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TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE Photo: OpenClipart-Vectors at Pixabay
26.03.2019

TEXTILE INDUSTRY IN PAKISTAN MUST MODERNIZE

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

  • The cultivation of cotton is to be expanded

Pakistan's textile industry has lost competitiveness. Investments in new textile technology are necessary. Exports of German machinery increase.

The textile industry is Pakistan's most important industrial sector. In Pakistan's fiscal year 2017/18 (July 1st 2017 to June 30th 2018), the textile industry accounted for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product. The sector accounted for about a quarter of the total industrial value added. It is by far the country's most important export sector. Textile exports accounted for 58 percent of total exports in 2017/18.

However, the international competitiveness of the sector is currently declining. This trend should turn around. Prime Minister Imran Khan met with representatives of the textile industry at the end of January 2019. Economic policy aims to expand and modernize the textile industry. Production costs are to be reduced and productivity increased. In addition, quality improvements, production expansions and higher added value are necessary.

The textile industry's value chain begins with around 1,300 companies that are ginning, process and bale raw cotton. In addition to the demand for cotton, the demand for synthetic fibers is also increasing, although there are only three manufacturers of polyester fibers in Pakistan to date.

The number of spinning mills is estimated at 517 in 2017 and the number of weaving mills at 124 large and 425 medium-sized and small mills. Ten large and 625 medium-sized and small companies process fabrics. Towels were produced by about 400 companies, knitted fabrics by 2,500 companies. Clothing made of woven fabrics was supplied by 50 large factories and 2,500 medium-sized and small factories.

Export transactions stagnate
Pakistan's textile exports grew by 8.7 percent to USD 13.5 billion in 2017/18. This level was already reached in 2013/14 and 2014/15. Textile exports in the first seven months of fiscal year 2018/19 (July 18th to January 19th) increased slightly by 1.2 percent year-on-year to US$ 7.8 billion.

Pakistan: exports of yarn, fabrics and clothing (USD million) *)
Products 2013/14 2014/15 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18
Total 13,733 13,471 12,447 12,452 13,530
.Cotton yarn 1,997 1,849 1,265 1,244 1,372
.Cotton fabrics 2,770 2,453 2,214 2,136 2,204
.Towels 767 797 803 801 797
.Bed linen 2,138 2,103 2,020 2,136 2,261
.Clothing 1,906 2,095 2,195 2,319 2,579
.Knitted goods 2,294 2,406 2,364 2,361 2,720
.Other products 1,858 1,767 1,586 1,452 1,597

*) Fiscal years (July to June)

Sources: All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA); Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; Textile Commissioner's Organization

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) aims to increase exports to USD 28 billion by 2023/24. This requires consistent state support and long-term export promotion, according to the association.

The leading foreign customer is the USA. Other important customers include the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. In 2017 and 2018, Germany imported textile materials and goods worth EUR 1 billion from Pakistan.

Machine imports still declining
Imports of textile machinery in 2013/14 amounted still to USD 599 million. In the following three years it was USD 449 million (2014/15), USD 462 million (2015/16) and USD 557 million (2016/17). Imports are not currently showing an upward trend despite the need for modernization. According to the statistics authority, they fell by 42 per cent to USD 325 million in 2017/18. There are still no signs of a recovery in 2018/19 either.

Pakistan: Imports of selected textile machinery (USD million)
HS-Positions 2014 2015 2016 2017
84.45 Spinning machines etc. 230 162 162 246
84.46 Looms 84 73 107 90
84.47 Knitting machines etc. 70 84 65 75
84.48 Auxiliary machinery for
HS headings 84.44 to 84.47
85 70 77 82

Sources: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, UN Comtrade

Business trip to the fifth largest customer of German spinning technology
According to calculations by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), German textile machinery exports to Pakistan increased to EUR 53 million in 2017. The previous year's figure was EUR 48 million, EUR 39 million of which was attributable to spinning machines.

A business trip of German companies from the textile machinery and accessories sectors will take place to Karachi and Lahore from November 11th to 15th 2019. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy will promote and the company SBS Systems for Business Solution will organize the trip (contact: Thomas Nytsch, e-mail: thomasnytsch@sbs-business.com).

