While on one hand the recent recent incidents of fire at and collapse of factory buildings in the garment exporters' hub of Bangladesh might have led to international brands expressing doubts of continuing business, the Surat-based synthetic textile industry is hopeful of increased business.
According to Devkishan Manghani, president of Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA), about 7-8 per cent of 30 million metres per day of synthetic fabric from Surat, especially polyester is shipped to West Bengal from where 60-70 per cent used to be exported to Bangladesh for garment conversion.
"The share used to go as high as 15 per cent on festive days such as Durga Puja and Eid. However, we were facing tough competition from China and Taiwan, among other countries. However, now with international orders slowing down in Bangladesh, even the Indian orders are staying with the country, thereby easing the competition pressure. In the coming days we hope to garner better returns from fabric sales to garmenters within the country," said Manghani, adding that enquiries from Indian garmenters have increased since few days.
However, industry experts believe there is still some time before the actual result could be tangibly seen.
"There is some shift in orders but it is still miniscule. Fabrics of only polyester and denim from India go to Bangladesh for conversion. Even there, the Surat-based industry is up against giants like China, Taiwan, Vietnam and other countries. Hence, it is yet to be seen how much shift will be there," said Sanjay Jain, president of Kolkata Association of Garment.
Apart from dispatching synthetic fabrics to garment manufacturing regions, the Surat-based industry also offers finished goods like sarees and dress materials.
However, till recently the demand for such fabrics by garment manufacturers was slow for the Surat industry.
Meanwhile, according to Manghani, with orders for Durga Puja and Ramadan set to come up in near future, orders could rise from Indian garment converters soon.