BeaverLake6 Report
BeaverLake6 Report

Archived Industry News

January 1 - March 31, 2019

November US Specialty and Industrial Fabrics Exports Released. It's back to work for the trade analysts at the US Department of Commerce who had been furloughed by the government shutdown. The November 2018 report on US exports for the Specialty and Industrial Fabrics group has been released. Overall, export increases continue at a just-under 5% pace over the previous 12-month comparison. We should the seeing the December 2018 numbers released shortly as the department catches up on its workload. Click here to see the entire November report. 

 

 

Year Ending

11/2017

Year Ending

11/2018

 

% Change

Mexico

2,071,679

2,212,354

+6.79

Canada

588,786

592,060

+0.56

China

206,549

220,412

+6.71

Hong Kong

119,799 125,981

+5.16

United Kingdom

102,403

105,295 +2.92
World 4,199,826 4,408,852 +4.98

(Data in thousand dollars)

Posted February 6, 2019

New Deputy Assistant for Textiles at US Department of Commerce. Changes in top leadership at the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) continues with the announcement via LinkedIn that Lloyd "Woody" Wood, the organization's Director of Public Affairs for the last 3 years, has been named the new Deputy Assistant For Textiles, Consumer Goods and Materials at the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. Mr. Wood's appointment follows the earlier announcement today that NCTO President/CEO Auggie Tantillo will be retiring later this year. Mr. Wood is also president of Lloyd Wood Group, a Washington-based government relations consultancy, and has represented other textile-related organizations with the US government including the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute and Narrow Fabrics Institute, divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Posted February 4, 2019

New Zealand Police Force Being Provided New Body Armor.  Police Commissioner Michael Bush announced last week that all police officers in New Zealand would be provided new stab and ballistic vests over the next 3 1/2 years. A US$13.8 million contract has been awarded to Northern Ireland manufacturer Cooleen Protection for stab and ballistic resistant armor. Cooleen is a major global provider of law enforcement body armor. Last year it was awarded a US$62.52 million contract to provide its products to the French Ministry of Interior French for the National Police, Gendarmerie, Prison Service, and Customs officers. Click here to read more about the New Zealand contract. Posted February 4, 2019

INVISTA Completes Sale of Apparel & Advanced Textiles Business. INVISTA has completed the previously announced sale of its Apparel & Advanced Textiles business to an affiliate of Shandong Ruyi Investment Holding. INVISTA retains ownership of its nylon, polyester, polyols and licensing businesses and related brands. This includes the nylon 6,6 intermediates business, its global nylon polymer and fiber portfolio, and CORDURA® fabric. INVISTA will also retain its intellectual property rights for 1,4 butanediol (BDO), tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG) technologies and will continue to license these and other technologies on a global basis. Click here to read the company press release. Posted February 1, 2019

US Marine Corps Awards Ballistic Vest Plate Carriers. Central Lake Armor Express Inc., Central Lake, Mich., USA has been awarded $10,432,525 for firm-fixed-price delivery order under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production of 1,322,654 Plate Carrier Generation III soft armor inserts and data reports. Work will be performed in Central Lake and is expected to be complete by October 24, 2023. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $10,432,525 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year. The base contract was competitively procured as a total small business set aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 13 offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., USA is the contracting activity. Posted January 31, 2019

US Marine Corps Awards Ballistic Vest Plate Carrier Contract.  Vertical Protective Apparel LLC, Shrewsbury, N.J., USA has been awarded $14,539,807 for an order under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the production and integration of 56,710 Plate Carrier Generation III complete systems and 61,729 components and spares.  Work is to be performed in Guanica, Puerto Rico, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 29, 2021. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance (Marine Corps) funds in the amount of $14,539,807 will be obligated at the time of award and funds will expire the end of the current fiscal year.  The base contract was competitively procured as a Total Small Business Set Aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with four offers received. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., USA is the contracting activity. Posted January 31, 2019

