Monday, 2 October, 2023

Primary textile sector faces $4bn loss for gas shortage

The country's primary textile factories suffered an estimated $4 billion loss over the past 15 months, primarily due to an acute gas shortage that severely impacted their operations.   

The crisis was further exacerbated by soaring cotton prices, placing the sector in a difficult situation, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) revealed on Tuesday.

"The gas price has shot up by 617 percent over the last 14 years, with an 86 percent increase witnessed in the past year alone," said BTMA President Mohammad Ali Khokon at a press conference in the city.

"In this volatile scenario, predicting growth is a tall order. We are in survival mode."

Industrialists said production costs have escalated due to nearly 10 to 12 hours of daily power outages. The brunt is being felt in urban areas like Dhanmondi and Gulshan, with worsening conditions in rural areas.

"With machinery frequently experiencing power shortage issues, the government needs to turn its attention towards primary textile industries," Khokon urged.

The BTMA leader further highlighted the struggles businesses face due to a dollar crunch in banks and rising raw material costs. "Banks have invested around Tk 1.2 trillion in various textile mills, which now face risks as mills struggle to sell their products," he said.

Khokon called for local apparel factories to source their backward linkage products domestically to improve the situation.

He emphasized that the 1700 textile mills in the country supplied 7 billion meters of fabric to the local apparel industry in FY 2021-22, saving them approximately $8 billion.