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Textile Outlook International
Issue 134:
March-April 2008

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Is China Losing its Competitive Edge in Textiles and Clothing? (4 pages)
World textile and apparel trade and production trends, March-April 2008 (80 pages)
Survey of the European Yarn Fairs for Spring/Summer 2009 (10 pages)
Global trends in fibre production, consumption and prices, March-April 2008 (22 pages)
Prospects for Garment Production in Romania: One of Europe's Most Important Sources (14 pages)
Trends in US textile and clothing imports, March-April 2008 (75 pages)

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World textile and apparel trade and production trends, March-April 2008
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World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends US textile output fell for a tenth year in 2007, to its lowest level in over 35 years. Clothing output plunged by 40% in volume. Employment was also down—by 9.2% in textiles and 8.3% in clothing. But the average price of garments produced in the USA rose by 25% as output was geared increasingly to high-end niche markets. Import volume growth slowed as consumer spending on clothing and footwear rose by only 3.7% after rising by 4.5% in 2006 and 5.1% in 2005. Meanwhile, China increased its textile and clothing sales to the USA by 14.8% in volume and 19.4% in value, despite quota restrictions on a range of products. Vietnam stepped up its supplies to the USA by 31.2% in volume and 34.2% in value in 2007.

In Argentina the textile sector expanded its output by a moderate 5.5% while clothing rose by only 0.6%. But export growth was a buoyant 18.2% in textiles and 13.2% in clothing. Brazil’s exports rebounded after an unexpected setback in 2006. But the increase was due entirely to a rise in textiles, and to strong growth in sales to Indonesia, Pakistan, Mexico, Venezuela and South Korea. Sales to the USA and the EU, meanwhile, were poor. Colombia’s exports grew for a fourth year and surged by 47%. But sales to the USA fell, enabling Venezuela to become the largest export market with a 55% share. Mexico continued to struggle as US importers shifted orders to China and other low cost Asian countries.

EU output stabilised in 2007, despite a drop in exports and an increase in imports. EU imports from China rose by 14.3% to Euro27.5 bn. At this level they accounted for as much as 34.3% of the EU import market, leaving Turkey a distant second with 16.0%.

The industry in China progressed in 2007 despite quota restrictions on its exports to the USA and the EU. Output and investment expanded as exports rose by over 19%. In Hong Kong domestic exports fell as production was shifted to mainland China. Outward processing arrangements (OPAs) in Hong Kong are also likely to lose their relevance once safeguard quotas are eliminated in the USA at the end of 2008. In Japan there was a 5.3% upturn in export demand in 2007 as a result of higher sales to the USA, the EU, South Korea and Vietnam. As for imports, 83.9% of the Japanese clothing import market in 2007 was supplied by China alone. In South Korea, exports regained some ground in 2007 thanks to an increase in textile sales. In Taiwan, clothing exports fell and so did clothing output. But textile production was up.

Table of Contents
World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends
  • Summary
  • Textiles and Apparel in the USA
  • Textiles and Apparel in Latin America
  • Textiles and Apparel in the European Union
  • Textiles and Apparel in East Asia

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Related Reports  
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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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In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information – but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you don’t have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.

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"Ten years ago while working in the UK, I discovered Textile Outlook International. Since then, while working in the United States and now in Italy, I have relied upon this publication to support many of my strategic sourcing decisions. Textiles Intelligence has created a world-class publication that I will continue to depend upon in my work with the global textile industry."
(Peter G Allison; Vice President, Mediterranean Sourcing; Gap Inc.)