“Basic structures such as single jersey, piqué or interlock and fine rib fabrics are the most important,” says Horst Maier, describing Mexican demand for circular-knitted fabrics. Mayer & Cie.’s regional sales manager, he has been around for years in Central and South America and knows that “the trend is not new but it does seem to project into the future. That means Mayer machines like the Relanit 3.2 HS, the D4 2.2 II, the D4 3.2 II and the OV 3.2 promise to continue to be popular.
Relatively new, in contrast, is the popularity of spacer fabric, which the D4 2.2 II can also produce. Spacer is used for ladies’ lingerie and, increasingly, for ladies’ outerwear. It is lightweight, voluminous and easy to print. “The fabric,” Maier says, explaining its growing popularity from the manufacturers’ viewpoint, “is an example of how local companies are trying to develop profitable niches.” Yet the Relanit 3.2 HS, he adds, continues to be the Mayer circular knitting machine for which there is the most demand in cotton-producing Mexico. “Smooth for single jersey, also with Elasthane, it remains the measure of all things.”
The talks that Horst Maier held at Exintex also dealt mainly with the D4, the OV 3.2 and the Relanit 3.2 HS. Mayer & Cie. was present at the trade fair, held in Puebla, from 2 to 5 October 2018. Together with its local representative Retexsa, headed by Alvaro Sanchez, the team may have welcomed somewhat fewer trade visitors than expected, but “more people does not automatically mean better talks”. Or, as differently expressed by Horst Maier, “many of the visitors who came were interested in specific projects”.
One reason why Exintex visitor numbers were down is that next year will see ITMA take place in Barcelona. In the year before such an important trade fair visitor numbers at local trade fairs are often lower, Maier says, and that influences exhibitors too. Most were at Exintex without machines on show and, like Mayer & Cie., with merely an info stand. Another is that the Mexican economy faces a number of uncertainties. In December a new government assumes office that was considered to be left wing and not very well disposed towards entrepreneurs. Only recently has it seemed to be clear that no cutbacks are to be expected for the textile industry. Negotiations on the USMCA free trade agreement have only just come to a successful conclusion. That leaves higher energy prices, which are currently the subject of negotiations between industry associations and the government. “All in all, it is not an easy situation for our Mexican customers,” Maier says, adding that “it is all the more gratifying that the outlook has taken a turn for the better and that we were able to note signs of optimism at Exintex”.