One of the most important contributors to the trade balance between France and India remains the export of textiles and clothing from India. Is today a sector to be privileged?
India has the great advantage of being and producer and consumer of textile which gives it comfort and a clear hold on this sector, which is a strong source of employment and exports but also a political base compared to its neighbor Bangladesh And, to another extent, Pakistan.
With 26 million cotton bales, or more than 4.4 million tons in the 2010-11 season, India alone accounts for 22% of world cotton production. India’s cumulation of production with that of the other three major sectors – the United States, Pakistan and China – accounts for 70% of world production. Spread over the entire agricultural territory of the country, several “cotton granaries” are distinguished by an ancestral culture. The center (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh) alone accounts for 62% of cotton production, while Punjab, known for its fertile land and grain production, and its neighboring states (Haryana and Rajasthan) %. The Deccan Plateau and southern India (mainly Andra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, all of which attract most of the spinning, weaving and sewing factories) provides only 26% of Indian cotton.
Ideal conditions for a fabric factory
The climate environment of India remains conducive to cotton cultivation: sunshine and recurrent monsoons are two essential contributors to an annual quality harvest cycle. Moreover, the positioning of the country, close to the equator, offers a higher quality by the provision of a long fiber raw material: this cotton makes it possible to obtain solid yarns, which break less during the operations of Spinning and knitting and therefore do not slow productivity. These patterns, however, remain subject to weathering weather conditions that can disrupt production plans and thus rapidly fluctuate the purchase price of cotton. The increase in demand since 2009, as well as certain exogenous factors – including meteorology – have an increasingly direct impact on the price of cotton, whose developments have nothing to do with a long and quiet river since January 2010.
Relatively stabilized in the first half of 2010 at a level of 70-75 rupees per kilo (around 1.15 euro), prices rose from August 2010 to levels unknown until then. World supply was insufficient, stocks were too weak, so it became difficult to respond to a sudden increase in the demand for clothing by so-called developed countries, especially for export markets, which also generated financial speculation opportunistic. In March 2011, the price of cotton reached a peak of 160 rupees per kilo.
Conscious of the importance of this production, India which sees in its cotton a true “white gold”, actively supports it by a dedicated policy.
textile-clothing sector in India
At the beginning of 2010, the strong tensions in the raw material market made the Indian government react: it wants to give priority to domestic consumption of this “white gold” in relation to exports.
In fact, faced with a speculation going well, the Chinese in particular have been ready to do anything to have enough cotton to satisfy the sudden influx of orders in their textile-clothing factories. Statistics for April 2010, for example, reflected a 120% increase in Chinese cotton imports from the previous year. Wanting to protect its textile-clothing sector, which is a major source of employment, the Indian government has taken steps to keep a sufficient number of “cotton balls” to run its factories. In the first half of 2010, it therefore decided to ban all exports of Indian cotton, thus creating unusual diplomatic tensions. The only exception to this ban on exports was an “Onion against Cotton” temporary deal with Pakistan, which had suffered catastrophic floods and was also a major producer of onions. This “friendly gesture” towards its neighbor also allowed India to relieve some of the strong pressure of prices on basic necessities and to resolve part of the “onion crisis” at the end of 2010, knowing that This precious vegetable remains the main ingredient of the food of the Indian subcontinent.
Indian textile industry difficulties and problems
The development of the textile industry, however, encounters some new difficulties, without inflation on the raw material. The application of the law for the protection of nature and the prohibition of disposing of wastewater, which has not been treated in the near future, has affected this industry in particular. The dye units were forced to acquire a water treatment system, requiring large and immediate investments. The strong pressure exerted by the local government and the confrontation with the trade unions of this industry have literally blocked the flow of production for several months. At the end of 2010, two-thirds of the dyeing units in the Coimbatore region had to cease all activities, creating greater pressure on tariffs. Result: queues in front of the dye units, a delayed production, an opportunistic and speculative behavior brutally increasing the prices of the manufactured products.
