Grasim Industries commissioned its fourth line and completed the last phase of its greenfield viscose staple fibre (VSF) plant at Vilayat in Gujarat on March 3 as demand for VSF has been growing by leaps and bounds in India. With this, the companyâ€™s VSF capacity at Vilayat is enhanced to 120,000 tonnes per annum, while its overall VSF capacity stands enhanced at 498,000 tonnes per annum.
The healthy growth is expected to continue this year too. Demand in all user segments like apparel, home textiles and technical textiles has been growing swiftly.
According to Manohar Samuel, Global Business Development, Birla Cellulose, volumes are zooming in India.Last year, VSF demand was at 14 per cent in India. Over the last 12 years, demand has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 8 per cent.
Efforts have been on to consolidate the companyâ€™s pole position in the VSF business, where Grasim enjoys a leadership status. Through the greenfield project at Vilayat and brownfield expansions at Harihar in Karnataka, at 36,500 tonnes per annum, Grasim has ramped up capacities by 50 per cent to 498,000 tonnes per annum.
For the past 10 years, cellulosics have been a surprising success story, said market sources, given the gains in usage of VSF for apparel as well as for nonwoven end uses. Demand has repeatedly increased in China, where cellulosic staple mill consumption in 2014 reportedly totalled 3 million tonnes. India is not far behind.
The apparel industry is the largest consumer of synthetic yarns and fibres. Experts pointed out that higher discretionary income among consumers is likely to boost the consumption of apparels in the domestic market, while apparel exports are also expected to grow at a healthy pace.
Moreover, demand from the Indian real estate market and industrial sectors is also expected to help the usage of synthetic fibres, for the manufacturing of home textiles and technical textiles.
Incidentally, the demand for dissolving pulp has substantially increased during the last few years. More than 80 percent of the worldâ€™s dissolving pulp is converted to viscose rayon fiber, and is used in suits, dresses, socks, and other garments.
However, demand for viscose staple fibre (VSF), viscose filament yarn (VFY) and acrylic staple fibre (ASF) remained strong in the year ended March 2014, wherein production of VSF and VFY grew by 7.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, and ASF output grew by a robust 35.5 percent.
In 2013-14, demand for polyester staple fibre (PSF) and polyester filament yarn (PFY) remained subdued due to a spike in demand for cotton yarn. This adversely impacted the output of PSF and PFY during the year
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