“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 J?rg 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 . “With a current denim capacity of around 12 million meters per month (144 million meters per year), Vicunha is probably the world’s largest denim manufacturer, Vicunha has been present on the European market for over 25 years .Today, with annual European sales exceeding 12 million meters, Vicunha accounts for about 2/3 of the Brazilian denim and flat cotton fabric exports to Europe .In addition to Coteminas and Vicunha, there are a few other remarkable players .Marisol, the sector leader in the Brazilian children’s wear market, has a “Strategic Plan 2005-2010” that aims to multiply current sales (around $174 million in 2005) by 2.5 .In 2010, sales should attain 1 billion Real or $435 million, if today’s exchange rate is applied .Marisol has presently an annual production capacity of 25 million pieces of clothing and 3.2 million pieces of children’s shoes .Guararapes Confecçoes, which is indicated below as Brazil’s biggest clothing manufacturer, last year ranked as the most profitable enterprise among all companies listed at the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange .Guararapes is a big producer (190,000 pieces a day) of shirts, jeans, polos, bermudas, etc…, sold at low prices in more than 15,000 multi-brand stores across Brazil .Brazil’s textile chain “Brazil produces on average 1 million tons of cotton yarn per year, mostly from local cotton fiber .Export quantities of cotton fiber vary wildly from 30,000 to more than 300,000 tons a year. Also import quantities of cotton fiber vary strongly from year to year .In 2002, they amounted to 68,000 tons. After having attained 120,000 tons in 2003, they decreased to 106,000 tons in 2004 .On the level of cotton yarns, Brazil is a small exporter (on average less than 30,000 tons per year) and a very small importer (on average less than 3,000 tons per year) .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 .Source: Tehran Times .