The Indian government announced during the budget that it is revoking anti-dumping duty on the import of Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA), a key raw material required for the production of polyester staple fibre and filaments.
This announcement is with the intent to promote the growth of the man-made fibre (MMF) textile companies in India. Hence, by growing the man-made fibre base, India would be in a good position to cater to the growing domestic and overseas textile markets and remain globally competitive. India’s domestic PTA demand is estimated at 7 million tonnes per year and almost half of it is imported. The chemical is currently being imported from countries including China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Iran, and Malaysia.
PTA attracted anti-dumping duty from USD 27 to USD 160 per metric tonne depending upon the country of origin. In July 2019, the finance ministry had imposed anti-dumping duty of up to USD 78.28 per tonne on the chemical from South Korea and Thailand which acted as a strain on polyester production.
For the textile sector to grow from its current market size of USD 169 billion to USD 350 billion by 2025 and to USD 650 billion by 2030, fibre production in the country needs to double from the current level of 8 billion kg. This target has been drafted in the Textile Policy formulated by the Government.
This move, therefore, is a great boost for PTA users, MMF textiles and clothing segments as it would help the country to increase exports and enable domestic manufacturers to compete with cheaper imports thereby increasing global competitiveness due to reduced production cost.
Furthermore, the country has been importing technical textiles (a large user of MMF) to the tune of USD 16 billion per year and this announcement will help the industry to strengthen the upcoming Technical Textiles value chain in India.
However on the flip side, for PTA producers, the elimination of anti-dumping duty would cut the current margin of about USD 120 per tonne by 20%. Hence, this will put pressure on the realization of domestic PTA manufacturers such as Reliance and Indian Oil. Reliance is the biggest PTA manufacturer in the country with a domestic capacity of 4.4 million tonnes per annum and Indian Oil is also a major producer with a capacity of 550,000 tonnes per annum. This announcement could, therefore, lead to an acceleration of imports at a time when China is poised to supply large quantities of PTA with its substantial capacity additions.
All in all, this move could provide the much-needed boost to the industry that was running from hand-to-mouth for a really long time.