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World textile and apparel trade and production trends: China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, September 2009
published in Issue 141, September 2009
Reflecting the global economic slowdown, Chinese textile and clothing exports were down by 11% in the first six months of 2009 after growing by 8.2% in 2008 and 18.9% in 2007. In the US market, in contrast to the general trend, sales of Chinese textiles and clothing in the first half of 2009 advanced by 3.9%. However, growth should have been faster, after the removal of safeguard quotas restricting US imports of several products from China at the end of the previous year. In the EU, imports from China grew by 12.7% in 2008 after the EU removed quotas at the end of 2007. In China’s domestic market, textile imports fell in 2008 although production by the Chinese industry grew moderately, and continued to grow in the first half of 2009.
In Hong Kong, domestic exports of textiles and clothing fell sharply in 2008 while the share of re-exports in total exports reached almost 90%. In the first half of 2009, sales of Hong Kong textiles and clothing in the US market plummeted by 76% as buyers switched to China following the elimination of quota restrictions.
In Japan, 2008 was a poor year for manufacturers and exporters. Exports to five of the country’s six largest markets fell—as did exports of nine of its ten biggest selling products. Furthermore, domestic wholesale sales of textile products fell for the 11th consecutive year. Domestic production, meanwhile, fell by 8.9% after declining by 5.4% in 2007 and 4.2% in 2006. Imports also declined.
South Korean textile and clothing exports fell by a modest 1.0% in 2008, due to a fall in clothing sales. Textile exports rose by a minimal 0.3% as weaker demand in the EU and the USA was offset by large increases in sales to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Despite the drop in clothing exports, however, production continued to rise in 2008, as a result of vigorous domestic demand.
In Taiwan, export demand fell in 2008, having remained steady during 2005-07. The fall was due, in part, to the global economic slowdown—which led to a reduction in orders from China and other major Asian markets. Textile and clothing production, meanwhile, fell at a much more alarming rate. Textile output was down by 11.5% and clothing output by 19.2%. To combat falling sales, Taiwanese manufacturers have concentrated increasingly on the production of specialised textiles with higher added value.
Table of Contents
World Textile and Apparel Trade and Production Trends: China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan
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