Cotton production to be strongly increased
The local cotton production is the base of the textile industry. After India, China and the USA, Pakistan is the fourth largest cotton producer, followed by Brazil and Uzbekistan. Without an increase in local crop yields, the growth of the textile industry is limited. Increased imports of cotton would further reduce the industry's struggling international competitiveness.

In an international comparison, the country is one of the cotton producers with the lowest yields per hectare. Australia, Turkey, China and Brazil form the leading group with about 1,600 to 1,700 kilograms per hectare. Pakistan only reaches 600 to 800 kilograms.

Pakistan: Cotton production
Year Cultivation area
(in hectares)
Production
(in 1,000 bales) 1)
Yield per hectare
(in kilograms)
2013/14 2,086 12,769 774
2014/15 2,961 13,960 802
2015/16 2,902 9,917 582
2016/17 2,489 10,671 730
2017/18 2,699 11,935 752
2018/19 2) 2,500 11,000 748

1) one bale = 170 kilograms, 2) Forecast
Source: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics; research by Germany Trade & Invest

The government has set a production target of around 15 million bales for 2019/20. APTMA believes an increase to 20 million bales is possible by 2023/24. The association assumes that there will be about 2,800 hectares of cultivated land and an increase in yields per hectare to 1,200 kilograms.

Problems with the supply of cotton

Baumwolle wird vor allem in den Provinzen Punjab und Sindh angebaut. Die Baumwollproduktion erreichte 2014/15 noch rund 14 Millionen Ballen. Die Ernte fiel 2015/16 auf unter 10 Millionen und lag 2017/18 bei 12 Millionen Ballen. Die Produktion ist 2018/19 wieder gesunken, ein Wert von etwa 11 Millionen Ballen wird prognostiziert. Als Gründe werden unter anderem Wassermangel, eine schlechte Qualität der Pflanzenschutzmittel und minderwertiges Saatgut genannt. Zudem sei die finanzielle und regulatorische Unterstützung der Regierung unzureichend, so Branchenvertreter.

The local supply could therefore no longer cover the annual cotton demand of the textile industry of 15 to 16 million bales in recent years. Textile manufacturers therefore imported cotton mainly from India and China, about 3 million to 4 million bales a year. However, imports from India have been stopped since February 2019. The background to this is the political tensions and recent military conflicts between the two states.

More information:
Pakistan Pakistan
Source:

Robert Espey, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Photo: pasja1000 Pixabay
19.03.2019

SRI LANKA'S APPAREL AND TEXTILE EXPORTS RECEIVE A BOOST

  • Modernization of production facilities required

Thanks to the reactivated GSP import status of the European Union, Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and expects better sales opportunities abroad.

The textile and clothing industry is of macroeconomic importance for Sri Lanka. The sector accounted for almost 43 per cent of the country's total exports in 2018 and provides employment for nearly 350,000 workers in the formal sector and about twice as many in the informal sector. In total, this is about 33 percent of all jobs in the manufacturing industry. The majority of employees are women.

  • Modernization of production facilities required

Thanks to the reactivated GSP import status of the European Union, Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and expects better sales opportunities abroad.

The textile and clothing industry is of macroeconomic importance for Sri Lanka. The sector accounted for almost 43 per cent of the country's total exports in 2018 and provides employment for nearly 350,000 workers in the formal sector and about twice as many in the informal sector. In total, this is about 33 percent of all jobs in the manufacturing industry. The majority of employees are women.

The textile and clothing industry contribute around 6 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). "In view of the development of other sectors, it is very unlikely that another industry will reach this level of performance in the short to medium term," Jeevani Siriwardena, head of the Export Development Board (EDB), said in an interview with Germany Trade and Invest. The textile and clothing industry will continue to be an important sector for the Sri Lankan economy.

Short to medium-term prospects are good
On May 18th 2017, the European Union (EU) reactivated the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status for Sri Lanka after a seven-year time-out. This means that when goods are exported to the EU, the island state is exempted from customs duties on more than 66 percent of customs tariff lines. "Without GSP status, Sri Lanka's export losses are said to have cost around 32 billion between 2010 and 2017," stressed Ravindi Ranaraja, Deputy Head of the Export Service Division of EDB, in a GTAI interview. In particular, the strongly export-oriented clothing and textile industry will benefit from the regained GSP status. Sri Lanka's textile and clothing industry is looking to the future with confidence and also expects better sales opportunities abroad.

