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(c) Claudia Bitzer
05.01.2021

Telling good Stories - PR Challenges of the medium-sized Textile Industry

Interview with Claudia Bitzer, Owner Bitzer PR, Albstadt

The past year was not only a big economic challenge for many companies, but also in terms of communication - whether in advertising or in PR topics - new ground had to be broken. Contact restrictions up to a strict lockdown, the cancellation of many trade fairs, congresses or other event formats made it necessary to rethink.

Textination discussed it with Claudia Bitzer, owner of the PR agency of the same name in Albstadt, Baden-Württemberg. Her customers include medium-sized companies from the textile and clothing industry as well as machinery manufacturers, public clients and the media.

Interview with Claudia Bitzer, Owner Bitzer PR, Albstadt

The past year was not only a big economic challenge for many companies, but also in terms of communication - whether in advertising or in PR topics - new ground had to be broken. Contact restrictions up to a strict lockdown, the cancellation of many trade fairs, congresses or other event formats made it necessary to rethink.

Textination discussed it with Claudia Bitzer, owner of the PR agency of the same name in Albstadt, Baden-Württemberg. Her customers include medium-sized companies from the textile and clothing industry as well as machinery manufacturers, public clients and the media.

With your PR agency based in Albstadt, you have also been busy in the textile industry for a good 5 years. If you had to introduce yourself in 100 words to someone who doesn't know you: Why did you decide to become your own boss after working for an agency, and what distinguishes your work?
Actually, self-employment gave me a call: An acquaintance suggested that I take over the communication for his employer, a textile machine manufacturer in the Alb, as a freelancer. When I was on the phone, I had our ten-day-old son in my arms. I was also a PR consultant at Ketchum in Stuttgart. Because I was curious, I got to grips with the matter over the next few months. With success: The textile machines have turned out to be surprisingly tangible products, after all, they make the clothes that we wear on our bodies every day. From this my access to the textile industry developed, which I would call my home base today.

Because I serve various companies along the textile chain, I have an overall view of the industry and can offer overarching stories with different perspectives. I also have a weakness for complex, "dusty" topics, regardless of the industry. I can delve in them with devotion in order to present them vividly. That's why I would call myself a content specialist.

In addition to German, English, Spanish and French, you speak Swabian fluently. Why is it important to have regional roots when you work for export-oriented companies in the textile industry in Baden-Württemberg?
You got that about fluent Swabian from my website, right? (Laughs) But yes, it is very helpful if you can feel whether "gschwind" – Swabian for “pretty fast” - tolerates a delay or has to be dealt with immediately.

I think the Swabian is really important in terms of the mentality behind it. I grew up in the Alb, my father ran a medium-sized company of his own. I understand many things without a customer having to explain them to me.

For example, modesty in relation to one's own person. Especially in long-established family businesses, the owners play an important role. They bear a great responsibility, both in the company and at their location. Nevertheless, the focus is always on the entrepreneurial performance, the product that, manufactured somewhere in the Swabian province, can keep up with the German, European or global competition. That doesn't happen by itself, but requires courage, entrepreneurial spirit and a great deal of openness to new things, and that fascinates me. I also often notice that by the passion, that these leading family businesses bring with them, I am carried away.

Breaking new ground means being willing to make decisions, overcoming fears - and thus also having the courage to fail. Not every project can succeed. In retrospect, which entrepreneurial decision are you particularly glad to have made?
Apart from being self-employed? The first corona lockdown with home schooling and closed daycare centers was a big challenge. On the one hand, I was relieved that it became quieter on the customer side between the end of March and the beginning of June, otherwise it would not have been feasible either professionally or in terms of family. On the other hand, this silence scared me and I often asked myself whether self-employment was the right way to go.

In early summer, when the situation on all sides had stabilized somewhat, I tackled the problem head on: I looked for co-working spaces and took extensive further training in online marketing. Being honest, of course, these were business decisions. Fortunately, they are already paying off, even if I may sit alone in the office for now.

Is there any work you are particularly proud of? Which story moved you beyond normal and which thematic challenges do you love?
One project that I fondly remember is the communication referring to a repdigit anniversary one of my clients was celebrating. For this, I first put 111 years of the company’s history down on paper in weeks, no, months of archive work. Because I had delved so deeply into the subject, I came up with many ideas for the messages of the anniversary celebration. Fortunately, the client was quickly convinced. At some point we had a signet, a slogan and a really good story for the anniversary. Incidentally, we still benefit from the numerous proof points we worked out for the occasion in our product and corporate communications today.

In addition, the project has naturally deepened the relationship with this client. I also work closely with the advertising agency that accompanied the anniversary communication. I consider such long-term partnerships as a great asset.

Have the messages you want or need to communicate for your clients changed in Corona times? And what was the focus of your work in 2020?
Unsurprisingly, the focus of work in 2020 was on online communication. For almost all of my customers we will start planning and implementing new measures in this area in the coming year.

