In that sense, textile industry It recovered during the period January-September 2021, the level of investments of 2019, approximately 200 million dollars. The auspicious data makes the sector’s employment and production expectations positive, in the context of an economic crisis fueled by the impact of the pandemic.
Employment and production
According to the measurements of Indec and private consultants, taking the period January-August 2021, production and employment in the textile sector are just 0.3% below the same cycle of 2019. “The investment goes to forward, we took staff again, ”remarked Pedro Bergaglio, president of the Argentine Chamber of Sweater and member of Pro Tejer.
The textile industry in Argentina generates around 300,000 direct jobs in the formal sphere, being the sector that employs the largest number of women in any country, since they occupy more than 50% of the places in the entire production chain. However, the fall in purchasing power and the retraction of consumption break the virtuous scheme of the productive network.
In this sense, during the ProTextil 2021 exhibition, businessmen stated that the delay in wages and inflation are also part of the problem, since they hinder productive development and impact competitiveness levels. Between January 2016 and December 2019, the textile sector lost 27% of its industrial capacity, also registering a sharp drop in employment levels, with a reduction of 25,000 jobs.
Luciano Galfione, textile entrepreneur who is part of the Pro Tejer foundation, in consultation with Ambit for the project to eliminate compensation, he explained that it is a debate “transversal to all of Argentina”, which revolves around “how to lower labor costs without curtailing rights.” He stressed that these types of actions should be discussed within a framework that guarantees that “the salary of the population is not affected”, and at the same time “be competitive” and “not be left out of the market”, at the productive level.
Prices, costs and inflation
On the other hand, production costs and their impact on the final price of the product that reaches the consumer was also discussed. Galfione explained that today, in the textile industry, “between 50 and 60% of the inputs are imported”, at the same time that he remarked that “70% of these materials are in dollars”, so the jumps in devaluation they generate a climate of uncertainty when generating new investments. To this are added the freight costs for the importation of raw materials or other items necessary for production, where a freight that in 2019 was worth $ 1,800, today is around $ 12,000.
In any case, the outlook for the industry is encouraging, as they expect to end this year with indicators higher than those of the prepandemic. In this sense, in the year-on-year comparison, they highlighted that investments in 2021 exceeded those of 2020 by 94%, while installed industrial capacity reached 52.9%, that is, 2.7% more than in 2019 .