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Textile Outlook International
Issue 91:
January 2001

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Reports in this issue
Editorial: Southern Africa: Ramatex Hopes to Be the Early Bird That Catches the Worm
World Markets for Elastane (Spandex) Yarns
Profiles of Hualon and Apacinti
Trends in world textile and clothing trade, January-February 2001
Profile of Ramatex: A Malaysian Group with Investments in China and South Africa
Europe's Main Corporatewear Markets: Forecasts to 2010

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Trends in world textile and clothing trade, January-February 2001
published in Issue 91, January 2001  


World textile and clothing trade declined for the second year in a row in 1999, as the Asian financial crisis continued to take its toll and the euro depreciated against the US dollar. However, all of the decline was in textiles. Textile exports fell by 2% to US$148 bn, while clothing exports rose by 1% to US$186 bn. Textile exports from Asia to Western Europe fell by 7% while intra-West European textile trade dropped by 9%. However, intra-Asian clothing exports grew by 8% as the Asian economies emerged from the region’s financial crisis, and clothing exports from Latin America to North America went up by 15%.

The US textile and clothing trade deficit rose by another 8.1% in 1999 to US$55.3 bn - 91% of which was in clothing. The EU deficit also increased. But, at US$32.0 bn, it was still only 58% of the US figure - even though the two markets are similar in size. Germany alone accounted for 35% of the EU total.

China continues to have the world’s biggest textile and clothing trade surplus. Italy ranks second - even though it is a high cost country. But South Korea has been closing the gap and could soon become number two. Turkey’s surplus started to decline in 1999 and the country will face intensified competition from Asian countries as quotas are phased out. Portugal, with lower labour costs than Hong Kong and Taiwan, also managed to retain its surplus in 1999.

China has become the world’s leading textile exporter while Germany has dropped from first to third. The USA is the largest textile importer, but China now ranks as high as third. China is also the world’s leading clothing exporter, although six developed countries still rank among the top 15 players. The USA is by far the biggest importer of clothing.

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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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(Institute for East West Studies, Czech Republic)