Sri Lanka's textile and clothing exports to the EU and Germany in 2018
(in USD million; change year-on-year in %)  
HS-Code Definition
 
EU
 
Change
 
Germany *) Change
 
61 Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted 1,177 0.7 232.55 9.6
62 Garments and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted 874 7.6 151.59 18.1
63 Other made-up textile articles; sets worn clothing and used textile articles 52 18.2 7.8 13.5
Total   2,103 3.9 391.92 12.8

*) Estimation
Sources: Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association; press releases; calculations by Germany Trade & Invest; Destatis, February 2019

Positive impulses are already visible. According to the latest foreign trade figures available, Sri Lanka was able to increase its total exports of textiles and clothing (HS codes 61, 62 and 63) by almost 4.8 percent to approximately USD 5 billion in 2018. Exports to the EU increased by 3.9 percent to USD 2.1 billion. Exports to Germany were able to recover a plus of 12.8 percent.

It is not yet certain that Sri Lanka will be able to make up for the losses of the past. In the meantime, countries such as Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which have already enjoyed tariff concessions in foreign trade with the EU for the entire current decade, have passed by the island state. Bangladesh in particular, recorded a strong increase in its clothing and textile exports compared with Sri Lanka..

Sri Lanka textile and clothing exports 2018 (HS codes 61, 62, 63)
Country In USD million 1)
China 172.4
Vietnam 36.0
Bangladesh 32.9
India 20.9
Indonesia 2) 14.0

1) Estimation; 2) Forecast
Sources: Press Releases; Calculations Germany Trade & Invest, February 2019

Sri Lanka focuses on higher quality products
Numerous domestic textile producers are switching to the production of higher-quality garments in order to maintain their competitiveness. "In Sri Lanka, the focus is not on mass but rather on higher quality products," confirmed M. Raghuram, Chief Executive Officer of Brandix, one of the country's largest clothing companies, in an interview with GTAI. The island state concentrates on the production of just a few product categories such as underwear, sportswear or lounge wear..

Sri Lanka has become a location for the manufacture of high-quality garments. This is also confirmed by the World Bank. In its 2016 study "Stitches to Riches" (website), it found that Sri Lanka outperformed its competitors India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in terms of quality, delivery times, reliability and sustainable social responsibility.

Sri Lanka serves fastidious international companies such as Victoria Secrets, GAP, Nike or Marks and Spencer. According to expert estimates, the production of the top 10 Sri Lankan textile and clothing companies accounts for around 85 percent of the industry's total exports.

The ambitious goal is to increase the garment industry's export revenues to USD 8 billion by 2025, which will require an annual growth of 6 percent. For this Sri Lanka must improve capacity, technology and resource problems. "It is becoming more and more difficult to find suitable personnel. For many young people working in the garment and textile industry in Sri Lanka is simply unattractive”, Nilanthi Sivapragasam, Chief Financial Officer of the conglomerate Aitkence Spence, told GTAI. The training of the workforce is also a major challenge. "Training new employees is very time-consuming and labor-intensive," confirms Sivapragasam.

Imports of German machinery decline
In addition, Sri Lanka's textile companies must modernize their machinery and expand their capacities in order to further increase productivity and added value. Accordingly, there is a great demand for technically sophisticated textile machines in the country. This offers good opportunities and chances for machine suppliers. According to experts, the demand for textile printing and dyeing machines, stenter frames and finishing technology will develop particularly dynamically in the future.
 
In Sri Lanka itself only relatively simple machines are being produced. High-end technology is mainly imported. China is the most important supplier of textile machinery, accounting for about one third of all imports. India has also been able to significantly increase its machine exports to Sri Lanka in recent years. In 2017, India achieved exports of USD 6.3 million, an increase of 46.7 percent, compared with exports of USD 2.6 million in 2010.

