Coronavirus delays `250 cr yarn order from Surat

Surat: The coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan region is having an impact on the embroidery yarn business in Gujarat, with shipments to Surat worth around Rs250 crore pending on account of the blanket ban on the import of goods from India’s northern neighbour.

The shipment order was placed a month ago and payment for the yarn has already been made, according to merchants involved in the trade, and some fear they may not have any business in the next two months if the situation does not improve.

More than 1,000 businessmen in Gujarat depend on yarn imported from China; while most are based in Surat, around 300 are in Ahmedabad.

“We import grey yarn from China. For such yarn, there is a dedicated 10-tonne container. The yarn costs us Rs440-450 per kg. Due the shortage, and despite us paying Rs550 per kg, we are not getting yarn,” said Rakesh Solanki, an embroidery yarn businessmen.

“There are only three companies that manufacture this yarn in India. The Chinese yarn is of better quality and cheaper. Local companies charge more for better quality,” Solanki added.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused more than 1,000 deaths so far from over 42,500 cases globally, the majority of them in China. With test reports coming back negative, the three people suspected of being infected by the virus in Surat have all been cleared.