The dye industry can’t keep pace with rugged clothing

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No new dyeing plants were set up in Bangladesh last year, although the segment is crucial in supporting the roaring clothing sector looking to double its exports.

As local exporters increasingly embrace man-made fibers and produce high-end items, the country will need more high-quality textile garment dyeing and chemicals facilities to meet demand in the years to come. future.

People in the industry say that entrepreneurs, however, are not interested in investing money in the dyeing industry due to the complicated production process, large investments, shortage of local experts and declining demand from weavers and spinners.

Dyeing is an essential process for coloring the fabrics and yarns of finished garments. It involves a lot of technicians and expensive chemicals.

Two types of dyeing process are mainly required: solid dyeing, i.e. dyeing of fabrics and dyeing of yarns for fabric making.

But not a single new dyeing plant was established last year, although the spinning segment saw the largest single-year investment of Tk 6,000 crore as entrepreneurs established 26 new units. due to the strong demand for yarn from knitwear and woven garment exporters. .

“The dyeing industry needs a lot of primary capital and it is expensive to operate effluent and water treatment plants,” says Monsoor Ahmed, managing director of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the platform. form of the primary textile sector.

“Entrepreneurs feel discouraged from setting up dye factories due to the large capital requirements, higher chemical prices and lack of expertise in the industry,” said Abdullah Al Mahmud Mahin, president and CEO of the Mahin group.

The group operates one of the largest dyeing units in Bangladesh. It can dye 30 lakh meters of fabric per month, which includes 15 tons of yarn per day.

“We are overbooked with orders from local apparel exporters for the next four months as international retailers and brands place higher order volume with Bangladesh,” Mahin said.

According to the Bangladesh Dyed Yarn Exporters Association, there are 70 large dyeing units in Bangladesh with an investment of Tk 400 crore in each factory.

These large units have a combined dyeing capacity of 70 lakh pounds of fabrics and threads per day against a current requirement of 50 lakh pounds. The clothing chemicals market size, mainly caustic soda, salt and other colored chemicals, is $ 900 million.

There are many small dyeing units that are not members of the Dyed Yarn Exporters Association, said Salah Uddin Alamgir, chairman of the trade organization.

According to Syed Mohammad Ismail, country manager of Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd, an American multinational chemicals company, annual consumption of clothing chemicals is increasing by 30% as local dyers use more chemicals, adding more value to clothes. articles of clothing intended for export.

Archroma (Bangladesh) has a 12.5 percent market share.

He says chemicals prices are not responsible for the decline in investments in the dye segment.

Last year, the prices of chemicals increased by 30%, mainly due to a 400% increase in shipping costs and an increase in the prices of other raw materials caused by the shortage of supply and supply chain disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Despite many challenges, many spinning, weaving and dyeing units are increasing their capacity due to an influx of orders from retailers and global brands,” Ismail said.

Although no new dyeing factories were established in 2021, many large textile groups have increased their capacities for a big investment in the spinning and weaving sectors, he said.

Mahin previously said that a lot of dyed polyester, cotton and blended fabrics are imported from China, India and Pakistan. Today, local factories are able to dye all kinds of fabrics and yarns.

It costs at least Tk 1,200 crore to Tk 1,500 crore to set up a dyeing and weaving unit.

Bangladesh needs more investment in man-made fibers, as the demand for man-made fiber clothing is increasing worldwide due to climate change, fashion and designs, Alamgir said.

“Large industries have increased their capacity to meet growing demand. In the future, the dyeing industry could grow as investments move faster in spinning and weaving, ”said Monsoor Ahmed.

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