The ongoing marriage season and the upcoming Pongal festivities have buoyed the prospects of the Surat-based man-made fabric (MMF) hub in the wake of fresh orders from the domestic market.
Most of the textile units situated at Surat had shut their activities for almost a fortnight after Diwali in absence of new orders. Generally, these units remain closed for three to five days after Diwali, but this year the units forced daily wage workers to proceed on unpaid extended Diwali vacation.
“Textile industry in Surat started operations from November 7. After a week’s period, business activities are resuming. Due to fresh orders, traders are able to offload inventories. Though demand is not as per our expectations, the market seems to be on a revival path. Apart from marriage season related purchases, inquiries are being generated from Southern India in the wake of Pongal festivities,” says Dev Kisan Mangani, advisor, textile committee, South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI).
According to Mangani, compared to last year demand is almost 30 to 35% less but Surat-based textile units are hoping the market would stabilise by February next year. Nearly 300-plus textile markets situated in Surat observed an increase in footfalls as well as fresh inquiries over the last one week, he added.
Ashok Jirawala, president of the Federation of Gujarat Weavers Association (FOGWA) says that against the installed capacity of 450 million metre per day fabric production capacity of Surat textile industry currently, textile units in and around the South Gujarat city are producing nearly 300 million metres on daily basis over the past one week. “During October this year, hardly 200 to 250 million metres of grey fabric was manufactured in Surat. We are hopeful that by early 2023, Surat textile cluster will start functioning at optimum capacity,” says Jirawala.
Says Jitu Vakharia, president of South Gujarat Textile Processors Association (SGTPA), “There is a slight improvement as far as textile processing segment is concerned. Earlier processing houses were functioning at below 50% capacity whereas now they are operating at nearly 60% capacity,” he added.
Thousands of spinning, weaving, processing and embroidery units situated in and around Surat have annual collective turnover of Rs 80,000 crore and these units provide direct employment to more than 1.5 million people.