To these difficulties should be added the effects of the “100-day law”, which guarantees a 100-day job, paid by the government at 100 rupees a day, to any adult belonging to the most vulnerable populations. For example, in rural areas, which are traditionally strong suppliers of labor for the textile industry, there is a fairly natural shift of workers in these “100 days” rather than in the textile industry. The resulting shortages of local labor force led manufacturers to increase wages to attract workers to production units. This increase is added to the general inflation of prices, but also to the increase in production costs, the oil allowing to turn the generator in palliative to the numerous cuts of electricity.
While India is less competitive than Bangladesh, which enjoys a cheaper labor force, it is able to advance its pawns on the world stage. Like the Chinese, it favors its domestic demand, which drives global buyers to new sources of supply. But it benefits from an exceptional situation by having a global coverage of the entire production and logistics chain, from the cultivation of cotton, through spinning, dyeing, sewing, finishing, packaging And inspection, up to shipping by sea. Bangladesh does not have these raw material resources (cotton, polyester, viscose, etc.) and is totally dependent on textile producers, with China and India in the lead.
The most important region for fabric and textile manufacturing in india
Tamil Nadu stronghold of textile
The mills are mostly located in the South, and Erode (Tamil-Nadu) is the stronghold of the “warp and weft”, the sewing factories are also mainly located in the South (Tamil-Nadu at the head) and some megacities of the country: Delhi, Ludhiana, Mumbai. Thus, a little like a “Gaulish village” in the middle of nowhere, Coimbatore, a small town in Tamil Nadu, contains more than 4,000 sewing factories. From this small town set in the middle of nowhere are tons of T-shirts from the big dyed, printed and locally stitched brands that are shipped from the port of Tuticorin, another small village in the south of Tamil Nadu, to Europe and the United States. The northern half of the country concentrates on the development of clothing in warp and weft and jersey and textile products in linen (Panipat). While we may sometimes regret a lack of consistency in the quality of our products, we must recognize that the strengths of the Indian textile industry remain the quality of its materials, its prints and especially its handmade embroideries, so exceptional.
While the Bangladeshi “brother” benefits from its very cheap labor to run large factories and manufacture large quantities of very basic commodities, India focuses on smaller quantities and products Added value (embroideries, special prints and washings, organic cotton or Fair Trade). This is the peculiarity of India and what buyers are looking for, ready to bear nearly 10% customs duty (with GSP Form A), against a 0% duty on the neighboring Bangladeshi.
Literally, the term means married woman, in Hindi. The system, introduced ten years ago in Tamil Nadu, consists of providing textile workers to unmarried girls in poor rural areas for three years. The girls are housed at the factory. The employer promises to pay them between 30,000 and 50,000 rupees (500 to 800 euros) when they leave to pay their dowry.
In this state of southern India live more than 60 million Indians. The cities of Coimbatore and Tirupur concentrate an important textile industry, mainly destined for export to Europe and the United States.
Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, the city of Tirupur is nicknamed “The city of knitwear”. This small town in southern India specializing in the textile industry has become a symbol of the country’s economic competitiveness.
Approximately half a million people work for this thriving industry, whose turnover exceeds one and a half billion dollars.
But according to a local NGO, this success at an ecological cost because the chemicals used in the dyers are dumped in the river of the city.
Textile factories and human rights in india
The Indian textile group employs 10,000 people in its five factories and realized, in 2009, 28 million euros in profits for a turnover of 139.
The textile industry accounts for 4% of India’s GDP, 14% of its industrial production and 17% of its export earnings. It is the country’s second largest employer after agriculture. It provides employment to more than 35 million Indians, including a significant number of women and low castes. The sector is constantly growing.
It allows a group to have an external firm check the respect by its subcontractors of its code of conduct relating to working conditions. Many organizations consider them to be ineffective in combating human rights violations.