Asahi Kasei Fibers is to close its polyester and monofilament plants at the end of September and focus instead on knit fabrics for activewear as well as its spandex, cupro and nylon products.

The firm will transfer production of its main specialty polyester yarns to Teijin Fibers Ltd, while its monofilament business will be handed over to Uniplas Corp.

From April 2010 it will also transfer the sale of Impact and other woven activewear fabric, as well as its 100% polyester lining fabric business to Teijin Fibers.

Asahi Kasei will then concentrate on its core businesses, including blended fabrics made from its Roica elastic polyurethane filament (spandex), Bemberg cupro regenerated cellulose fibre, nonwovens, and Leona nylon 66 products.

The company started its polyester and monofilament businesses in 1969, but says it has struggled to compete with producers in Korea, Taiwan, and China.