LAHORE  -  A meeting of textile mills that use polyester fiber as basic raw material was held in All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) on Friday to consider the market situation. Great dismay was shown over the unsustainable hike in prices of polyester staple fibre.

The participants of the meeting expressed concerns over a crisis like situation under which a sizeable exporting capacity has already closed down.

They further apprehended that an unprecedented increase in PSF prices would not only lead to further closing of the capacities of yarn manufacturers but is likely to adversely affect the entire textile export value chain.

They pointed out that Pakistan is already lagging behind the global market players in the area of man-made textile products. Pakistan has never been able to make inroads into synthetic market globally, they added.

They said fact of the matter is that basic textile raw materials cotton and PSF are both short for industry consumption because of the protection and incidentals on the import of PSF (20 percent) and cotton (11 percent). Textile exporters are being forced to cross subsidise PTA and PSF plants in Pakistan whereas exporters are given rebates and draw backs in other countries

Recently the domestic polyester manufacturers have increased prices by over 20 percent, which has played havoc with the situation. Many of t1he exporters being non-viable due to the prevailing circumstances have decided to close down their operations for upto 10 days from next week.

The meeting was also of the view that one of the main causes of the non viability of domestic polyester fiber chain is the protection extended to the obsolete PTA plant over the last 25 years.

The import duties on its raw materials are zero yet the finished product PTA is being given protection of 6 percent despite making huge profits which is a big reason for the predicament and non viability in the export market of Pakistani produced manmade textiles.

The yarn producers have urged the government to reduce import duties on the import of PSF from existing 7 percent to 2 percent as polyester prices have almost doubled in the last year.