Chinese textile raw material suppliers are now beginning to beat domestic suppliers in the Indian market as well. Domestic home furnishing and apparel players are increasingly relying on imported fabric for executing garments and home textiles orders, with fabric imports into the country registering a compounded annual growth of 33 per cent over the last four years, according to KSA Technopak estimates.www.zjbag.com
Industry players said that imported fabric is mostly being sourced from China, and to some extent from Taiwan and Korea, mainly due to the lower prices of certain imported fabrics. Also, shorter lead times involved in sourcing imported fabric and the inability of Indian suppliers to fulfil the fabric demands of garment companies executing large export orders are leading to increase in fabric imports.www.zjbag.com
According to industry players, Indian fabric suppliers are losing market share to foreign players on account of their lower-scale of operations, which has significantly dented their capability to fulfil large-scale orders in time and within the quality parameters. Also, India's inability to produce specialised fabrics such as warp knit fabrics, fine woollen fabrics and corduroys, which are used to produce high demand apparel items in Europe and the US, has resulted in a growing reliance on imported fabric for making these products.www.zjbag.com
Domestic exporters contend that in most cases, it is actually cheaper and requires lower lead-time to import fabric from countries such China than to source supplies from a manufacturer from a different part of the country. It is also possible to get uniform shades and lower defects if fabrics are sourced from abroad due to the much larger units operating in countries such as China and Taiwan, optimising massive production at one go. In comparison, domestic suppliers, with their smaller factories and lower reliance on technology, are forced to produce fabrics for the same client at different units, resulting in shade inconsistencies and higher defects in a single order.www.zjbag.com
According to KSA Technopak estimates, only four per cent of India's total cloth production happens in the organised sector. The limitations in the level of technology and operational scale in the Indian fabric business translates into lower productivity and quality of finished products. For instance, only one per cent of the looms in the country are shuttle-less looms, as compared to 80 per cent in Taiwan and Korea and 62 per cent in Pakistan. Around four per cent of the fabric is woven in the organised mills sector while only about five per cent of all processing is in large integrated processing houses, with the rest happening in small or medium sized processing units and hand processors. Infrastructural bottlenecks further lead to higher lead times in case of the delivery schedules of domestic fabric suppliers to meet orders from exporters in other parts of the country.