German machine exports suffered enormous losses. Sri Lanka's imports of textile machinery from Germany amounted to USD 16.5 million in 2017, a decrease of 54.2 percent. Over the past years, Germany has lost share of its deliveries. According to industry experts, this trend will continue: Made in Germany stands for quality and continues to be very popular in Sri Lanka; however, German machine manufacturers are often unable to keep up with the low-cost products from China or India.

Sri Lanka's imports of textile and clothing machinery
(SITC 724; USD million) 
Country 2016 2017 Change
China 56.3 51.8 -8.0
Japan 26.6 18.3 -31.1
Germany 36.0 16.5 -54.2
Singapore 13.6 14.5 -6.8
India 4.3 6.3 46.7
Total 192.8 155.3 -19.5

Source: UN Comtrade, March 2019

Contact addresses
Title Internet address Remark
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/srilanka Foreign trade information for the German export industry
AHK Sri Lanka http://www.srilanka.ahk.de Contact point for German companies
Sri Lanka Export Development Board http://www.srilankabusiness.com/edb State organization responsible for the development and promotion of exports in Sri Lanka. 

 

More information:
Sri Lanka
Source:

Heena Nazir, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Photo: Goshadron auf Pixabay
12.03.2019

RUSSIAN ONLINE RETAILERS ARE FOUNDING LOCAL AMAZONS

  • E-Commerce Market continues to grow rapidly

Russia's online retailers are entering into strategic alliances. The market is maturing and consolidating. German suppliers must prepare themselves for tougher competition.
Russia's online trade continues to record strong growth rates. In 2018, sales increased by 19 percent year-on-year to around Rubel 1.2 billion (EUR 15.5 billion; 1 EUR = 74.04
Rubles, annual average exchange rate 2018). This corresponded to about 290 million orders, according to Data Insight's analysis. By the end of 2023, the investment bank Morgan Stanley expects annual growth of 25 percent to Rubles 3.5 billion. In 2018, the cross-border Internet trade increased by 29 percent to the equivalent of EUR 4.7 billion.

  • E-Commerce Market continues to grow rapidly

Russia's online retailers are entering into strategic alliances. The market is maturing and consolidating. German suppliers must prepare themselves for tougher competition.
Russia's online trade continues to record strong growth rates. In 2018, sales increased by 19 percent year-on-year to around Rubel 1.2 billion (EUR 15.5 billion; 1 EUR = 74.04
Rubles, annual average exchange rate 2018). This corresponded to about 290 million orders, according to Data Insight's analysis. By the end of 2023, the investment bank Morgan Stanley expects annual growth of 25 percent to Rubles 3.5 billion. In 2018, the cross-border Internet trade increased by 29 percent to the equivalent of EUR 4.7 billion.

Development of the Russian online trade
  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sales (Bn. Rubel) 1) 560 650 805 965 1.150
Change (in %) 2) 34.9 16.1 23.0 20.0 19.0


1) Physical goods only; excluding cross-border trade, deliveries of ready meals, tickets for transport and events, coupons, consumer-to-consumer and multi-level marketing;
2) Nominal year-on-year; variance due to rounding.
Sources: Market research institute Data Insight; Association of Online Retailers (NAMO)

The share of e-commerce in retail sales is currently still around 5 percent. With the "Strategy for the Development of Online Trade by 2025", the government wants to increase this up to 20 percent. The conditions for further growth are good, as Russian consumers are Internet-savvy and open to technical innovations. Already 76 percent of all Russians have an Internet connection. According to the national "Digital Economy" project, broadband Internet penetration is expected to reach 97 percent by 2024.
 
Growth potential far from exhausted
Russia's online retailers are following this trend by modernizing their websites and are investing in goods logistics. Electronic marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular. This is because they offer smaller Internet retailers in particular the opportunity to assert themselves against the market leaders.
In the Forbes ranking of the 20 most valuable Internet companies in Russia, online retailers Wildberries and Ozon rank fourth and fifth respectively. The Russian fashion mail order company Lamoda - a foundation of the German Rocket Internet - is in ninth place.     
The Otto Group realigned its business model in Russia in 2018 and removed its subsidiaries Quelle and Otto from the market. The Hamburg-based group relies on the online brands Bonprix and Witt as well as on the eSolutions platform, which offers B2B services in the areas of marketing, sales, logistics and IT.

