The country's spinning millers have stepped up for investing more on synthetic and blended yarns in response to the increasing use of such yarns globally.
Also, to decrease dependency on cotton yarns and stay competitive in the global market, leading spinners, such as Noman Group, Envoy Group, DBL Group, Maksons Group, Square Group and Shasha Denim are now setting up new facilities for manufacturing synthetic and blended yarns.
The country's spinning mills, as a backward linkage for the textile and export-oriented readymade garment sector, imported 1 lakh tonnes of polyester staple fibre in 2020, while it was only 10 lakh tonnes in 2015, according to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA).
The number of spinners has now reached about 50 from 10 over the last five years and are producing different types of synthetic and blended yarns for high-end garments, such as activewear, said BTMA officials.
Blended yarns include – cotton, polyester, nylon, wool and viscose etc.
The man-made fibre made apparels have occupied about 78% of the global clothing fashion market, where the remaining stake goes to cotton made clothing items, according to the International Textile Manufacturer Federation (ITMF).
However, Bangladesh's apparel exports constitute about 70% of cotton apparels and the rest are made of synthetic fibre, according to ITMF data.
Furthermore, the global synthetic fibres market size was valued at $59.95 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% from 2021 to 2028. The synthetic fibres market size will amount to $99.78 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research.
Engr Razeeb Haider Munna, director of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), told The Business Standard that many spinning millers are converting a part of their capacities to manufacture synthetic yarns and some are investing to set up new units for synthetic and blended yarns.
Those all initiatives depend on market demand, he said adding, "Millers taking such a decision in response to garment owners' quarries for synthetic and blended yarns."
He hoped that production capacity of such yarns will be higher within a year.
Noman Group, one of the leading spinning and textile giants in South Asia, has invested in setting up a 100% synthetic yarn unit, which is under trial production.
"Our new unit will be able to produce about 100 tonnes of synthetic yarns per day, which is scheduled for commercial operation by the end of this month," said Mohammad Enamul Karim, executive director (spinning) of Noman Group of Industries.
Enamul said they have also started construction of another spinning mills to produce blended and cotton yarns, whose production capacity will be 125 tonnes a day.
"Initially, we have a plan to produce about 25 tonnes of blended yarns at the new unit and we will enhance its capacity as per demand from buyers," he added.
The under-construction unit, involving an investment amounting to Tk500 crore, will come into production by October 2022. It will also create about 1,500 new jobs.
Currently, Noman Group's per day production capacity is about 450 tonnes of cotton and blended yarns, while the country's total spinning capacity is about 5,511 tonnes a day.
The BTMA said local spinners can meet about 80% of the demand for export-oriented knit yarn and 40% of that for woven yarn, while synthetic and mixed yarns are mostly imported from China.
Envoy Group is also investing Tk125 crore to set up a synthetic blended yarn production capacity. The new unit will produce 12 tonnes of yarn per day.
Kutubuddin Ahmed, chairman of the group, said, "We are enhancing spinning capacity to produce cotton and synthetic blended 'expanded yarn' as a substitute for imported yarn."
The demand for synthetic yarn is growing worldwide, he said, adding that its production cost is low and it is quite durable.
"On the other hand, raw cotton prices have been unstable for the last few years in the world market and that is why cotton yarn production cost is increasing," he explained.
"So, we could not maintain profit margins by using cotton yarn."
Like Envoy Group, Matin Spinning Mills, a sister concern of DBL Group, has also invested Tk186 crore to set up a special unit to produce synthetic yarn.
As per the Matin Spinning disclosure posted on the Dhaka Stock Exchange website, the special yarn unit will boost the company's daily production capacity by 10 tonnes and the estimated turnover will grow by Tk100 crore per year.
Like DBL Group, Maksons Group, one of the top 10 spinning mills in the country, has announced to invest around Tk1,000 crore in three new spinning units in the Mirsarai Economic Zone.
Metro Spinning Limited, a concern of the group, will invest Tk340 crore in a unit, while Maksons Spinning Mills will pour Tk254 crore and Tk348 crore into two other units, according to company insiders.
Square Textiles is to invest Tk30 crore, while Mozaffar Hossain Spinning Mills has already invested Tk250 crore to boost production.
Shasha Denim has signed a deal with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority to lease eight plots in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone area for future business expansion.