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Global trends in fibre prices, production and consumption, July-August 2003
published in Issue 162, June 2013
World fibre demand underwent a strong recovery in 2002. Output was up by 4.8% to 52.08 mn tons following a minuscule 0.3% rise in 2001. The fastest growth in 2002, at 6.7%, was in man-made fibres. Indeed, output reached a record 30 mn tons. Within this total, synthetic fibres staged a sharp recovery after falling in 2001 for the first time. Polyester expanded the fastest although acrylic fibres enjoyed a turnaround after falling in the previous year. Cellulosic fibres also enjoyed a recovery.
There was also an increase in the demand for natural fibres in 2002. But at only 2.4%, the rise failed to prevent a decline in the share of natural fibres to its lowest point ever. Also, the rise was confined to cotton as wool buyers were deterred by high prices. That said, the rise in the cotton price has stalled and is unlikely to average more than 63 cents per lb in the next season.
Demand for wool is likely to remain depressed as Chinese industry growth falters, Japanese spinners relocate to low cost countries, and EU textile firms suffer from the strengthening of the euro. Prices are firming but only because of concerns over output. The Australian clip has been affected by drought and falling sheep numbers as farmers are tempted by high meat prices.
In synthetic fibres, production trends were mixed in industrialised countries and output was down in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, output grew significantly in India and Thailand and growth in Chinese output hit exports from Chinas near-neighbours. China now accounts for 31.8% of world synthetic fibre production and, with further trade liberalisation in prospect, the country looks set to increase its share further. Moreover, this increase in share will be at the expense not only of developed countries but also of other developing countries.
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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.
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