Leading online retailers in Russia
Company Productportfolio Sales 2017 (Bn. Rubel) Change 2017/2016 (in %) Number of orders (in Mio.)
Wildberries Clothing, Shoes,
Accessoires
63.8 40.0 39.8
Citilink Goods of all kind 55.2 35.0 5.2
DNS-Shop / Technopoint Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
38.9 61.0 5.8
M.Video Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
36.7 41.0 3.6
Eldorado Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
23.7 2.0 4.3
Lamoda Clothing, Shoes,
Accessoires
23.6 6.0 4.0
Ozon Goods of all kind 23.4 44.0 8.6
Ulmart Goods of all kind 23.1 -37.0 5.9
Bonprix Clothing, Accessoires 16.5 10.0 4.0
Svyaznoy Entertainment electronics,
Household appliances
15.7 35.0 1.5

Source: Data Insight (http://datainsight.ru/top100/)

Russia gets two "local Amazons" at once 
Russian online trading is already firmly in the hands of a few large players who are continuing to expand their market presence. The market leader Wildberries added electronics and household appliances to its range in 2018. AFK Sistema Holding of the oligarch Yevgeny Yevtushenkov has increased its stake in the online retailer Ozon and is investing in the construction of new logistics centers In addition, Ozon started selling medicines, jewellery and ready meals.  

In April 2018, the Russian technology group Yandex and Sberbank agreed to establish the Beru and Bringly online marketplaces. The aim is to further develop the Yandex.Market platform into a "Russian Amazon". Russia's largest bank brings in the customer data of 100 million account holders.
Beru and Bringly's range mainly includes high-priced goods such as electronics, clothing, shoes and cosmetics. Bringly cooperates with the British cosmetics chain Feelunique, among others. In September 2018, Yandex.Market also concluded a cooperation agreement with Hepsiburada, Turkey's largest online marketplace. 

Alibaba expands its market presence in Russia
In September 2018, the next major merger in Russian online trading was announced: The Mail.ru Group and Megafon (part of the company empire of the oligarch Alisher Usmanow), the Russian Fund for Direct Investments and the Chinese technology group Alibaba intend to establish a joint online marketplace by the end of the first quarter of 2019. Alibaba intends to expand its presence on the Russian market.
The Mail.ru Group provides access to the data records of around 100 million users - an enormous new customer potential for the Chinese online giant. On March 5th  2019, AliExpress, the Russian subsidiary of Alibaba, also launched a platform for the sale of passenger cars of the Chinese brand Chery.

Duty-free limit continues to fall
Two thirds of Russian online buyers also order goods from foreign traders. 90 percent of the deliveries come from China. If the price and weight of the product are within the exemption limits, no sales tax is payable. On 1 January 2019, the exemption limit for cross-border online trading was halved to EUR 500 and the weight limit was lowered from 31 to 25 kilograms. From January 1st   2020, the tax-free allowance will fall to EUR 200.  However, this measure is unlikely to generate any additional revenue for the Russian State. In 86 percent of cross-border online purchases, the maximum value of goods is at about USD 22.

Above all, capacity bottlenecks in the delivery of online orders are currently putting the brakes on sector. VTB-Bank is therefore investing around EUR 410 million in the construction of 40 logistics and distribution centers for the Russian Post Office (Potschta Rossii) by 2021. The state-owned company intends to profit from the growth in the online commerce and increase its revenue from parcel services for e-commerce to Rubel 122 billion by 2023. Since September 2018, the Russian Post has been distributing deliveries from China via hubs in Siberia and the Far East.
The logistics service provider DPD has been working with the Avito advertising portal since October 2018. In future Its customers will be able to collect their parcels at around 1,500 DPD stations. Since June 2018 DHL and eBay have been working together on logistics services in Russia.

