News Part II
In order to get you posted what happened during the holidays, TextileFuture presents you a news round-up in three parts, and grouped according to topics. The second one entails Cotton and other fibres, Education, Energy Market, EU, Exhibitions, Financing, Governments
COTTON and OTHER FIBRES
2016 West Africa Cotton and Products Update
MY 2016/17 seed cotton production from the selected West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, and Senegal) could reach 1.9 million tons (3.6 million bales) representing 19 % increase compared to previous years
Burkina Faso did not plant Bt cotton in MY2016/17 campaign due to unresolved issue between Monsanto and cotton stakeholders regarding the short fibre length that reduced fibre quality. Consequently, Burkina Faso cotton fibre prices decreased at international market and so did farmer’s revenue. Nevertheless, Burkina Faso forecast a 20 percent increase compared to the previous year with 700,000 tons of seed cotton followed by Mali (629000 tons), Cote d’Ivoire (360000 tons), Chad (171000 tons), and Senegal (20,000 tons). Cote d’Ivoire farm gate price is the highest in the region (265 F CFA – USD 0.44 per kg).
The selected West African Countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Chad, and Senegal) forecast MY2016/17 seed cotton production at 1.9 million tons (3.6 million bales), representing 19 % increase compared to previous years.
Even though Burkina Faso decided not to plant Bt cotton in MY 2016/17, seed cotton production may increase 20 percent (700,000 tons) while remaining the top cotton producer in West Africa.
Mali will increase 23 % seed cotton production (629000 tons) for MY 2016/17, followed by Cote d’Ivoire (16 %) and Chad (14 %). Senegal production may remain the same relative to previous years.
Cote d‘Ivoire farm gate price is fixed at 265 F CFA (USD 0.44) per kg and remains the highest in the region. With that, the Government of Cote d’Ivoire hopes to motivate farmers to grow more cotton and increase production after an unsuccessful campaign in 2015-2016.
Burkina Faso produced 581000 tons of seed cotton in MY 201516, same number as USDA official data.
Burkina Faso estimates MY 2016/17 seed cotton production at 700000 tons, 7 % less than its initial target. All the planted cotton for MY 2016/17 is conventional. No Bt cotton has been planted due to the non-resolved problem between Monsanto and cotton stakeholders regarding lower quality of the Bt cotton fibre due to its short length, which reduced the value of the fibre in the international market and farmer’s revenue.
Cotton companies and producers are requesting financial compensation from the U.S. firms.
MY 2016/17 input and farm gate cotton prices remain the same relative to previous year’s 235 F CFA (USD 0.39) (See table 2).
Mali produced 513000 tons of seed cotton in MY 2015/16. The Government of Mali (GOM) subsidized the cotton sector for fertilizer and cotton farm gate price for 19 billion CFA ($31.7 million). The Malian cotton company (CMDT) gain a benefit of 14 billion CFA (USD 23.4 million) during the MY2015/16 and gave a total amount of 5 billion CFA (USD 8.4 million) to the cotton producers to feed their assistance fund, provide a bonus of 5 CFA per kg (0.8 cents per kg) of seed cotton to the cotton producers, and ensure the operating budget of the cotton farmers cooperative. The assistance fund is fed by the benefit from cotton fibre sales. If there is no profit in a given year, the CMDT can use the fund to sustain their activities and guaranty the minimum farmer’s seed cotton price.
For MY 2016/17, Mali estimates seed cotton production at 645000 tons, same number as USDA official data but Post believes that the production may not exceed 620000 tons, 4 % decrease. Post estimation is based on an abrupt discontinuation of the rainy season in a few localities that could impact the quantity of seed cotton harvested.
Area harvested is estimated at 629700 hectares and yield at 0.985 tons per hectare.
MY2016/17 seed cotton farm gate price was fixed at 250 F CFA (USD 0.42) per kg, a 5 % increase compared to previous year.
Cote d’Ivoire produced 310000 tons of seed cotton during MY 2015/16 with a yield of 0.956 tons per hectare.
For MY2016/17, Cote d’Ivoire forecasts seed cotton production at 360000 tons, a 16 % increase compared to the previous year and 10 percent decrease compared to the country initial target, despite the increase of the farm gate cotton price for MY 2016/17 (265 F CFA – USD 0.44 per kg) which is the highest in the region. The primary objective of this increase (6 percent compared to previous years) is to motivate farmers to grow more cotton because of the difficult cropping season last year with only 310000 tons.
Area harvested is estimated at 344000 hectares.
