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Suresh Patel
Suresh Patel

This interview was first published in the Sep 2020 edition of the print magazine

Interview with Suresh Patel

India Needs to Brace up for Competition from China, Turkey, Thailand

The Non Woven Federation of India (NWFI), representing the regional associations of spunbond nonwoven fabric manufacturers, aims to emerge as the voice of this segment of technical textiles. As the pandemic continues, the production capacity of spunbond nonwoven fabric has gone up 10-fold and is expected to grow further. Fibre2Fashion in conversation with NWFI president Suresh Patel.

TT: What is the global production capacity of spunbond nonwovens?

The global production capacity of spunbond nonwovens is around 87,50,000 metric tonne (MT).

TT: What is the production capacity of spunbond nonwovens in India? And capacity of 3-Ply and N 95 masks?

The production capacity of spunbond nonwovens in India is 41,340 MT per month. The production capacity of 3-Ply surgical masks is 64 crore pieces per month, and that of N95 masks 20 crore per month.

TT: At what rate is the spunbond nonwoven fabric market expected to grow in India? By what percentage has the production capacity grown this year, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic?

The spunbond nonwoven fabric market is expected to grow at more than 12 per cent annually in India. The production capacity has shown a massive increase after the pandemic. It has increased by 10 times.

TT: Are there any regional production hubs in India for spunbond nonwovens?

The spunbond nonwoven fabric manufacturing units are located across the country. More than 15,800 MT capacity is in north India, 12,000 MT is in west India, and 9,300 in south India. The remaining 4,200 MT is in east and central India.

TT: What is the current capacity utilisation? Has it increased from pre-covid period? By how much?

The present capacity utilisation is around 17 per cent, while it was close to 90 per cent in the pre-covid period. The capacity utilisation has fallen sharply in the last 3-4 months due to drop in domestic demand and the ban on exports, as well as due to capacity addition.

TT: Which are the top 5 states across the country that lead in the manufacturing of spunbond nonwoven fabric?

Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh are the leading states which contribute to maximum output of nonwoven spunbond fabric.

TT: How much of spunbond nonwoven fabric is used domestically, and how much is exported?

Between 25-45 per cent of the local production of spunbond nonwoven fabric is consumed domestically, while 35-55 per cent gets exported. However, this ratio may change in view of the change in production capacities in recent months.

TT: Which are the major markets for this kind of fabric?

Spunbond nonwoven fabrics are in demand everywhere, but the US, Canada, Turkey, the UK, Egypt, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Jordan, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Algeria, Mexico, and of course, India are some of the large markets.

TT: What are the various applications of spunbond nonwovens?

Spunbond nonwoven fabrics are technical textiles, and they have multiple applications. Some of the most common applications are in medical and personal care, automotive, geotextiles, agriculture, industrial, packaging, etc.

TT: What can the government do to boost nonwoven fabric manufacturing? Please elaborate both from the import as well as export perspective.

The Central government had banned exports of spunbond nonwoven fabrics in March in the wake of covid-19 pandemic. The restrictions were eased somewhat in July, and the restrictions were totally lifted in mid-August. The freeing of exports is critical for the industry as it will be able to cater to clients overseas. The industry has suffered huge losses due to the export restrictions because of cancellation of orders. We hope that the government will also lift the restrictions on exports of N95 masks soon. We have already assured the government that there is sufficient supply to meet domestic requirements.

TT: Which are the top three competitors across the world for India? Where does India figure in terms of ranking?

India's producers have to brace the competition from producers of China, Turkey and Thailand. India's ranking is 4 in the world market.

TT: Who are the top five manufacturers in India?

Sidwin Fabric Pvt ltd, Texbond Nonwovens, Associate Non Wovens, Rajshree Group of Industries and Maduri Non Woven are the leading players in India among the federation members.

TT: NWFI has been recently established. What led to the formation of NWFI?

The Non Woven Federation of India represents the regional associations of spunbond nonwoven fabric manufacturers, and has been formed with an objective to promote the industry. We felt that a united front is needed for effective representation of our issues and hence NWFI came into existence. NWFI aims to become the voice of spunbond nonwoven industry and will raise issues related to investments, production, export & import policies, bank financing, market expansion, and other aspects.

TT: How many companies / regional associations are currently members of NWFI?

More than 200 nonwoven fabric manufacturers, over 500 mask manufacturers, and many of convertors of nonwoven fabric are members of our organisation across the North, South, East, West and Central regions.

Published on: 21/10/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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