KResearch estimates that Thai textile product exports (exclusive of garments) will grow 5.0 percent to a value of at least USD4.2 billion in 2017, and will maintain growth within a range of 3.0-7.0 percent YoY in 2018. Our major products will consist of fabrics and synthetic fibers, given high demand in countries that are world's leading production bases, especially in the ‘CLMV+I'. Amid a changing competitive environment, Thai textile industry production upgrades will be crucial toward responding to future demand, and thus further toward export growth over the medium to long terms.
Functional/technical textiles are viewed by KResearch as products with good long-term growth potential. Although they still have only a minimal share of our total textile production, they will certainly receive more interest as technologies change and consumer behavior dictates. Manufacturing to support downstream industries that have greater added value than the textiles themselves will require smart products with new innovations, e.g., for automobiles, medical supplies, construction, protective products, agriculture, environmental use, packaging, sports, residential use, general industrial use, and geology, which will use innovative textiles more in their processes.
While Thailand is endowed with highly adaptable textile supply chains wherein technical textiles can be manufactured, our production still imports some upstream raw materials, and such production also requires specific expertise as well as high machinery investments to implement. In addition, downstream products using technical textiles as a production factor are quite diverse in their structures. Furthermore, the procurement of raw materials and up/midstream components needed for each industrial use, such as for automobiles, is rather complex, e.g., with differing production standards, cost levels, ‘rules of origin' as well as specific policies set by global parent companies.
To capitalize on new market opportunities, create greater value and earn higher profits, textile producers may need to consider upgrading their production toward technical textiles; likewise, technical textile producers should also consider exploring products to supply other markets. However, they should carefully study the challenges and conditions as discussed above.
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