Input prices for MY 2016/17 are set at 14000 F CFA (USD 23.3) for 50 kg bag of Fertilizer and 13400 F CFA (USD22.30) for 50 kg bag of urea
MY2015/16 seed cotton production reached 20,300 tons and the yield for MY 2015/16 was 0.683 tons per hectare.
Senegal continues to estimate the MY2016/17seed production at 25000 tons despite that the rainy season started late and rainfalls were not regular. However, Post assesses MY 2016/17 seed cotton production at 20000 tons.
MY 2016/17 input (fertilizer and Urea) prices remain the same relative to the previous year and farm-gate cotton price have not been fixed yet.
Chad seed cotton production for MY 2015/16 is estimated at 150000 tons.
Chad forecasts MY2016/17 seed cotton production at 171000 tons, a 5 % decrease compared to its initial target and 12 % increase compared to USDA official forecast.
Area harvested for MY 2016/17 is estimated at 315,000 hectares, a 5 % increase compared to the previous years.
Yield for MY 2016/17 is estimated at 0.543 tons per hectare. Inputs and cotton farm gate prices have not been fixed yet.
From October 22 to November 5, 2016, Post accompanied a group of 9 participants from Senegal (2), Cote d’Ivoire (3), Mali (2), and Chad (9) to participate to the 2016 FAS Cochran program on Cotton Production and Classification. The program was implemented by the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture in Texas A&M and funded through USDA by Senator Thad Cochran. The program focused on the cotton value chain from seed to textile. First, participants visited a cotton seed germplasm collection bank to learn more about the mechanism of creating good quality of seed variety using breeding and biotechnology research techniques to enhance yield, fibre quality, resistance and tolerance to stress and disease.
The group visited several research institutes working on improving methods of production, harvesting (stripper, picker), ginning, textile manufacturing, use of natural fibres, equipment maintenance, as well as a cotton ball compress. The group also toured warehouses and storage shipping facilities.
Participants also travelled to Louisiana to visit cotton research facilities supporting US cotton industry application and innovation in cotton fibre to increase its value. In Memphis, participants visited the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) cotton and Tobacco facilities where 99.7 % of US cotton grading and random sampling of certified samples are done. The laboratory produces about 60000 samples per day accepted by The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), a governments’ association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries which acts as the international commodity body for cotton and cotton textiles. The AMS is also in charge of cotton marketing. The visit ended in Raleigh, North Carolina where participants visited a spinning mill and several cotton research laboratories focusing on spinning, product development, dyeing and finishing
It was a very comprehensive training program for the participants, who were cotton classification specialist in their respective countries. They learned the necessary steps for producing a good quality cotton fibre from seed, ginning, spinning, and textile as well as latest innovation for harvesting, humidifying, ginning, and classifying cotton.
For MY 2016/17, input prices are maintained at 11,000 F CFA (SUD 18.33) for a bag of 50 kg.
In Bangladesh 24 jute mills will be modernised
In a move that is expected to generate annual net profits of USD 119 million and 24000 new jobs, the government of Bangladesh has decided to modernise 24 public sector jute mills with Chinese funding. For several years, state-owned jute mills have been loss-making units and in the last fiscal year their losses amounted to Tk 588 crore.
The production capacity of these mills is 275500 tons but the actual annual production is 108656 tons. This yields Tk 1041 crore in revenue. About 82000 people are employed in the mills and the government has to give subsidy every year to keep the mills running.
Subsequently, the government has decided to take up a project worth Tk 2,800 crores for balancing, modernising, rehabilitating and expanding the mills. China will put in about Tk 2,240 crore in this investment. CTEXIC, the China Textile Engineering Corporation has already conducted a feasibility study on jute mills. Due to a lag in technology, low efficiency, obsolete equipment, single product focus, lack of competitiveness and confused management, Bangladesh is losing its position in the global jute industry, said the Chinese company’s feasibility study.
‘Skills 21’ Set to Drive Bangladesh Skills Sector Development to Next Level
A new European Union (EU) skills development programme implemented by the International Labor Organization (ILO) will build on the achievements of earlier EU/ILO initiatives and continue to modernize the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system in Bangladesh.
At a ceremony held in Dhaka, a Joint Declaration on the launch the ‘Skills 21 – Empowering citizens for inclusive and sustainable growth’ project was signed by representatives of the Government of Bangladesh, EU and ILO. The total budget for the initiative is EUR20 million of which the EU will contribute EUR19.5 million.
