Textile Shuttleless Weaving Sector

Economic Review, August 1999 | Go to article overview

Textile Shuttleless Weaving Sector


The Shuttleless Weaving Sector comprises of about 16,000 modem looms with a production capacity of about 1,700 million square meters of grey fabric and a value potential of about $1.2 billion. This includes about 61 Mills in the organized sector comprising of 5,381 Looms.

The exports of Cotton Fabrics has increased in the recent years and is now almost at par with the exports of Cotton Yam from Pakistan.

Major Consumer of Pakistani Yarn

With the emergence of the Shuttleless Weaving Sector, the domestic consumption of Yarn has increased substantially.

The evolution of this major market for high quality Pakistani Yarn should be given due importance, as this is an essential step towards Value addition in the country. A major portion of the Spinning Industry Loss was absorbed by the Shuttleless sector in times of depressed demand for Yarn exports.

The shuttleless weaving sector emerged in the early 80's with the induction of numerous state of the art Weaving projects in the first 10years from 1983 to 1995. This was a major departure from the absolute technology using conventional shuttle and power looms, which were producing inferior quality fabrics. Suddenly Pakistan started producing and exporting very high quality grey fabric. Some of the positive factors at the time were:

Easy availability of Capital Financing Area and Industry specific government incentives Availability of Cheap Raw Material Yarn (Export duty on yarn) Adequate Duty Drawback rates Export refinance facility available at 3%. Healthy market demand

The situation started to deteriorate in 1991, mostly due to the recession in the World market, with reduced demand and declining prices. Moreover, the basic parameters upon which the industries were based were changed drastically. The problem became even more severe after 1993, as the sector at large was not able to cope with the rising prices of Cotton and Cotton Yam. Under the exploitation of free market policy, the Industry at times was purchasing the raw material at more than international level prices. The Shuttleless weaving sector remained in deep financial crisis from 1991 to 1995. A part of the industry could not sustain the damage and while some units closed down, others started operating on conversion basis, but were unable to service their loan commitments.

The situation improved somewhat from mid-1996 due to the following:

Devaluation in 1995 Enhancement of Duty Drawback rates in October 1995. Improvements in US and European market in 1996-97.

However, the short lived viability period seems to have expired with a sudden drop in demand and a rapid decline in prices. The effects of the past devaluations have fizzled out keeping in view the present exchange rates prevailing in the competing countries, and our inflation trend. …

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