Brazil could become a major player on the international textile marke. Already taking advantage of a fully-integrated cotton industry, Brazil is also investing in a huge polyester project to develop its man-made fiber textile and apparel industries. The country also has very large textile groups that are ready to make further progress on the global denim market. Taking into account its size (1.5 million workers) and supply chain potential, the presence of Brazil ‘s textile and clothing industry on the international market is not very impressive. In 2005, total production of the sector amounted to $26 billion, of which $2,2 billion were exported.
However, the country is ready for a bigger international role. Until now, Brazil -a self-sufficient cotton fiber producer- was internationally pretty competitive in cotton products, but not in synthetic articles. Thanks to the Suape investment, Brazil will be able producing polyester fibers and yarns at Asian prices, argues Mr Dieter Albrecht, president of both Polyenka and Abrafas, the Brazilian Association of Man-Made Fibre Producers.
Brazil ‘s international competitiveness in synthetic textile products will be strongly enhanced. And eventually one million new jobs will be created across the whole Brazilian textile chain, according to Mr Albrecht. There are a few world players among the roughly 30,000 Brazilian textile and clothing companies. Especially two of them deserve full attention: Coteminas and Vicunha. By the end of 2005, Coteminas combined its home textile business in a joint venture with Springs Industries, USA , to form ‘Springs Global’, the largest vertically integrated textile home furnishings company in the world.
Brazil produces on average 1 million tons of cotton yarn per year, mostly from local cotton fibere. Brazilian cotton industry leaders feel confident they are internationally competitive. A 2003 ITMF cost comparison with China and other countries, indicated that, except for textured yarn and fabrics, Brazil can produce cotton yarns and fabrics at a lower cost than China .