Open end spinning mills in Tamil Nadu have added at least 250 new machines over the past one year, says G. Arulmozhi, president of the Open end Spinning Mills’ Association.
Production capacity has increased by almost 5 lakh kg of yarn a day, as new machines have been added, thus taking total production in Tamil Nadu to 35 lakh kg per day to be used in the making of lungis, leggings, Bermuda shorts, bedsheets, etc.
The mills planned these investments more than a year ago, when demand was high and the market was good. They either went in for new machinery to expand capacity or modernised their units. Almost all the new machinery has been imported from China. While the conventional machinery produced 2.5 kg of yarn per rotor, the new machinery produces 4 kg per rotor. Due to labour shortage however, the capacity use is only 60% to 70% at present, and will increase when migrant workers return to work, he says.
Comber noil, the raw material for the open end spinning mills, comes from the regular textile mills. But since these units have been hit by slow demand, the open end spinning mills are shelling out more for raw materials. Comber noil that was sold for ₹80 to ₹100 per kg last April is now being sold at ₹130 a kg, he adds.
The cost of raw materials, power, and labour have all increased multi-fold over the past 12 months and the mills are not getting similar hikes in the prices for yarn. “The cost of power and labour have pushed production costs up by ₹5 per kg a and the raw material prices are at least ₹20 per kg higher. Bu, the price of yarn has gone up only by ₹10 to ₹15 per kg, he says.