Inside Job: A Shakedown of Small Shop Owners with Awning Sign Code Violations. After months of hundreds of small business owners in New York City being terrorized by an avalanche of complaints regarding illegal awnings, it appears the perpetrator of the anonymous calls reporting signage code violations may have been an employee at the city's Department of Buildings (DOB), acting in collusion with one or more of the 20-30 licensed awning/signage hangers. The DOB received more than 1,900 complaints of illegal signage in 2018 compared to 251 in 2017. The small business owners were told the fines could be up to $6,000 for this rarely enforced code violation. According to some shop owners, a man allegedly wearing a DOB jacket and showing a DOB ID card would visit their business and inform the owner of the violation and potential fine. The DOB employee would then give out the name of a sign business who could make the shop's sign legal. The mayor and city council have now issued an agreement called the Awning Act which basically forgives shop owners who have been slapped with the huge fines. Click here for an article on the issue. Posted January 25, 2019   

Recommendations for US Department of Defense Procurement Policies Include Relaxing Berry Amendment Compliance.  Mandated by the US Congress in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016, the Section 809 Panel has released Volume 3 of its Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations. The report adds 58 recommendations to the 40 found in Volume 1 and Volume 2 which were issued earlier. While there is no requirement the Defense Department to adopt any of the recommendations, all the recommendations from an earlier interim report were enacted. Among the recomendations in this final report is that purchasing preference requirements for commercial products should be more flexible. Lawmakers should adopt a public interest exception and procedures for the Berry Amendment identical to the ones that exist for the Buy American Act. Click here to read an article posted on the National Defense website. Posted January 23, 2019

International Textile Group Becomes Elevate Textiles.  International Textile Group, the parent of technical textiles manufacturer Safety Components, has rebranded as Elevate Textiles. Elevate is also the parent of American & Efird, Burlington, Gütermann and Cone Denim. Elevate Textiles was born out of the integration of American & Efird and ITG last year under Platinum Equity, which acquired ITG in 2016 and A&E in 2018. Elevate will be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., USA, but will keep offices in Greensboro, N.C. and Mount Holly, N.C. as divisional headquarters for Cone Denim and A&E, respectively. The company serves 25,000 customers in more than 100 countries and has 37 facilities and over 15,000 employees. Click here to read the Elevate company press release. Posted January 23, 2019

Testing Unusually-Shaped Parachutes. There is a neat short posting on the European Space Agency's website that talks about the testing of different shape parachutes. The testing is being done to determine the most suitable method of slowing down payloads as they land on Mars. One novel design developed by Vorticity UK played on a previous one known as the disc-gap-band type— a traditional cone shape but with a gap at the base leaving a ring of material. The novel design used multiple rings of fabric in the hope it would make any descent slower while keeping the payload stable. Click here to read more. Posted January 23, 2019

USTR Furloughs Most of Its Staff. So, what about all these trade agreements being undertaken by the US government? In the wake of the US government's partial shutdown, about 70% of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative staff have been furloughed until the funding crisis is resolved. According to the USTR office, those personnel who remain will "ensure USTR continues to conduct operations, including trade negotiations and enforcement."  One of the issues is the current trade dispute with China. According to a news brief issued by the international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., "The US has said that if China does not make sufficient progress on resolving longstanding trade irritants by March 2, it will increase the Section 301 additional tarrif on $200 billion worth of goods from China from 10% to 25%." Click here to read more. Posted January 21, 2019

China's Economic Slowdown Affecting Textile Production. The Wall Street Journal  has published an article today on the affect of the downtown in the Chinese economy for labor-intensive industries, specifically the auto-parts and textiles industries. According to the article, China's growth weakened to 6.6% in 2018, its slowest annual growth rate in nearly 3 decades. The cause is a number of factors including rising labor rates and healthcare, a slump in new car sales, and the trade war with the US.  Click here to read the WSJ article. Posted January 21, 2019

Indian Government Announces List of Products Classified as Technical Textiles. On January 15, 2019, the Indian Commerce and Ministry's Directorate General of Foreign Trade announced 207 items under the Harmonized Systems of Preference (HSP) will now be classified as technical textiles. Click here to find the complete list of the HSN-classified technical textiles items. Posted January 21, 2019

