Textile and apparel officials from Spain, Pakistan, Turkey and China have all reported boosts in exports, most significantly from Spain. Here’s our round-up of the latest numbers:
Spain boasted a 33.1% year-on-year growth in textile and apparel exports in May, marking the second consecutive month of major growth in the sector. The sector was signifanctly ahead of growth in overall exports from Spain, which registered a 7.3% growth.
Between January and May, textile exports rose 17.2%, while apparel exports rose 23.1%. In total, Spain exported â‚¬947.6 billion, or $1.2 billion, in apparel and textiles in May. Apparel and textile imports also managed to climb, despite a still-recovering consumer economy, rising 16.4% and 19.8%, respectively.
Textile and apparel exports from Pakistan grew 5.2% year-on-year in June, though they fell 4.3% compared to textile and apparel exports in the May. The country also reported six percent growth in the most recent fiscal year, which spanned July 2012 through June 2013. While the sector growth appears marginal, Pakistan’s overall exports grew only 3.8% in the last fiscal year.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, total apparel and textile exports reached $13.064 billion is the 2012-2013 fiscal year, up from $12.336 billion in the 2011-2012 year. Experts cited increasingly reliable, consistent supplies of gas — a common source of delayed productivity in Pakistan — for the recent growth.
Turkish textile exports rose 6.6% between January and June of 2013, as compared to the same six months in 2012. According to the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Association, the value of exported textiles reached $4.164 billion during that period — 45 percent of which was shipped to the EU.
In the first quarter of 2013, Russia, Italy and Germany were the largest recipients of Turkish yarn and fabrics. Istanbul and Bursa produced the lion’s share of the exported textiles; Istanbul produced textiles valued at $1.957 billion, while Bursa produced $582.4 million worth of textile exports.
In the month of June, Chinese textile and apparel exports increased by 5.3% year-on-year. China also reported a 12.1% year-on-year increase in textile and apparel imports between January and June of 2013, with total exports valued at $127.2 million.
Despite these promising numbers, China’s factory sector is continuing to weaken, as reported by Women’s Wear Daily. In July, manufacturing activity dropped to its lowest in 11 months, indicating “a continuous slowdown in manufacturing sectors thanks to weaker new orders and faster destocking,” HSBC Chief Economist Qu Hongbin told the press in a statement.
Experts continue to credit rising Chinese labor costs, unaccompanied by a parallel rise in productivity, with the manufacturing slowdown. In a report released this week, brokerage firm CLSA pointed to India, Thailand, the Philippines and Korea, all of which supply much cheaper labor, as enticing alternatives to many manufacturers.