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World textile and apparel trade and production trends, March-April 2007
published in Issue 128, March-April 2007
US textile output fell for the ninth consecutive year in 2006 as import volumes rose. Clothing production grew by 1.0% after declining in each of the preceding 11 calendar years. The increase in clothing output in 2006 may have been helped by an expansion in consumer spending—expenditure on clothing and footwear grew by 4.9% to US$358.6 bn in 2006, following increases of 4.6% in 2004 and 5.1% in 2005. Meanwhile, China stepped up its sales of textiles and clothing to the USA by 11.0% in volume and by 20.8% in value, despite the quotas it faces on a broad range of products. In Argentina the textile and clothing manufacturing sector expanded slowly in 2005-06 after growing briskly in 2003-04. Brazil’s exports of textiles and clothing suffered an unexpected setback in 2006 as sales were significantly lower to the USA, the EU, Chile and China. Colombia’s exports grew for a third successive year, despite falling demand in the USA, its largest market. Mexico’s sector continued to struggle as US importers shifted more of their orders to China and other low cost Asian producers. EU output fell as imports grew, despite higher consumer spending and growth in exports. China stepped up its shipments to the EU by 12.8% in value and its share of EU imports to 29.4%, leaving Turkey a distant second with 14.0%.
The industry in China progressed in 2006 in spite of US and EU quotas on its exports. Output and investment expanded as exports rose by over 25%. In Hong Kong domestic exports continued to fall as production was shifted to mainland China. Production under outward processing arrangements (OPAs) in Hong Kong received a boost when safeguard quotas were introduced against Chinese exports. But the quotas against China were underutilised in the first half of 2006 and OPA operations were phased out. In Japan there was a moderate 5.9% upturn in export demand as a result of higher sales to China, the USA, the EU and Vietnam. As far as imports are concerned, China alone supplied 83.4% of the Japanese import market in 2006. South Korean manufacturers, faced with growing competition, are focusing on higher-end niche products which incorporate innovative technological advances. Indeed, the Korea Federation of Textile Industries (Kofoti) is seeking to increase its share of world technical textile production to 17% by 2012. Manufacturers in Taiwan increased their export sales slightly in 2006, despite rising competition in the US market from China, India and Pakistan.
- World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends
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