turmoil last year. In this, primary textile sector plays a vital role. If they are supported properly, they could contribute more to value addition, said BGMEA former president Salam Murshedy.


According to Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association Vice President Mohammad Hatem, last year, they used the local yarn and fabrics a little bit more as both export and import were hampered due to political unrest and also to ensure timely shipment.

They are almost near self-sufficiency in case of knit garments, but still need some special knit fabrics to cater the foreign demands and these are imported from China, Hong Kong and Korea.


The primary textile sector, which includes spinning, weaving, printing, dyeing and finishing, plays a vital role as backward-linkage industry of woven and knitwear garments by supplying fabrics and yarns. The primary textile industries could not utilize their full production capacity despite having huge potential because of errant power and gas supply, high interest rates, political uncertainty and underdeveloped infrastructures.


Currently, the backward-linkage industry supplies around 90 percent raw materials to the knitwear sub-sector and 40 percent to the woven sub-sector. The rest of the demand is met with imports, mainly from China and India.


Under the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) with total investment of about 4 billion US dollars, as of now there are about 402 spinning mills, 809 fabrics and 237 dyeing, printing and finishing units.

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