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Acrylic fibre demand seen rising

Our Bureau

"Threats and opportunities are largely equal for the acrylic fibre industry."

Mumbai , Sept. 11

DOMESTIC demand for acrylic fibre is expected to maintain a growth 6-7 per cent in the current year 2003-2004 due to new applications, including as a substitute for wool, industry analysts said.

The growth in demand from the year 1990-91 to 2001-02 was 6.71 per cent on the basis of a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR). Usage and consumption of acrylic fibre in 2002-03 has been estimated higher at 1,16,400 tonnes over 1,04,107 tonnes achieved in 2001-02.

"Demand growth of acrylic fibre is likely to be sustained in the middle and long term. In last few years, the use of acrylic yarn in blankets has grown rapidly," Mr S.P. Oswal, Chairman of Vardhman Spinning and General Mills Ltd, said. "Threats and opportunities are largely equal for the acrylic fibre industry," he said.

Acrylic Staple Fibre (ASF), a prime raw material for acrylic spinning industry, is used mainly for knitting and weaving for diverse range of products such as sweater, cardigans, jersey, muffler, lungies, blouse, carpets, rugs, bed-sheets and towels.

Acrylic fibre is used as a substitute for wool and other fibres like cotton, nylon and polyester due to its characteristics such as durability, bulking, superior dry-ability and easy wash-n-wear properties.

Uses of acrylic fibre in new applications have been increasing. Higher demand potential of application such as blankets, stuffed toys, upholstery, furnishings and woven garments was likely to lead to more demand, sources said.

The domestic industry is expected to expand as disposable incomes in the country increase especially of lower middle class and upper middle class both in urban and rural areas. An export of textiles from India has high potential but global warming phenomenon might reduce acrylic fibre demand world over, he said.

Reduction in custom duty on import of acrylic fibre may lead to increased competition for domestic manufacturers, he said.

On anti-dumping duties on acrylic fibre, Mr Oswal said that acrylic spinners and fibre producers were facing competition from import of acrylic yarn from Nepal; and dumping of acrylic fibre from other producing countries.

Acrylic fibre plants are mainly functioning in organised sector. Currently, there are only five plants operating in the country.

This includes Consolidated Fibres and Chemicals, Indian Acrylic, IPCL, Pasupati Acrylon and Vardhman Acrylics.

The sixth plant i.e. J K Synthetics, is not in operation for more than five years. Total capacity of operating plants is around 1.14 lakh tonnes per annum.

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