Secretary of Education, Mr. Md. Sohorab Hossain signed on behalf of the Government while Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon and Director-General Guy Ryder inked the agreement for the EU and ILO respectively. Honourable Minister of Education, Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid, MP, witnessed the event.
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Bangladesh, the Honourable Minister of Education said, “This initiative will support the Government’s commitments to inclusive economic growth and full and productive employment for all. A skilled and productive workforce will make a major contribution to our goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021. The launch of the Skills 21 project will provide further assistance to our national efforts to create an effective, demand driven skills system that will meet the needs and aspirations of our people, especially the two million who enter the workforce every year.”
EU Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon said, “To ensure the sustainability of its economic growth, Bangladesh is in need of a skilled labour force. After the completion of the EU funded TVET reform project, which helped Bangladesh define a National Skills Development policy, the EU will continue its support with the new Skills 21 programme to further develop and complete the establishment of a comprehensive and coherent TVET system and its institutional setup, for long term effectiveness. This EU funded intervention will also aim at creating the conditions for a sector wide approach for the TVET policy area in Bangladesh. In doing so, we will also be instrumental in creating more skilled trainers and more diversified job opportunities for young Bangladeshis”.
ILO Director General Guy Ryder said, “A modern and inclusive skills system will provide a solid base for the future development of Bangladesh. The Skills 21 initiative will build on past achievements and ultimately provide greater access to quality vocational training for men and women alike.”
The earlier EU-funded TVET Reform Project which ended in December 2015 successfully established the foundation for the new, demand-driven, competency-based system for skills development in Bangladesh including reforms in the formal TVET system – a reform initiative that has been widely acknowledged and rated as highly successful by the professional community in the region as well as at global level. Set to run from January 2017 to December 2020, Skills 21 will strengthen the National Skills Development System by continuing earlier reforms and by developing a National Qualifications Framework. It will work with the Government to improve the governance aspects within the skills development sector, and directly with TVET institutions to introduce the entire reform package of new quality assured programmes, trained instructors and management as well as services for career guidance and job placement. The project also aims to support partnerships between private sector and relevant training providers to develop and implement effective professional education and training programmes.
Given the importance of labour migration in the Bangladesh economy, Skills 21 will also include actions for the integration of migration issues in the Skills Development System. The programme will support the returning migrants as well as those aspiring to migrate so they are able to secure better paid work.
The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry Of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs, National Skills Development Council Secretariat, Directorate of Technical Education, Bangladesh Technical Education Board and Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training.
With Skills 21, Bangladesh will benefit its demographic dividend not just in quantity but also in quality.
Skills 21 – Empowering citizens for inclusive and sustainable growth
– Implementing Ministry: Ministry of Education
Government of Bangladesh
– Ministry of Labour and Employment
– Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment
– Ministry of Youth and Sports
– Ministry of Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs
– National Skills Development Council Secretariat
– Directorate of Technical Education
– Bangladesh Technical Education Board
– Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training
– Bangladesh Employers’ Federation
– National Coordination Council for Workers’ Education
Development Partner: European Union
Duration: January 2017 – December 2021
Some two million people enter the Bangladesh workforce each year, however the capacity to provide skills training is limited. There is therefore a pressing need to help the country provide equitable and quality technical education capable of skilling and up skilling large numbers of people to meet market demands.
This requires qualified teachers and assessors, up-to-date institutional facilities and a market driven competency-based inclusive skills system. These steps are crucial for enhancing labour productivity as well as facilitating industrialization, trade and inclusive economic growth.
The EU-funded ILO-implemented Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project successfully implemented the reforms in the formal TVET system and set the foundation for the nascent National Skills Development System (NSDS) in Bangladesh. However, to successfully address the needs of the country’s growing workforce, the system needs strengthening, promotion, adoption/adaption, and replication by stakeholders.
The Project will take forward the achievements of the ongoing projects and address the next priority areas, in particular:
Continuous strengthening and improving the quality of the TVET/skills development system, including development of a National Qualification Framework (NQF) that would ensure harmonization of qualification pathways across primary, secondary, technical and higher education
Establishing a more conducive legislative, regulatory and institutional environment through improved governance and management of the TVET/skills development system including, inter-alia, developing the mechanisms and elements for a Sector Wide Approach (SWAP) in the TVET/skills development sector
Improving access to and equity within the TVET/skills development system including through expanding the number of model TVET institutions for inclusive, environmentally conscious, quality and labour market-responsive skills development.
