Amid rising trade tensions and uneven economic conditions, global yarn and fabric manufacturing showed significant declines in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of the prior year.
The International Textile Manufactures Federation (ITMF) reported that world yarn production decreased 9 percent in the period. Increases of 3 percent in the U.S. and 12 percent in Brazil cancelled out production reductions of 13 percent in Africa, 11 percent in Asia and 1.5% in Europe.
“Most responding countries from Africa, Asia and North America are optimistic about the evolution in [the second quarter], while Europe and Brazil expect a decline in production,” the ITMF report said.
Global yarn stocks fell in all regions in the first three months compared to the prior quarter, except a 1.5% increase in Brazil. The largest decline came in Asia, where stocks fell 6 percent, followed by a 3 percent decrease in Europe and 1.5% falloff in Egypt. In all, yarn stocks reached 89 percent of their previous year level for the same quarter, ITMF said.
Global yarn orders decreased 5 percent on average in all countries, except in Japan where they increased 2 percent.
Global fabric production in the same comparative periods decreased 10 percent, with a 12 percent drop in Asia, a 5 percent decline in Africa and 2 percent falloff in Europe. Brazil’s fabric production increased 1 percent in the period. ITMF said world fabric output reached 96 percent of its first quarter 2017 level.
“South Africa, Pakistan and Turkey expect a further increase in fabric production in [the second quarter],” ITMF said. “All other countries foresee stability or decrease.”
In the first quarter, the global fabric stock level grew 1 percent, driven by Brazil’s stocks improvement of 5 percent, which was enough to bring fabrics stocks 13 percent over their first quarter 2017 level.
“Fabric stocks remain stable in Asia, Europe and the U.S.A,” the report said. “They continue to steadily drop in Egypt and South Africa and constantly increase in Brazil.”
Global fabric orders fell 6 percent in the first quarter from the fourth quarter. Europe’s 2 percent gain was balanced out by reductions of 10 percent in Brazil and 18 percent in Africa, which brought the global index to 88 percent of its prior-year level.