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Innovation and development add momentum to textile and garment trade

- Oct 26, 2018 -

From the data of the previous 8 months, China's textile and clothing import and export this year showed the following characteristics:

First, exports to both traditional markets and "One Belt And One Road" countries have been growing steadily. In the first eight months, China's exports to the eu grew by 1.7 percent, to the United States by 8 percent and to Japan and Hong Kong by 2.9 percent. Exports to countries along the "" One Belt And One Road" "line rose 5 percent. In emerging markets, China's exports to asean grew by 12.3 percent, to Latin America by 7.6 percent and to Russia by 3.9 percent. The main markets for declining export growth were the Middle East (14.3 per cent), Africa (1.5 per cent) and South Korea (3.6 per cent).

The second is to accelerate the export structure to the upstream semi-finished products. In the first eight months, the proportion of China's textile and clothing exports was 43% and 57% respectively. Although the proportion of clothing exports still exceeds that of textiles, the proportion of clothing is decreasing year by year. According to this speed of development, it is estimated that within a few years, the proportion of China's textile exports is likely to surpass that of clothing. The divergence of textile and garment export trend also reflects the new change of the competitive pattern of China's textile and garment export. The competitiveness of upstream textile products has increased, while the labor-intensive clothing products have been decreasing year by year due to the competition from low-cost countries.

Third, except guangdong, other major export areas are growing well. In the first eight months, zhejiang's export increased by 10.7% and continued to lead the whole country. Jiangsu, shandong, fujian and Shanghai increased by 6.1%, 10.2%, 6.0% and 4.7% respectively. Only guangdong witnessed a substantial decline of 10.9%.

Fourth, the textile and garment import growth is driven by the soaring apparel imports. In the first eight months, China's textile and apparel imports increased by 10.8% year-on-year to us $17.58 billion, of which textile imports increased by 8.4% and apparel imports surged by 16.7%, driving the overall textile and apparel imports to maintain a rapid growth.

Fifth, China's share of the international market has declined significantly. In the first seven months, the import market share of China's textile and apparel products in the United States was 34.2%, decreasing by 0.6 percentage points year-on-year, among which the textile market share was 40.4%, increasing by 0.4 percentage points year-on-year. Clothing share was 32.1%, down 1 percentage point year-on-year. In the first half of the year, the import market share of China's textile and apparel products in the eu was 29.7%, decreasing by 1.5 percentage points year-on-year, among which, the textile market share was 34.8%, increasing by 0.05 percentage points year-on-year, while the garment share was 28%, decreasing by 2 percentage points year-on-year. In the first seven months, the import market share of China's textile and apparel products in Japan was 57.2%, decreasing 2.9 percentage points year-on-year, among which, the textile market share was 53.1%, decreasing 1.1 percentage points year-on-year, while the clothing share was 58.4%, decreasing 3.5 percentage points year-on-year.

Although last year the whole of China textile and clothing export present situation of stabilising, but from the development trend and features of the textile and garment industry in recent years, the international political and economic environment, there is a big uncertainty sino-us trade frictions escalating, the intensified region competition, low-cost countries rise, global raw material price fluctuations is bigger, overseas Chinese enterprises to speed up the layout, pressure transformation and upgrading of domestic industries, China's textile and garment export will face fluctuate slightly long, international market share especially clothing share a slight decline in the new normal.

As trade friction between China and the United States continues to escalate, importers and buyers will have to significantly adjust their purchasing strategies, which is likely to have a significant impact on the sino-us textile and garment trade in the coming years. The United States is the largest single country export market of China's textile and apparel, accounting for 16.9% of China's total textile and apparel exports. According to customs statistics, China exported $45.64 billion of textile and clothing to the United States and 35,000 export enterprises in 2017. Currently, about 7 billion us dollars of textile and apparel products have been taxed by the us side, accounting for 16 percent of China's total textile and apparel exports to the us and about 17,000 export enterprises.

China chamber of commerce for textile import and export recently conducted a survey of nearly 100 export enterprises to the United States, showing that the impact of trade friction between China and the United States has gradually emerged, and export enterprises are generally concerned about the uncertainty of trade environment. At a time of rising costs, the us tariffs will only add to the pain, eroding corporate profits and accelerating the transfer of orders and industries to other countries.

Faced with the threat of escalating trade friction, Chinese textile and garment enterprises have taken active measures to deal with it. One is to actively participate in the legal investigation process of "section 301" of the us. Importers are urged to participate in the public review process and hearings in the us and strive to exclude products with vital interests from the tax list. The China textile import and export chamber of commerce also sent a working group to speak at a hearing held by the us trade negotiator's office on August 23 to speak for the Chinese industry and safeguard the interests of the industry. Second, speed up the export speed, avoid the risk of taxation, as far as possible to control the loss in the minimum range. Third, strengthen international production capacity cooperation and distribution, take the initiative to make use of other countries' resources for production, and strengthen the control of the supply chain. Four is to speed up the transformation and upgrading process, increase investment in equipment and technology, improve production efficiency, product quality and market reaction speed, increase product added value, strengthening design research and development ability, the ability of supply chain management, resource integration, brand building and international marketing network to expand capacity, to digest the tax on profits from loss. Fifth, further implement the market diversification strategy, increase the development of emerging markets, especially the markets of countries along the "One Belt And One Road", reduce the dependence on the us market, and avoid the single market risk.

Recently, the government has introduced a series of positive policies on trade facilitation, tax refund, credit protection, environmental protection and social security to further improve the business environment, provide more export space for export enterprises, offset the negative impact of trade friction on exports, and effectively boost the confidence of export enterprises.

Although facing all kinds of difficulties, but this is the industry in the transformation and upgrading process necessary pain. The current slowdown in China's textile and clothing exports is a new period of structural adjustment, which should be treated as normal. "Area" initiative will effectively strengthen China in Asia and the world textile and apparel supply chain, the core position of "made in China" in the transformation and upgrading, which from OEM to ODM and to OBM is the basis of the export of Chinese textile and clothing to keep competitive advantage, the structural change of international market structure also provides new opportunities for Chinese enterprises.

The future development of China's textile and apparel industry should be about "area" the main melody of construction and the transformation and upgrading of industry development, insist on innovation manufacture green development in perfect industrial chain, integrated supply chain, improve the aspects of function, promote industry grows, seeking to go specialization, differentiation, the lean and international development road. Although textile and apparel is a traditional industry, as long as the integration with the new driving force is accelerated, in the future competition pattern, China's textile and apparel foreign trade industry will stride forward to high-quality development and usher in new glory.

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