The project also aims to support collaboration between companies and relevant training providers to develop and implement demand-driven education and training programmes.
Given the importance of labour migration in the Bangladesh economy, Skills 21 will provide inputs for creation of adequate opportunities to integrate a migration focus in the skills development system and assist in implementation of the policy for skilling returning migrants to support their reintegration as well as those aspiring to migrate so they are able to secure better paid work.
In addition, the project will help pave the way for the transition to a greener, more sustainable economy by providing skills for emerging occupations in green industries and mainstreaming environmental sustainability into the overall national skills development system.
Indonesia is desperately needing some 30000 missing young engineers
Like many college students, Abdul Hamid is not thinking too much about life after graduation.
After all, Mr. Hamid, 20, is only in his sophomore year at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, outside Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. He spends his days at the university’s Faculty of Islamic Theology, where he majors in comparative religious studies, and his evenings hanging out with friends and listening to music.
Pressed about his post-college plans, Mr. Hamid shrugged and smiled. “Inshallah, teaching,” he said, using the Arabic word for “God willing.” “Most students in my field go on to teach young people at Islamic boarding schools.”
But while that may be an honourable vocation in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, more religion teachers are not what Indonesia needs, say education experts, economists and business leaders here.
They say the country has a shortage of skilled workers — in fields ranging from medical services to agriculture — and will need tens of millions more in the coming decades. It particularly needs more engineers, a problem that could thwart President Joko Widodo’s ambitious plans to upgrade Indonesia’s outdated infrastructure.
“There’s a whole range of professionals where there are problems,” said Christopher Manning, a retired economics professor at Australian National University in Canberra, who has researched Indonesia’s economy for decades. “If you talk to any multinational corporations, there are questions about managers. There are questions about engineers.”
Yet of Indonesia’s six million university and postgraduate students, as many as 20 % are majoring in Islamic studies, according to the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. And those graduates often don’t find work in their chosen field.
Indonesia’s economy, which a widely publicized 2012 analysis predicted would overtake Germany’s and Britain’s by 2030, has been growing at a disappointing rate of around 5 percent in recent years, slowed mostly by declines in the price of coal and other commodities. And its work force lags behind those of high-powered Asian nations like China, India and South Korea on global competitiveness and productivity indexes.
“The problem is quality skills and productivity,” said Eko Prasetyo, president director of the Education Fund Management Institution, an arm of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance that has awarded more than 15000 postgraduate scholarships since 2013.
“We have to produce more engineers. We have to produce more researchers,” he said. “We can’t just be an economy led by natural resources.”
After President Joko took office in 2014, his administration declared a dozen priority fields of study for state-funded scholarships, including information technology, nursing and tourism. But Mr. Joko, a socially conservative Muslim, included religious studies among those fields, even though it was already a popular choice for students.
Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist for IHS Economics, which is based in London, said that producing more skilled workers, including engineers and technicians, should be “one of the key strategic priorities for the Indonesian government over the next decade.”
“Indonesia is estimated to have an annual shortage of around 30000 engineering graduates per year, and this is a key hurdle to infrastructure development and the growth of the manufacturing industry,” he said. “The Indonesian government needs to give a high priority to developing educational infrastructure to address these skill shortages, including universities for science and engineering as well as technical institutes.”
The country is estimated to have 57 million skilled workers now, and would need 113 million by 2030 based on current growth rates, Mr. Biswas said.
The challenge is a daunting one. Fewer than 10 percent of Indonesia’s 250 million people have a university-level education, according to a 2015 national labour force survey conducted by the Indonesian Central Statistics Bureau. Most Indonesians who do have university degrees work as teachers, according to data from the Asian Development Bank. Just 8 percent are engineers.
Analysts say this imbalance of professional talent is hampering Mr. Joko’s government as he attempts, with great fanfare, to carry out hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of nationwide infrastructure projects, ranging from sea and airports to highways and new power plants.
One of his ambitious goals is to create an additional 35000 megawatts of electricity supply through new coal-fired plants by 2019, a big stretch that is now in its second year. But there is apprehension among business leaders about whether the government can pull it off.
“When they enter the construction phase, they will face this shortage of engineers. The question becomes: Where do those engineers come from?” said Heru Dewanto, president director of Cirebon Power, which operates six power plants in West Java Province and is building a seventh.
More than half of the engineering graduates produced by Indonesia go on to careers in other fields, like banking, said Mr. Heru, who is vice president of the Institution of Engineers Indonesia. “Why? Because those jobs provide better incomes,” he said.
