Home textile millers going big
Refayet Ullah Mirdha
Home textile mill owners are going through a massive expansion due to a surging demand from international buyers, industry insiders said.
The demand for home textiles from Bangladesh has increased mainly for production shortfall in two major home textile producers — China and Pakistan.
The exports of such home textiles as bed sheets, bed covers, pillow covers, cushions, curtains, rugs, quilt, kitchen aprons, gloves, napkins and table cloths surged during the July-March period of the current fiscal year.
The state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data shows that during this period the country exported home textiles worth $554.59 million, registering a phenomenal growth at 97.67 percent compared to the same period last year.
Buyers are also shifting their orders from China and Pakistan to Bangladesh for higher cost of production in those countries, said Shaikh Hasan Zaman, a director of Saad Musa, a leading home textile manufacturing group based in Chittagong.
“We are going for an expansion of the production capacity because the demand has increased from the buyers’ end recently,” he said.
The group will produce additional 50,000 metre fabrics per day from its newly built factory at Anwara in Chittagong. The company expects the formal production in the new unit will start within next six months, he said. At present, the group produces 50,000 metre fabrics per day.
“That means we are doubling our production capacity, because the demand of the item increased at a higher rate,” he said.
He said the group is not only expanding the home textile production, but also strengthening all its backward linkages, he added.
Zaman said, after the launch of the newly built units, the group will only import raw cotton as all the backward linkage products will be made in its own factory.
It will need more than Tk 500 crore in investment to set up the new home textile factory, he said.
At present, the group supplies home textiles worth $3 million per month mainly to retail chains such as Conforma and Leclerc.
Noman Group, another leading home textile company, is waiting for gas connections for its six units in Gazipur as the factories have already been constructed. The total investment in the six units is Tk 1,500 crore. “The total production of fabrics will reach 10 lakh metres per day once the new units open,” said Nurul Afsar, the group’s company secretary.
Now their total production is five lakh metres per day, he added.
The company exports home textiles worth $16 million per month and it will reach $30 million if the production in the new units starts.
Following a gas crisis, the government stopped connections to the industrial units since 2009. As a result, many industrial units could not go into operation although the entrepreneurs have already constructed the factories, industry insiders said.
Masood Dawood Akbani, managing director of ACS Textile, another leading British home textile factory in Narayanganj, said he has already expanded the production capacity to serve the increased demand from the buyers.
He said the exports of home textiles increased in terms of value because the buyers are now paying higher because of the price hike of raw materials such as raw cotton and yarn.
“The buyers have to pay more now to adjust with the increased prices of raw materials of the textile products worldwide.”
“In some cases, the buyers are already paying 50 percent more for home textiles,” he said. He produces 2.7 million metres of different types of home textile fabrics in a month.
He said he has diversified the products as he is going to produce terry towel in the $15 million expanded unit from July.