Positive industry sentiment and increasing visitors at Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabric
The economy was on everyone’s minds as the latest Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Spring Edition took place this month against a backdrop of uncertainty in the global textile industry. And while some in the industry are feeling the impact of China’s slowdown, many international exhibitors at the fair reported little or no impact from the economic situation
“We expected sentiment to be down somewhat this year, but we were pleasantly surprised by the relative optimism from exhibitors and buyers by the end of the fair,” Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager, Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd explained on the final show day. “It is reasonable to say the industry in China is going through a period of change but it is far from in decline, with the development and growth of this fair over the last year a strong indicator of this. We need to keep things in perspective as well: with overall growth remaining above 6% for the foreseeable future, this will still present many opportunities for overseas suppliers in China.”
As further proof that the industry is more resilient than assumed, particularly in China, the visitor figure rose once again, the third consecutive increase since the Spring Edition’s move to Shanghai in 2014. The new record set was over 71000 buyers (which includes buyers from the concurrent Yarn Expo, CHIC and PH Value fairs who also entered the Intertextile Shanghai halls), a roughly 13 % increase compared to 2015 (62649). “We weren’t expecting such strong growth in the buyer figure this year given the macroeconomic climate, however the more than 500 extra exhibitors (total: 3155 from 27 countries and regions) would have played a part in the increase,” Ms Wen continued.
Across various product categories, exhibitors in the International Hall were cautious yet positive about the Chinese and wider textile industry in the coming year. Explaining that their regular buyers had already placed orders and they had received many new enquiries as well, Mr Jose Maria Loren from Spain’s Luca Cuccolini, an accessories supplier, commented: “We don’t think the economy will affect us much. This exhibition is good to attract buyers not just from China, but also Asia, so it helps us to sell our products throughout the region.” French company Malhia Kent were also optimistic about the future. “The high end of the market will always be resilient here; it’s slowed down recently but it’s not getting worse,” Mr Aris Arakelian, Commercial Manager explained. “We received one big order and a few others on the first day of the fair, and our turnover in China has been very good.”
Buyers reiterated the sentiment of exhibitors. “Mid to high range apparel market is the main core of our business and is largely unaffected by the economy,” Mr Yuan Hui, a sourcing representative for Chinese apparel brand 15 Hours said. Hui also appreciated the organisation of the exhibitors in country and product groupings that allowed him to easily source his target fabrics. “The fair gives me a comprehensive range of products for selection, so despite the size, I can find exactly what I’m looking for.”