The same is true of graduates in many areas, including Islamic studies. Ainun Na’im, secretary general of the higher education ministry, said nearly half of Islamic studies graduates ended up in occupations unrelated to religion, like communications and public relations. And Indonesian graduates in a variety of fields take unrelated jobs not because they pay more, but because they cannot find work in their chosen profession.
“This occurs when, for example, a university graduate qualifies to be an accountant but can’t find a job in that area, so rather than be unemployed they become a taxi driver,” said Emma R. Allen, a country economist for the Asian Development Bank in Jakarta.
Such “high levels of mismatch are typically associated with weak labour productivity growth and slow transition to higher-value activities throughout the economy,” Ms. Allen said.
The problems with the country’s educational system go deep. Just 43 % of Indonesians have graduated from primary school, according to the government’s statistics bureau. A June study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that looked at 34 countries found that Indonesians working in Jakarta scored last in literacy, numeracy and problem solving.
The situation is improving. For instance, the number of Indonesians who finished primary school jumped to 57 % in 2015 from 40 % in 2002, according to government figures. And the proportion of college-age Indonesians attending universities has risen to 25 % from 20 % in the past decade. But analysts say much more is needed.
“In terms of quantity, that’s a lot of achievement,” said Sutarum Wiryono, an education senior project officer at the Asian Development Bank. “But in terms of quality, it is not.”
INDA expands its services to enhance Member College recruiting efforts
INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, announced today that it is responding to the needs of its members to help up-and-coming professionals positively view the dynamic, professional career opportunities in the nonwovens and engineered fabrics industry
The INDA Board of Directors recently voted to increase the association’s 21 full-time member staff by adding the new role of Assistant Director of Career Services. This position will enhance INDA members’ existing college recruiting efforts, and share an industry overview and a general perspective on the business skills that INDA members are looking for in young professionals.
“Working in tandem with our member companies recruiting efforts, this new hire will position the industry, its products, and the markets that are important to its members as rewarding career choices for college seniors,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President.
“The growing, technology-driven engineered materials business offers the kind of career opportunities young professionals want globally. INDA is uniquely positioned to tell this story to facilitate member recruiting efforts.”
INDA’s network of member services includes organization of conferences and expositions, training courses, global outreach to advance partnerships with like-minded associations and organizations, issue advocacy, product stewardship, market statistics, award recognitions and thought leadership
According to INDA’s third annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report, North American nonwovens capacity has increased an average of 5.4 % per year from 1990 to 2015. This increase is outpacing U.S. real GDP, which grew at 2.4 % per year over the same period. During this time the industry has more than quadrupled in size.
Crude market may move into deficit by June on output cuts – IEA
Global oil markets might move into a deficit of 600,000 bbl/day by June 2017, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday, following OPEC’s recent agreement to cut output and also a second one reached with 11 non-OPEC countries to reduce production
However, figures from the Paris-based agency showed crude output from the 13 countries within OPEC had reached record highs in November at 34.2m bbl/day, even higher than records posted already in October, the month on which the output cuts are based.
OPEC members reached an agreement on 30 November to cut output by 1.2m/bbl, compared to October levels, while on 10 December a further 11 countries outside OPEC, including Russia, agreed to cut 558000 bbl/day in output, aiming to increase crude oil prices.
OPEC countries expect to cap their production at 32.7m bbl/day for the duration of the agreement, six months which could be extended another six. Both agreements will be effective from 1 January.
Crude oil prices have been steadily rising during the last month, with futures of crude’s international referential Brent for delivery in February trading at USD 55.88/bbl by 10:15 GMT on December 13, 2016, and the US referential West Texas Intermediate (WTI) trading at USD 52.91/bbl.
A month ago, prices stood at USD 44.60/bbl for Brent’s futures, and at USD 43.20/bbl for WTI.
Moreover, the IEA raised its global demand growth forecast for 2016 and 2017, as healthier-than-expected demand in the US, China and Russia would have taken demand growth for this year to 1.4m bbl/day, and this is expected to grow in 2017 by 1.3m bbl/day, an increase of 120000 bbl/day compared to the previous Oil Market Report published in November 2016.
“We are seeing the first proposed output cut by OPEC since 2008 – and the first deal including non-OPEC producers since 2001 – which marks a major departure from the market share policy followed for the past two years,” said the IEA.
“OPEC’s cut to crude production of 1.2m bbl/day almost matches its deliberate production increase of 1.3m bbl/day in the 12 months to October (the mont