Diwali festivities have brought lots of cheers in Gujarat’s textile sector as most of the wholesale markets in the state witnessed heavy buying from across the country. Due to nationwide lockdown earlier this year, textile markets in Ahmedabad and Surat remained completely closed for almost three months. As a result of it, textile traders in Gujarat were facing acute shortage of liquidity amid piles of unsold stock. They witnessed almost zero demand till August end, but from September the market started improving gradually. Despite the fact, traders struggled a lot as their money was stuck and couldn’t recover money for their selling in January and February.
“During Diwali festivities came as blessings. Most of the traders emptied their stocks following heavy demands. Many traders could recover stuck payments ahead of Diwali. Items like rayon fabric are being sold in cash, which is an encouraging sign for the textile sector in Gujarat,” says Gaurag Bhagat, president of Ahmedabad based New Cloth Market. Bhagat who is also an executive committee member of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) says that everyone across the textile value chain is getting work including spinners, weavers, textile processing units and readymade garment makers in wake of healthy demand from across the country.
Almost 90% of the over 300 wholesale textile markets in Surat have started fully functioning from Monday onwards, says Dev Kishan Mangani, chairman, the textile committee of South Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) adding, “Generally textile markets in Surat observe prolong Diwali vacation of at least a fortnight. This year, people have hardly 3-4 days of holiday. Everyone in the sector wants to capitalise on overall demand to recover losses incurred due to coronavirus led lockdown.”
After Diwali, buying is likely to continue in the wake of marriage season as well as Pongal and Christmas festivities, opines Mangani. He, however, says that everything depends upon Covid-19 situation in Gujarat as well as other parts of the country.
Due to increasing cases of coronavirus, the Gujarat government has decided to impose night curfew in all the four major cities including Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. Representatives of textile traders had a meeting with Surat police commissioner Ajay Tomar on finding a solution to continue textile markets amid increasing Covid-19 cases in the city. According to Mangani, office bearers of various textile associations in the city have given assurance to strict implementation of government guidelines on Covid-19.
Gujarat is considered as the textile hub of India. The state is producing nearly 30% of cotton and 56% Denim of the country’s total production. Besides, the state is having a lion’s share of 38% in the manufacturing of manmade filament fabric and 30% in woven fabric. Gujarat has also emerged as a leader in technical textile with a 25% share in the total production of India.