The development of B2B platforms is becoming increasingly important in Russia's online trade. The potential is huge: the Russian B2B online market amounts to around USD 20 billion - and the trend is rising. Pioneers such as Sewerstal, Alrosa or Technonikol already rely on B2B platforms to sell directly to their end customers. In 2018, the Chinese Fosun Group acquired around 20 percent of the shares in the B2B platform Prod.Center, on which agricultural products are traded.

More information:
Russia E-Commerce
Source:

Hans-Jürgen Wittmann, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

CHINA'S TEXTILE AND APPAREL INDUSTRY FEELS US PUNITIVE TARIFFS Photo: Pixabay
05.03.2019

CHINA'S TEXTILE AND APPAREL INDUSTRY FEELS US PUNITIVE TARIFFS

  • Nevertheless - automation, environmental compatibility and energy efficiency increase machine imports

China's textile and clothing industry is modernizing. High-quality textile machines are in demand. But because of the trade dispute with the USA, investments are also postponed.

How the trade dispute between the USA and China affects its business is currently being discussed by China's textile and apparel manufacturers - and in particular by the companies located in the high-quality sector: Of the approximately USD 119 billion, that they sold abroad in 2018, about two thirds went to the United States.

  • Nevertheless - automation, environmental compatibility and energy efficiency increase machine imports

China's textile and clothing industry is modernizing. High-quality textile machines are in demand. But because of the trade dispute with the USA, investments are also postponed.

How the trade dispute between the USA and China affects its business is currently being discussed by China's textile and apparel manufacturers - and in particular by the companies located in the high-quality sector: Of the approximately USD 119 billion, that they sold abroad in 2018, about two thirds went to the United States.

According to the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), 41 percent of the clothing sold in the USA, 72 percent of the shoes and 84 percent of the accessories come from China. On the other hand, the producers of intermediate products or textiles are less or hardly affected by the punitive tariffs, because here the dependence on the USA is not quite as great. Apparel manufacturers in Vietnam and Bangladesh, for example, generally are also buying in China.

Following previous punitive tariffs on Chinese imported goods, in September 2018 the USA imposed a 10 percent punitive tariff on a wide range of other Chinese imported goods, including goods from the textile and clothing industry. On January 1. 2019, the tariffs should originally be raised to 25 percent, but at the beginning of December 2018 US President Trump and China's President Xi agreed not to increase the tariffs until March 1st 2019.

Companies are reluctant to invest
It is hardly possible to make predictions about the outcome of the conflict. In view of the uncertainty, many of the companies affected are therefore waiting for the time being. German textile machine manufacturers are also feeling the effects of this, whether due to lower demand for machines from Germany or locally. According to a representative of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) in Beijing, many investments have been stopped.

But apart from the upheavals, the modernization process of the Chinese textile and clothing industry is far from complete. Gone are the days when the numerous street markets in China were flooded with cheap clothes. They're hard to find these days. Their manufacturers either had to modernize or have since disappeared from the market.

Number of Chinese textile and clothing companies down sharply
China's textile and clothing industry has been through tough years of consolidation and modernization. In fact, between 2013 and 2017 alone, the number of predominantly private-sector companies in the sector fell by almost 11 percent to around 33,500.

Chinese customers don't want any more junk - and can usually afford better. According to the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), they spent about RMB 1,371 billion; equivalent to about USD 207 billion; (1 USD = about 6.6114 RMB, annual mean rate 2018) on clothing and shoes in 2018. This is 8 percent more than in the previous year.

Rising personnel costs force automation
On the one hand, consumer demand has grown and led companies to invest in better machines, on the other hand, the constant pressure on personnel costs has forced them to automate their processes. Between 2010 and 2017, the number of employees in the sector fell from 10.9 million to 7.8 million.

Many have tried (and are trying) to escape the pressure by relocating their companies - for example to the interior of the country, where the wages are lower, or to cheaper foreign countries. However, the great migration movement did not take place, as most of them see themselves too strongly interwoven with their suppliers. Some are also skeptical about the move to the West, arguing that it would only be a temporary solution - and that sooner or later the wages there would follow.

Traditionally, the industry has concentrated on the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Zhejiang and Shandong. There, the average gross monthly wages of urban workers rose between 2013 and 2017 (latest available figures) by between 38.9 per cent (Fujian) and 48.5 per cent (Guangdong) - with significantly lower inflation rates.

