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Trade Talk | October 2016

Rising GDP, middle class promises boost to technical textile consumption in India

The world technical textiles market has been growing at a rate of 5 to 7 per cent since 2010, when its size was $116.5 billion, which rose to $147 billion in 2014. This is expected to reach $198 billion by 2020, disclosed Hendrik H van Delden, Managing Partner, Gherzi van Delden GmbH. The size of the production in these years were 22.5 million tonnes in 2010 and 28.4 million tonnes in 2014, which is expected to touch 38.2 million tonnes by 2020. The five applications, which represent two-thirds of the total technical textile market, are Agrotech ($9.9 billion), Hygiene ($8.5 billion), Sporttech ($8.1 billion), Protech ($6.9 billion), Clothtech ($5.4 billion), Meditech (4.8 billion) and Geotech ($4.2 billion). Nonwovens and filament-based technical textiles represent two-thirds of global technical textiles consumption.

There are three emerging trends in the technical textiles scenario. First is that there is a proven correlation between GDP/capita and technical textile consumption/capita. Technical textile consumption per capita grows more or less in line with GDP/capita. And the growth rate in technical textile consumption are roughly twice the growth rates in GDP/capita. For instance, whenever GDP/capita in the USA grows at a CAGR of 3-5 per cent, technical textiles/capita CAGR has grown by 5 per cent.

The second trend is the above-average growth of composites. The global CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastics) market is expected to grow from 91 million tons at $6-7 billion in 2015 to 175 million tons at $12-13 billion by 2021. This works out to a CAGR of 11.5 per cent.

The current CFRP applications are aerospace and defence (29 per cent), vehicle production (16 per cent), wind energy (14 per cent), sport & leisure (12 per cent), moulding components (11 per cent), pressure tanks (5 per cent), construction (4 per cent), and marine, etc (9 per cent).

Another emerging trend is the multiple function being added to textiles. These include anti-bacteria properties, heat resistance, bonding, thermal insulation, UV absorbance, high visibility, biodegradability, hydrophobic/hydrophilic properties, etc.

Rajesh BV, General Manager, ICRA Management Consulting Services Ltd, said that the manufacturing GDP accounted for 15 to 16 per cent of overall GDP between 2001 and 2015. Despite the fact that the Government came out with the National Manufacturing Policy in 2011, the manufacturing GDP has hovered at around 16 per cent in 2015. The target is to achieve a manufacturing GDP of 25 per cent by 2015, and create 100 million jobs.

The interesting thing is the focus sectors of Make in India are sure to give a fresh impetus to technical textiles. Infrastructure, energy and defence, aviation & space, consumer goods and services sectors and pharmaceuticals and chemicals are likely to give a thrust to the various technical textile products coming under the 12 segments of technical textiles.

Rajesh sees a gradual shifting of the Indian technical textile industry from low value added intermediate goods to high value added end products. For instance, in 2007-08, the market size of high value added segments to low value added segments was 30 per cent:70 per cent. But in 2015-16, the percentages are 33.3 per cent:63.7 per cent.

India’s per capita income today is Rs 77,435/year, which has achieved a CAGR of 4.7 per cent from 2011-12 to 2015-16. The private consumption has grown by 15 per cent from 2012 to 2014 to touch Rs 68 lakh crore. This indicates the tremendous growth of purchasing power of the booming Indian middle-class. By 2020 and 2030, India’s middle class consumption is expected to reach $3733 billion (11 per cent of global expenditure) and $12,777 billion (23 per cent of global expenditure) respectively.

Rajesh enumerated the high growth areas of technical textiles: Medical hygiene products, industrial workwear, shade nets & agro-netc, fibre-fill, plush fabric for toys and textile-based construction products. The vision of the Indian technical textile industry by 2025 is to reach Rs 5.2 lakh crore and an export target of Rs 1.3 lakh crore. Manufacturing technologies & capacity expansion, skilled labour, exports, high value addition and domestic retail are the key areas that need immediate attention, said Rajesh.

Earlier, while inaugurating the Techtextil symposium, Dr Kavita Gupta reiterated the fact that the Government has given priority status to the technical textile sector, considered now as a sunrise sector. “The technical textile industry has been growing at a CAGR of 21 per cent in the last few years, underlining the immense scope it holds out. In India, we have only 2200 units involved in the manufacture of technical textiles. The scope is for more units to come up and take to manufacturing of the wide range of technical textiles. Under the TUF Scheme, now 15 per cent subsidy is available. The focus is now on technical textiles.”

Pramod Khosla, Chairman of Indian Technical Textile Association (ITTA) and CMD of Khosla Profil Pvt Ltd, in his speech on industry overview, underscored the importance of technical textiles in the growing economy of the country. “At this juncture, what better field is there for the industry to invest in except the technical textiles.

First, the country has a very large and growing population, which augurs well for the consumption of technical textiles like wipes, diapers and various other products.”

Infrastructure is getting a boost with the Modi Government’s plan to improve roadways and other facilities. “Now it is the industry’s turn to be involved in this new revolution and invest for the good of its own fortunes,” said ITTA chief. He added: “The Government itself is the biggest consumer of such technical textile products, and India has the largest armed forces, which also will spur the growth of the technical textile industry.”

The two-day Techtextil Symposium had over 16 presentations, mostly technical covering a very wide range of topics including smart textiles, warp knitting, plasma treatment, activewear, etc. There were over 200 industry experts on each day attending the symposium.

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