Philippine National Police Acquire Ballistic Vests. The website SunStar Manila reports the Philippine National Police (PNP) has acquired $13.3 million worth of equipment to boost its operational capability. The purchase includes 11,245 "bullet proof" vests and 4,169 waistcoat vest level IIA ballistic protection. Click here to read the article. Posted January 16, 2019

Acrylic Fabric Maker Adds Distributor to US Network.  Recasens USA, a manufacturer of acrylic fabric for sun protection, textile architecture, screens, decoration, and marine, use has announced Innovative Industrial Solutions (IIS) as its newest US-based distributor for all the company's products. Recasens is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. ISS is based in Boynton Beach, Fla., USA. Click here to read the Recasens USA press release on the distribution network expansion. Posted January 16, 2019

US Marine Corps Getting a New Parachute System. The website Marine Corps Times has a really interesting article on why the US Marine Corps moved forward with a new multi-mission parachute system (MMPS). In the Corps' making its original request within the Defense Budget, Congress asked for more explanation on why a new MMPS was needed. The Secretary of the Navy then provided a report on the desired new MMPS capabilities as well as safety issues with the old system. Marine Corps Times, under the US Freedom of Information Act, obtained a copy of the report with the concerns of the old system and desired capabilities of the new MMPS. Subsequently, the Corps did go forward and awarded a contract in January 2018 to Airborne Systems North America for the new parachute system. The purchase was for more than 1,000 parachutes with delivery by 2021. Click here to read the article. Posted January 11, 2019

New Material and Process for Ballistic Protection Products?  Echelon Materials, Stamford, Conn., USA, has developed a proprietary weaving process that produces TiTek – a lightweight, bullet-resistant fabric that reportedly shreds bullets into shrapnel. According to the company “TiTek is the first and only fabric to enable lightweight Level IV+ multi-hit, high-powered rifle protection. TiTek is a patented fabric that weaves tiny, sharp-edged titanium discs into the plane of the fabric using the very kevlar threads that comprise the fabric. These discs present their sharp edges to the incoming round and cut it to shreds as it passes. Once shredded by the TiTek fabric, debris from bullets are easily captured by the armor package’s backing layers that employ existing materials, such as aramids or polyethylenes. Compared to traditional armor that “stops” the bullet by applying extremely high counter-force, TiTek armor uses the bullet’s own energy to cut it apart, destroying it and making it easier to stop.” Click here to go to an interesting article posted on the website Body Armor NewsPosted January 10, 2019

$27 Million Military Foul Weather Jacket Contract Awarded to US Federal Prison Industries. Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C, USA, has been awarded a maximum $27,189,820 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for extreme cold/wet weather jackets. This is an 18-month base contract, with one one-year option period. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, with a July 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Penn., USA. Posted January 10, 2019

Indian Army Confirms Order Contract for Ballistic Vests.  On January 8, 2019, the India Ministry of Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre announced the Indian army was expecting delivering soon of more than 186,000 "bulletproof" jackets from an unnamed Indian manufacturer. Dr. Bhamre said the jackets will be certified to the standards based on US National Institute of Justice Level III. Quality ballistic vests has been an embarrassing issue for India after last year's fiasco in which the Indian state of Maharashtra revealed 1430 out of 4600 ballistic vests it purchased for its state police had failed in certification testing. Click here to read an article on the website army-technology.comPosted January 9, 2019

Huge Backpacks are Selling Out. Who would want a backpack so large you could fit a person in it? Apparently, a lot of people. Made by CWF in Japan, the "Backpacker's Closet" is selling out.  Priced at $234, the bags weigh 3.5 pounds. The CWF website explains the backpacks are perfect for camping. They have extra padded straps if you're strong enough to carry it fully packed with gear. Don't see yourself carrying this monster pack very far? Many are buying the backpacks for use around the home as an extra closet or storing pillows. So, those of you readers who are end-product fabricators with a few extra yards of fabric, you might just want to make a few and test the market in your area. Absurd ideas can fool you sometimes. Click here to read a short article on the backpacks. Posted January 7, 2019

