Decline in Chinese textile export during 2015
Japan and Europe have been China’s main textile export markets due to sharp depreciation in yen and Euro had a direct negative impact on textile exports. China’s textile and garment exports continued to decline last year, mainly due to the good performance in the previous year and exchange rate fluctuations, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on January 13, 2016
China’s textile export to the European Union reached USD 44.86 billion, falling by 10.6 % year-on-year, the export to Japan reached USD 18.8 billion, dropping 12 %, and the export to ASEAN countries amounted to USD 29.03 billion, slipping 1.7 percent, according to customs data.
From January to October in 2015, the textile industry saw positive growth in exports to the United States, Africa, South Korea. Yet exports to other markets dropped during the same period.
In November 2015, retail sales revenues of clothing of China’s 100 key retail enterprises declined by five percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, from January to November, national online sales reached CNY 3.45 trillion, surging 34.5 % year-on-year, and sales of clothing jumped 23.5 %, the ministry said.
During the same period, the added value of the textile industry increased 6.4 % year-on-year, and the sector continued to expand the scale of production. The decreasing quality of domestic cotton has forced enterprises to largely import cotton from India and Pakistan.
As China is undergoing an economic transformation, high-tech industries are springing up in China’s developed coastal regions to replace labour-intensive industries such as the textile industry.
Zhang Jianping, a senior researcher at the Institute for International Economic Research under the National Development and Reform Commission said that many labour-intensive Chinese industries had already shifted to Southeast Asian countries, as the labour costs there are four to five times cheaper than in China.
In addition, weak domestic consumption, shortage of orders, increasing costs of labour and electricity, and environmental controls have left Chinese textile companies striving to cope with international competition.
In the face of new challenges and opportunities, the textile industry is looking to transform by applying new technologies and business models that cover the whole industry chain, including cotton, spinning, weaving and dyeing.