Home textiles make a comeback

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=169658

Ready Made Garments
Home textiles make a comeback
Refayet Ullah Mirdha

The export of home textiles is on the rebound with the western world making a recovery from the global financial recession.

Manufacturers are expecting hefty profits as orders from international buyers soared with the changed economic situation.

Recovery came with a bang when the sector earned $296.01 million in July-December, registering a 77.75 percent growth from the same time last year.

The home textile export target fixed for fiscal 2010-11 is $563.50 million. Earnings amounted to $402.49 million in the year before.

Industry insiders said even in July of the current fiscal year, the export of the item witnessed a decline of 10 percent for an economic dip in the western world.

But in recent months, home textile exports surged, industry insiders said.

Nurul Afsar, company secretary to Noman Group, one of the largest home textile makers in Bangladesh, said demand for home textiles in the West increased significantly with recovery from recession.

“We are receiving plenty of orders from international buyers. But, prices of the item are still low even after the prices of raw materials have gone up worldwide,” Afsar said.

Noman Group exports goods worth more than $15 million a month, but the profit margin is narrow nowadays, Afsar said.

IKEA of Sweden, Heritage of Canada, Jionmax of Germany, Asda of UK and Carrefour of France are the group’s major buyers, he said.

A senior official of IKEA said the export of home textiles increased mainly because of an increase in the value and volume of products.

“The price of home textiles increased by 30-40 percent over the last few months because of a hike in the prices of raw materials,” he said, requesting anonymity.

Moreover, international buyers are shifting to Bangladesh from China and Pakistan, the two major destinations for home textiles, because of the price hike over high production costs.

He said the devastating floods in Pakistan last year damaged the cotton crop as well as the industry. “As a result, buyers are shifting to Bangladesh to meet the growing demand for the item in the western world,” he added.

According to Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, more than 469.7 million metres of home textiles are now produced a year.

reefat@thedailystar.net

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