Carbon Fiber Maker Fined $7.8 Million. The US Department of Treasury has issued a $7.8 million fine to carbon fiber maker Zoltek Corp. for its purchase starting in 2012 of acrylonitrile, a key chemical ingredient of carbon fiber, from OJSC Polymir, a subsidiary of Belneftekhim, a Belarusian state-owned oil and gas company.  Belneftekhim was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Zoltek had voluntarily disclosed the trade sanctions violation. Zoltek is now a subsidiary of Toray Industries Inc., and headquartered in Bridgeton, Mo., USA. Click here to learn more. Posted January 4, 2019

Solar-Powered Tent for Homeless Invented by High School Young Women. If you are looking for an inspiring story about our industry, check out the article "How 12 Teens Invented a Solar-Powered Tent for the Homeless." It's on the website called mashable.com and describes how a group of young women at San Fernando High School near Los Angeles, Calif., USA developed a solar-powered tent for homeless people that folds into a backpack. The story tells how the team had to learn to sew, 3D-print, and computer code, as well as other aspects of running a business. For their efforts, they received a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program and invited to receive their award at MIT in Cambridge, Mass., USA. Our thanks to Joe Fields at Outdoor Venture Corporation for letting us know about these remarkable young women. Click here to read the article. Posted January 2, 2019 

Hospitals to Provide Medical Personnel with Body Armor in Australia. A sad sign of the times is the new market for ballistic and stab-resistant vests coming with the decision by the Australian Health Department to provide West Australian doctors and nurses with body armor. The decision comes as the medical staff faces increasingly more violent patients and visitors situations. The health department has ordered 250 custom body armor vests. A particular threat comes from syringes and knives by hostile patients. Click here to read the article on the Body Armor website. Posted January 2, 2019

Coming Events

  • June 3-5: China International Nonwovens Expo and Forum (CINE), Shanghai, China
  • June 4-6: Absorbent Hygiene Training Course, Cary, N.C., USA
  • June 6-8:  Non Woven Tech Asia 2019, New Delhi, India
  • June 12-13:  International Nonwovens Symposium 2019, Vienna, Austria
  • June 12-14:  Super Expo 2019, Broadbeach, QLD, Australia
  • June 18-20: Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Denver, Colo., USA
  • June 19-20: JEC Forum Chicago, Chicago, Ill., USAA
  • June 20-26:  ITMA 2019, Barcelona, Spain
  • June 24-25:  WIPES Academy, Atlanta, Ga., USA

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

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China's Industrial Textile Market Demands Still Remains Vigorous

Despite the increasingly complex industry demands, the Chinese technical textiles market was relatively stable. Nonwovens output increased over last year. Key specific markets such as tire cord also increased in 2018 over 2017. Overall operating income for industrial textiles used in China reached $34 billion. Click here to read the complete summary provided to BeaverLake6 Report by China Textile magazine through our exclusive relationship. Posted February 15, 2019

Does IDEA Show Need to be in Miami Beach?

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, has issued its final report on IDEA19.  The event held March 25-27, 2019 in Miami Beach, Fla., USA, attracted 6,500+ participants and 509 exhibiting companies from 75 countries.  Show floor space was a record 168,600 square feet, a 9% increase over the previous show. 

 

Surprisingly, the people and exhibitor participation figures are not record numbers. The IDEA16 show in Boston, Mass., USA, attracted 7000+ and 555 exhibitors. 

 

So, why was participation down this year from IDEA16?  I think an explanation for the decline is the South Florida location of IDEA19.  Click here to read more.

President Li Lingshen, President, China Nonwovens & Industrial Texiles Association

President Li Lingshen

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.

Final Analysis of IFAI Expo 2018 and CAMX18

IFAI President S. Schiffman

IFAI Expo 2018 was the first show under IFAI's new CEO/President Steve Schiffman. In a quick conversation on the first day, Mr. Schiffman thought event attendance was on target with the expectation of a 500 increase over the 4500 total participants (counting both exhibitors and visitors) they had in 2017 in New Orleans. Similarly, a conversation with one of the managers of ACMA, a partner in CAMX, said their pre-registration had already topped the 6500 they had last year in Orlando. (Keep in mind, though, the 2017 CAMX show had to be rescheduled from September to December because of Hurricane Irma.) Click here to read more about the shows. 

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify          on Proposed USMCA Impact

Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies. 

 

The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. Click here to read more.

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. 

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