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Textile Outlook International
Issue 128:
March-April 2007

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Ethiopia Sets Ambitious Expansion Targets for its Textile and Clothing Industry
World textile and apparel trade and production trends, March-April 2007 (72 pages)
Textiles and Apparel in Bulgaria: Prospects for the Industry Following EU Accession (30 pages)
Global trends in fibre production, consumption and prices, March-April 2007 (23 pages)
Foreign Investment and Collaboration in India's Textile and Apparel Industry (13 pages)
Trends in US textile and clothing imports, March-April 2007 (70 pages)

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Global trends in fibre production, consumption and prices, March-April 2007

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World man-made fibre production continued to rise in 2006 but at a slower pace than in the previous year. In 2006 output was up by 3.9% to 37.5 mn tons following a 5.8% hike in 2005. Moreover, the 2006 rise was sustained entirely by strong growth in China. Synthetics accounted for most of the increase—and almost all of the increase in synthetics was due to growth in polyester. But cellulosics were also up, by a healthy 10.0%.

Prices of synthetic fibres and fibre intermediates grew significantly in the first four months of 2007. The rises were much faster in Asia than in Europe, and were driven by a gap between supply and demand—rather than the increases in crude oil prices which have driven up prices in the recent past. In fact crude oil prices were actually down in the first four months of 2007 compared with the corresponding period in 2006.

Output of natural fibres rose by 1.6% in 2006 after a 5.8% fall in 2005. The rise was driven by a 1.7% increase in cotton output—following a 6.2% fall in 2005—as growers responded to the firming of prices. But the decline in the wool clip continued. As a result of these trends, the share of natural fibres in total fibre output fell from 41.9% to 41.4%. The cotton price stabilised in 2006 in the high 50 cents/lb range after recovering from a low point in December 2004.

Looking ahead, cotton demand in the 2006/07 season is predicted to rise by 4.4%, mostly due to higher usage in China and South Asia. Output, meanwhile, will be up by 2.6%, according to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC). But cotton buyers remain resistant to price increases and, with no major changes in supply or demand, prices will remain steady. According to the ICAC, the cotton price will average 62 cents/lb in 2006/07—4 cents/lb more than in 2005/06. It will remain at that level or slightly above for the 2007/08 season. Wool prices rose sharply in the latter part of 2006 and in early 2007 due to concern over the continuing effect of the drought on the Australian clip—combined with rising demand at the retail level and a consequent increase in orders in the wool textile industry. But while the stock position is tightening, there is little prospect of a strong recovery in demand. Global demand is being sustained largely by consumption in China. Elsewhere, demand is being depressed by restructuring in the textile industries of industrialised countries. The outlook is for little further rise in prices. Although stocks are expected to fall slightly, the balance between supply and demand is likely to be maintained in 2007/08.

Table of Contents  
Global Trends in Fibre Production, Consumption and Prices
General Trends
Man-Made Fibres

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Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries – and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
 country profiles – providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
 company profiles – giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
 trends in world textile and apparel trade and production – taking into account current issues facing the industry – such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
 trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing – providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
 innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing – in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing – or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription – either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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