Development of the Chinese textile and clothing industry 2013 to 2017
(% change over previous year) *)
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Cjamge
Number of companies 37,376 36,642 36,488 35,197 33,326 -5.3
.Textile industry 21,666 20,821 20,545 19,752 18,726 -5.2
.Clothing industry 15,710 15,821 15,943 15,445 14,600 -5.5
Number of employees in 1,000 persons n.a. n.a. 9,140 8,667 7,784 -10.2
.Textile industry n.a. n.a. 4,645 4,362 3,912 -10.3
.Clothing industry n.a. n.a. 4,495 4,305 3,872 -10.1
Turnover in RMB bn. 5,553 5,934 6,222 6,458 5,700 -11.7
.Textile industry 3,608 3,829 3,999 4,084 3,611 -11.6
.Clothing industry 1,945 2,105 2,223 2,374 2,089 -12.0

*) only companies with an annual turnover of more than RMB 20 million are included.
Source: National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

Environmental legislation and energy efficiency as additional investment drivers
The industry also has to deal with a generally stricter environmental legislation, which increasingly is being implemented. Added to this is the growing importance of the energy efficiency aspect.

Both are good news for German textile machinery manufacturers, according to VDMA estimates. As a result, the market for high-tech machines is expanding and the resulting demand is still far from being met by local production. China imported USD 4.2 billion worth of textile machinery in 2018, an increase of 6.7 percent over the previous year. A further customer potential arises from the growing importance of technical textiles.

According to Chinese customs statistics, German suppliers supplied textile machinery worth USD 1.1 billion to China in 2017 (latest available data) - a whopping 28.3 percent more than in the previous year. Despite this success, however, they had to cede their previous leading position as the main supplier country to Japan. However, this statistic shows only one side of the medal. Almost all well-known manufacturers are now represented in China with their own production facilities - and no figures are available about their activities.

Imports of textile machinery to China by selected countries
(SITC item 724; in US$ million, change from previous year and percentage share)
  2015 2016 2017 Change Share 2017
Total, thereof from 3,354 2,907 3,897 34.1 100.0
.Japan 728 765 1.169 52.8 30.0
.Germany 1,219 851 1.101 29.4 28.3
.Italy 415 347 448 29.1 11.5
.Taiwan 206 187 203 8.6 5.2
.Belgium 134 124 173 4.0 4.4
.Switzerland 104 111 126 13.5 3.2

Sources: UN-Comtrade; Calculations by Germany Trade & Invest

Environmental model companies point the way ahead

Already today there are manufacturers with ambitious plans in environmental protection. One of them is the Dongrong Group. Based in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, the Cashmere company has been selected by the government of the Autonomous Region, together with a dairy company, as a model company for environmental protection. This included President and owner Cheng Xudong having his company - by the way inspired by the German Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai 2008 - sealed energetically (albeit not with materials "Made in Germany").

The next big step will be the purification of the company's own waste water. "Cheng describes his goal as follows: "Fish, suitable for consumption in our canteen, should be able to swim in it. The company is already now growing vegetables for the canteen itself. In his efforts it is financially supported by the state. But certainly not all entrepreneurs are so ambitious.

And there is still an old Chinese saying for many companies: "The sky is high - and the emperor is far away". In other words, what the central government decides in Beijing does not necessarily have to be implemented in the huge hinterland. But all these efforts show in which direction the journey goes.

 

More information:
China USA Tariffs
Source:

Stefanie Schmitt, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Photo: Pixabay
26.02.2019

TURKEY REMAINS AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR GERMAN TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

  • Competition from the Far East increases modernization pressure

Turkey is an important market for German manufacturers of textile machinery. However, the textile and clothing industry has a problem: exports have been stagnating for years.

The Turkish textile industry is broadly based: Companies manufacture all intermediate products in the country, including yarns, fibers and fabrics. Production along the entire textile value chain means great sales potential for German suppliers of textile machinery. In fact, Turkey is the second most important export market for German spinning, weaving, textile finishing machines and the like after China, as it can be seen from the figures of the Federal Statistical Office Destatis.Nevertheless, the sector is not a growth market. Apart from a few outliers upwards and downwards, Turkish textile machinery imports have remained at the same level for several years. This is due to the fact that Turkish exports of textiles and clothing are also stagnating. Particularly noticeable: companies benefited only marginally from the weak lira last year.

