Published at: The Daily Star, March 12, 2019
Market size of textile chemicals: $864m
Use of local fabrics rising 25pc year-on-year
Bangladesh has about 450 spinning mills
There are 1,200 weaving mills, 5,000 export-oriented dyeing units
Riding on rising garment export, Bangladesh’s textile chemicals market is forecast to grow to $1.38 billion by 2024 from $864 million last year registering an 8 percent compounded annual growth rate.
The Research and Markets, a global market research company based in Ireland, unveiled the info in a recent report titled “Bangladesh textile chemicals market by product type, by cluster, by application, competition, forecast & opportunities, 2013-2024”.
The company has 450 of the Fortune 500 companies in the list of its clients and the market insights and analysis it presents comes from 1,700 research teams based across 81 countries.
Bangladesh, the second largest apparel exporter, is witnessing high growth in the sector, according to the report.
Moreover, export duty exemptions, favourable policies and availability of labour at lower wages are attracting foreign investors towards Bangladesh’s textile sector, which in turn is catalysing the demand for textile chemicals, the report reads.
Textile colorants dominate the markets for textile chemicals owing to their properties of imparting aesthetic appearance and value to the finished textile products.
Dhaka is the largest demand-generating region for textile chemicals in Bangladesh, backed by the presence of a large number of textile mills.
“Yes, it is true that textile chemical import has been increasing at a faster rate due to use of local fabrics by the garment exporters,” said Syed Mohammad Ismail, country head of Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd, a Switzerland-based chemical company. “If the garment export increases nearly 14 percent in a year, the purchase of local fabrics increases nearly 30 percent,” he said.
The more the garment manufacturers purchase the local fabrics, the more chemicals are sold for washing and dyeing purposes, Ismail told The Daily Star.
Another important reason for the growth in chemical consumption is the rise of the denim industry in Bangladesh, he said, adding that denim fabrics require more chemicals for washing and dyeing compared to that needed by other fabrics.
Effluent treatment plants (ETPs) in the textile sector also require hundreds of tonnes of a wide variety of chemicals all the year round, industry insiders said.
It is now mandatory to set up ETPs in textile units for the protection of the ecosystem and maintain environmental balance.
It is estimated that textile chemical sales in local markets has been increasing by nearly 25 percent year-on-year as export of apparel items has been increasing and also for textile millers who sell garment items in local markets, he said.
Some of the major players operating in Bangladesh’s textile chemical market are: Huntsman (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Archroma (Bangladesh) Ltd, Dystar (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Pulcra Chemicals Bangladesh Pvt Ltd, Matex Bangladesh Ltd, A3 Color Chem Ltd, Rudolf Bangladesh Ltd, Rossari Biotech Ltd, Auxichem International Ltd and RH Corporation.
Local textile millers use a lot of hydrogen peroxide as a bleaching agent to whiten the fabrics, said Mohammad Badrul Huda, president of the Textile Dyeing and Printing Industries Association.
Balayet Hossain, chairman of the standing committee on chemicals and industries at the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, cited another thriving sector fuelling the rising consumption of chemicals in Bangladesh: cottage industries.
These include industries that are making perfumes, dyeing a variety of substances for printing purposes and using colours in textile and fabrics, he said.
The import of textile dyes has been growing at a faster rate in the country as the dyeing process needs several kinds of chemicals, said Hossain, also a former general secretary of the Bangladesh Chemicals and Perfumery Merchants Association.
According to sources in Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the country has around 450 spinning mills, 1,200 weaving mills and around 5,000 export-oriented dyeing factories.
There are several thousand small dyeing factories as well catering for local markets.
Sources in the Department of Environment, however, claimed that they have issued ETP installation permission to 1,376 textile factories.