Buhler Quality Yarns is a leading supplier of fine-count yarns based in the United States of America. In an exclusive interview Marty Moran, CEO of Buhler Quality Yarns Corp tells Fibre2Fashion.com about the local yarn manufacturing industry, its strengths and weaknesses and the company's expansion plans.
What is the size of the global market for fine-count yarns? How much of this does Buhler Yarns claims for itself?
Buhler Quality Yarns is a regional supplier, mainly to the western hemisphere. In our region, the definition of fine-count yarn is different from that in the rest of the world. Due to our market, we consider fine-count yarns to be Ne 40/1 and finer. We have a significant amount of this business in the western hemisphere.
What is the size of the yarn manufacturing industry in the US? Of that, how much space is taken by fine-count yarn?
Fine-count yarns are a very small part of the yarn manufacturing industry in the United States of America. There are many open-end and ring spinning plants producing millions of pounds of heavy-count yarns per year, and this is growing with the new investments going in over the past few years with new facilities and modernisation of established mills.
Now that the United States of America is back to promoting manufacturing in the country, how do you expect business to change?
I believe the US has always promoted manufacturing in the country. I think what we have seen recently is a desire in the apparel industry to source a little more from this region. This is driven by rising wages in the eastern hemisphere and competitive electrical rates in the US. Now, it makes economic sense to source more from the US and the western hemisphere. I expect we will see opportunities for mills like ours to gain more predictable programmes and long-term business that will improve our ability to forecast and plan for investments.
What was the impact when manufacturing gradually moved out of the US?
As manufacturing moved out, it had dramatic effects on small towns that relied heavily on manufacturing. Such jobs are typically higher paying with better benefits than service jobs. They also provide support jobs, so when a manufacturing job is lost, many other jobs go with it. As manufacturing in the country declined, many towns were devastated.
Who are your rivals within and outside the US?
We have a few competitors in the US and in the western hemisphere, but our main competition is garments from Asia that are imported into the United States of America. This is where we see ourselves competing. We must be part of the supply chain in the western hemisphere so that we are able to compete for programmes Asia is also vying for.
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