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High clothing prices may affect consumer sentiment – Expert

02
Dec '10
The ever increasing price of key raw materials like raw cotton and polyester fiber is forcing manufacturers to hike prices of their final products. This in turn is leading to apparel retailers too to hike their consumer prices, which has led experts to believe that, Malaysian consumers will have to fork out more for new clothes this Christmas and New Year.

Prices of raw cotton for instance have steeply risen by 40-50 percent in the last few months, and according to Mr Andrew Hong, CEO of Malaysian Textile Manufacturers Associa¬tion (MTMA), who spoke to fibre2fashion, “The prices would grow up but to what level and what degree of impact, cannot be determined at this moment”.

He was also of the opinion that, once new polyester fibre capacities are activated, raw cotton prices will eventually stabilize by the middle of next year. Polyester fibre is considered as a viable alternative or blended with cotton, to reduce high costs.

However, Mr Chia Kee Kwei, ED, Cheetah Holdings Bhd was worried about the impact on consumer sentiments, when he said, “Of course due to high rise in prices, customer may not accept the increased prices and may refrain from buying many clothes, thus further affecting our business”.

Speaking about the current state of the Malaysian textile sector, Mr Hong said, “Its going to be fine, since the increase in fibre prices is not only going to affect Malaysia alone, but everybody else also, as we are in tandem with global markets”.

He was however, upset by the shortage of labour which could create an impact on the sector in Malaysia.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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