Textile and apparel industry benefits little from weak lira
Year Turkish exports of clothing and textiles (in US$ billion) Annual change (in %)
2015 26.3 -10.3
2016 26.1 -0.6
2017 26.7 2.1
2018 27.7 3.6

Source: Turkish Statistical Office TÜIK (http://www.tuik.gov.tr)

Increasing pressure from the Far East
Turkish clothing manufacturers are increasingly feeling the effects of competition from the Far East. Despite the high number of informal workers, wages in Turkey have risen to such an extent that they cannot keep up with the low wages of Asian sewing factories. The geographical advantage of Turkish companies over Chinese competitors is at stake because of the new Silk Road and the development of faster transport routes. Free trade agreements that the European Union is currently negotiating with India and South Korea will further increase the pressure on Turkish producers.

Slump in 3rd quarter 2018
In addition, there is the difficult economic situation in the country: the Turkish lira reached a record low, especially in the months of August to October 2018, and commercial banks raised their lending rates. As a result, financing costs for machinery from abroad suddenly increased, orders from Turkey failed to materialize, especially in the third quarter. The German knitting machine manufacturer Mayer & Cie has also noticed this, as Stefan Bühler, who is responsible for the Turkish business, reports: "In the last three months of 2018, the market was virtually dead. In the meantime, however, the industry is gradually recovering.

Akar Textile plans new factory
Announcements about new investments cannot yet be heard at this time. As early as June 2018, Akar Textile (http://www.akartextile.com) announced that it would build a new factory for 47 million Turkish lira (TL) in the municipality of Savur in southeastern Turkey. 3,000 employees are there to become employed. Akar Textile produces for companies such as C&A, Mango and H&M. Only a few months after the announcement of the project, the economic crisis in Turkey deepened in September. The extent to which the turbulence has affected the project implementation is not known.

Technical textiles as a driving force for growth
Far Eastern competition is increasing the pressure to modernize the Turkish textile industry. In the future, industry will have to compete primarily with high-quality products. Growth impulses are currently coming from the sector of technical textiles. According to industry reports, more than 200 small and medium-sized enterprises are already producing technical textiles and nonwovens in Turkey. These textiles and fabrics are being used in the automotive, packaging and cosmetics industries.

In June 2018, the Turkish METYX Group (http://www.metyx.com) invested in its machinery parc. The company is manufacturing technical textiles and has ordered a line of warp knitting machines from the German textile machine manufacturer Karl Mayer. The manufacturer of composite materials is thus increasing its capacity by 12,000 tons of glass and carbon fibers. In recent years, more and more research and development centers have emerged to promote the necessary technology transfer in the industry. The Institute for Technical Textiles at RWTH Aachen University (ITA) founded a research center in Istanbul in October 2016. In the Teknosab industrial zone in Bursa the BUTEKOM research and development center for textile technology was established in 2008. The institute offers training as well as research and development cooperation to and with companies.

However, many medium-sized textile companies often lack the money to invest in modern machinery. The short planning horizon makes an access to research and development more difficult. As a member of the management board of the German-Turkish Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Frank Kaiser has been observing the Turkish business landscape for eight years. He points out that the textile manufacturers, like other medium-sized companies in the country too, often plan in short terms. "In view of the volatile business environment, this is rational," Kaiser explains.

Turkish imports of textile machinery and exchange rate comparison  1)
Year Import from Germany
(in USD million)
Total imports
(in USD million)
Exchange rate
(1 US$ = ?TL)
2009 143 505 1.55
2011 521 1,851 1.67
2013 619 2,211 1.90
2015 382 1,398 2.72
2017 447 1,478 3.65
2018 1) 2) 490 1,774 4.81

1) the slump in the 3rd quarter is not yet visible in the annual figures for 2018; it will not become noticeable until 2019
Sources: UN-Comtrade, TurkStat 2), Bundesbank