Coronavirus impact: Tirupur struggles as cost of synthetic dyes increase 5 to 15 per cent

TIRUPUR: Doyens of textile sector foresee a not-so-colourful future as the price of synthetic dyes has increased by 5 to 15 per cent within a few weeks after import of raw materials from China was stopped due to Coronavirus outbreak. If this situation continues, traders and industrialists fear that they will go out of business by April 2020.

Although chemical industries in Gujarat and Maharashtra meet nearly 80 per cent of Tirupur’s demand for synthetic dyes and chemicals, it is China that supplies them with the raw materials. However, pigment production in these states has taken a hit as shipping from Chinese ports slowed down in the past four weeks, says former president of Tirupur Dye Chemicals Merchants Association K Nakesh.

‘Natural dyes, not an option’

“On an average, over 470 units in Tirupur require 500 tonnes of synthetic dyes every month. Now, its unavailability has forced traders to look for alternatives — natural dyes. However, it is not possible to procure them in such huge quantities, considering their limited sources. Besides, when a unit uses synthetic dyes on fabric, it is not practically feasible to make a switch to, or experiment with, natural dyes,” Nakesh explains.

‘No scarcity of dyes yet’

Explaining the extent to which the viral outbreak has had an impact on Tirupur’s textile business, dye trader Raju Iyer says, “In the past one month, local availability of dyes and pigments has decreased by 20 per cent. Though there is no scarcity for dyes as such, its price has risen by 5 to 15 per cent from February 15. In this scenario, there will be a huge scarcity for raw materials in April 2020.”

Hike in garment price

A hike in the price of pigments is sure to increase the fabric’s rate as well, says Secretary of Dyers Association, Tirupur, S Murugsasamy. “There will be a 15-20 per cent increase in the cloth’s price. However, the difference in the rates will reflect on the garment orders, both domestic and export, only in the next financial year. By the end of March, traders will have a fair idea of what is coming their way,” he adds.