By Ashley Vaughan
After an initially promising quarter, Chinese textile and apparel exports have declined marginally for the first seven months of 2012. According to the latest data from the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC), total exports of garments and textiles reached $137.4 billion USD for the January to July period, decreasing 0.2% from the same period last year. Of that total, textile exports were $54.47 billion, decreasing 0.2%, while garment exports were $82.93 billion, also amounting a 0.2% decline.
These figures reflect a limited demand for textiles and garments as a result of the ongoing European debt crisis, recovering American economy and low consumer confidence in the United States and Europe. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT), the international market remains in the doldrums, cotton’s price gap continues to expand between China and abroad and competition continues to increase, reports *Yarns and Fibers Exchange*.
According to United States and Japan Customs, imports of Chinese textiles and apparels to the U.S. decreased to 36.1% of total textile and apparel imports from January to April, down 4.04% from the same period last year. The imports of textile and apparel from China to Japan decreased 1.95% to 73% of total imports. Over the same period, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and other competing markets increased their market share in both the United States and Japan. According to the MIIT, low international demand and rising competition in the textile and apparel sector is expected to continue through the second half of 2012.