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2012 Overview of the Chinese Textile Industry

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The textile industry in China has continued its slide from last year, largely due to weak demand (leading to higher inventories) and increasing costs of production. The economic slowdown – both in China and globally – combined with volatile cotton prices and higher labor and energy costs have resulted in a drop in exports of garments (0.2%) and textiles (0.7%) through the first nine months of 2012, compared with the same period in 2011.

The value of China’s garment and textile exports value totaled about $23.8 billion in August, which was down 3.4% from the same period in 2011, but up 3.4% from July, according to Jihong at Beijing-based Galaxy Futures in Beijing.

Mills’ cotton stocks increased due to purchases they made from China’s reserve. Yarn and grey fabric inventories were drawn down somewhat by fall and winter orders, but the bump in business is not expected to last long, nor is it expected to be large enough to make a significant impact on the industry overall.

Cotton yarn imports are expected to increase to as much as 1.8 million tons in 2012/13 – up by nearly 500,000 tons from the prior marketing year – and unfortunately, that is expected to decrease domestic cotton consumption by a comparable amount (500,000 tons) next year.

Through August 2012, China imported 1.31 million tons of cotton yarn, 151,600 tons of which came in August alone, making it the highest-volume month of the year. In 2011/12, Chinese textile mills increased the imports volume and diversified the sources of imports, although the vast majority (87%) of imported cotton still came from only six countries: India, the United States, Uzbekistan, Brazil, Australia, and Burkina Faso.

For more information, please contact Galaxy Futures.

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