HomeBusinessZim protective clothing exporter hit by poor rains

Zim protective clothing exporter hit by poor rains

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BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
JAMES North Zimbabwe, the largest producer of industrial protective wear and tarpaulins, registered a 25% drop in revenue during the first quarter of this year due to subdued demand as a result of poor rains and hyperinflation, an official has said.

The company specialises in coated fabrics, clothing and related protective covering products and mainly serves manufacturing, agriculture and mining sectors. It also exports to neighbouring Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Managing director Sifelani Jabangwe said the firm’s performance was a little bit lower than last year. He said the firm was affected by hyperinflation.

“We have had quite a number of price increases due to the devaluation of the currency on both the official and unofficial exchange rates which has driven inflation to 96%,” he said.

“A significant portion of our sales are in rainware products, tents and tarpaulin, so with the performance of the rainy season this year, we found fairly reduced demand for those products. But in the other lines, we have found that demand has continued to be strong.”

“In terms of revenue, the first quarter saw between a 20 to 25% drop in revenue. As I indicated, the major line for us is industrial raincoat and tarpaulin, so there has been a reduction,” he said. In terms of exports, Jabangwe said tarpaulin and rainware products were doing well in Zambia. “They (Zambians) normally take products in the third and fourth quarters for distribution to the Zambian market. So we have found that that market has continued to perform well. We actually expect to grow our volumes into that market,” he said.

Due to high demand coming from Zambia, the James North chief said they were planning to expand their capacity.

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