EghtesadOnline: Half the capacity of Iran's 9,000 textile and clothing manufacturers remains untapped due to credit crunch, poor sales and sanctions, a board member of Iran Textile Specialists Association said.
Noting that five raw materials are used as input in textile industry, namely cotton, polyester, viscose, acrylic fiber and polypropylene, Alireza Haeri added that annual domestic demand for cotton is 150,000 tons, of which only 30% are produced inside the country, IRNA reported.
The country’s total polyester requirement is produced domestically, but its prices have tripled since last year.
Demand for viscose stands between 30,000 and 40,000 tons annually, which is mainly sourced from India, Indonesia and Finland, according to Financial Tribune.
Haeri noted that acrylic, the fiber used in floorings, machine-made carpets and wool products, is imported in its entirety whereas polypropylene is fully supplied from domestic sources.
“Under normal circumstances, Iran’s textile industry needs $2 billion annually to import fiber, machinery and equipment,” he said, adding that $2.5 billion worth of textile products are smuggled into the country annually.
According to Director General of the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade's Textile and Clothing Industries Department Afsaneh Mehrabi, 260,000 tons of textile products and shoes worth $955 million were exported from Iran in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (March 21, 2018-Jan. 20) to register an 18.7% and 6.5% increase in tonnage and value respectively compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Imports stood at 339,000 tons valued at $947 million during the same period to register a 38.4% and 36% decline in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year.
Accordingly, Iran registered a trade surplus of $8 million in the textile industry.