According to recent reports, more garment makers in Bangladesh are moving toward value-added apparel production, resulting in a rise in the import of manmade fibers (MMF) like viscose staple fiber (VSF) and polyester staple fiber (PSF). Data from the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) showed that between January and April this year, the country imported 30,653 tonnes of PSF worth approximately Taka 330 crore. In contrast, in 2021, around 1.34 lakh tonnes of PSF worth Taka 1,280 crore were imported, while in 2022, local spinners imported 1.10 lakh tonnes of PSF costing approximately Taka 1,243 crore.
The rise in MMF imports was driven by increased non-cotton apparel production by garment makers in Bangladesh looking to secure better bargaining positions and increase their market share in the global market for this segment. During the first four months of 2023, garment makers in Bangladesh imported 48,431 tonnes of VSF worth Taka 931 crore, up from 73,230 tonnes in 2021, while last year, 92,898 tonnes of VSF worth approximately Taka 1,734 crore were imported.
These reports highlight a significant trend in the textile industry, with more and more garment makers in Bangladesh moving toward value-added apparel to stay competitive in the global market. The rise in non-cotton apparel production is driving up demand for MMF imports like VSF and PSF. Bangladesh-based textile companies are increasingly relying on MMF to stand out in the global market, whether producing non-cotton garments or value-added cotton apparel. For example, VSF gives a smooth and soft texture to the fabric, making it ideal for comfortable clothing, while PSF is a durable and inexpensive alternative to natural fibers like cotton.
The growth in MMF imports may have an impact on the local textile industry, including cotton production. However, it also presents a tremendous opportunity for textile companies, especially those in Bangladesh, to diversify their product range and expand their exports. By adopting a more significant focus on value-added apparel using MMF, Bangladesh may be able to capture a larger share of the global textile market.