As for the messages, little has altered. This is certainly due to the fact that the meta-topics have remained the same. Take sustainability, definitely a long-running favorite in the textile industry, and the sub-topic regionality. In contrast to previous crises, the Corona pandemic has not sidelined these approaches, but intensified them because it has shown us how dependent we are on production abroad. The same applies to the issues of transparency and quality.

Precisely because the themes have stayed the same, the crucial part for me is to find a unique story within these permanent themes so as not to disappear into the big river. That requires empathy, creativity - and a good portion of diligence.

Moving away from the simple advertising message to storytelling - what recommendation would you give medium-sized companies in general regarding their communication for the coming year? Are there any special features that the textile industry in particular should consider?
I think that will go in the direction of "We are still there, and even stronger than before". After all, the crisis demanded a lot from everyone. But it is always a productive phase, because when it comes to a head, it forces us to develop further that otherwise would not have been initiated or at least would have been initiated later. Therefore, it can represent a turning point, definitely for the better.

Take digitization, which is the most obvious approach: the crisis has given rise to a boost in this area; the online shop was or is to be expanded, the service is to become more digital.

Apart from that, there are certain individual changes in every company that the crisis has brought about. You can have the courage to name and tell them, because these are stories that interest everyone.

Goodbye Facebook - good morning TikTok. Which social media platforms do you recommend to your clients and under what conditions should medium-sized companies get involved?
TikTok has so far been more of a topic that I discuss with my daughter, who is almost 12 years old. But seriously: I recently read in a study published by Hootsuite that at the beginning of 2020, less than ten percent of Germans were using TikTok. On Facebook, the user share is still over 60 percent. For that reason alone, we shouldn't simply dismiss Facebook.

When I discuss the topic of social media with my clients, it is important for me not to think from the channels. Sure, it's tempting, but other questions should be asked at the beginning: What is the long-term goal of the social media activities? What resources are available - and what budgets? By now it is well known that social media is an extensive field of activity in its own right, which ties up corresponding resources. In medium-sized businesses, where I rarely have access to a multi-headed marketing team, a solid strategy is the be-all and end-all. It must be very, very clear which target groups are to be addressed. Then I can talk about channels and choose the most important ones. This almost certainly includes LinkedIn and Xing, as well as Instagram and Facebook, the latter especially in an international environment. By the way, the evaluation is just as important, it tends to fall behind. The relationship between measured values and corporate goals is anything but trivial.

Trade fairs, events, press conferences and meetings - these have almost completely fallen by the wayside in 2020. How important do you consider face-to-face communication to be in the long term, and which channels and measures do you recommend to your customers to compensate for these losses?
Face-to-face contact remains important! Of course, we all realised last year that not every event has to be a face-to-face event. A video conference saves time and money and, with the right discipline, can be just as effective as a face-to-face meeting. Many service cases can also be solved by video telephony, no one has to travel around. I am therefore convinced that we will not return to the meeting in person culture we had before Corona, even if this will be possible again at some point.

That's why I advise my clients to take advantage of the digital opportunities that are opening up everywhere. At the moment, everyone is still a beginner, you can only learn. Take virtual trade fairs: This is a fundamentally different approach than the classic presence fair. There is no need for a large trade fair team that is ready from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. There are no press appointments either. It is much more important to contact the visitors directly, i.e., to collect leads, to group the visitors and to stay in touch with them after the event by providing them with tailor-made content. Speaking of content: at the latest with such online events, it becomes clear how diverse content must be prepared. To pick up customers in the virtual space, you need graphics, videos, animations and much more.

Nevertheless, it will not work without direct, physical contact. I remain convinced that people buy from people. Video conferences work particularly well when the participants already know each other from real life. And the textile industry in particular thrives on haptics. I can never feel a yarn or a fabric digitally. Nor can I feel the production speed of a machine. With every revolution there is a slight breeze. You can't get that digitally.

 

The interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG (c) Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG
14.07.2020

Interview with Andreas Merkel, Managing Director Gebr. Otto GmbH & Co. KG

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

"OTTO has already survived two world wars and a pandemic in 1918, we will survive this one as well"

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Andreas Merkel, Managing Director of Gebr. Otto Baumwollfeinzwirnerei GmbH & Co. KG, takes over the second part of our series of interviews and succeeds Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at the textile machinery company Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG. The spinning mill, which was founded in Dietenheim in 1901, is now considered as one of the most modern ones in Europe. The management decided against relocating production abroad and relies on premium yarns made from natural fibers as well as tailor-made customer solutions.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

The lockdown period was something surreal to me. It was difficult to understand what was real and what was virtual. I found it positive that the crisis brought people closer together and that they gave more appreciation to things people had taken for granted, such as their own workplace.
Overall, I have remembered the past few months as not being such a negative time. Of course, this is also because we as a company have got off lightly so far. We have no external obligations such as rents, leasing contracts and so on to serve. We also see a clear upward trend again.    
          
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
The enterprise Gebrüder Otto has existed since 1901, we have already weathered a pandemic - the Spanish flu in 1918 - and we will survive this too. Of course, many orders suddenly broke off, and we had to cope with parts of the company in short-time work. Incidentally, an extremely sensible government offer that helped us to react quickly.
But I have the impression that the crisis is going to get off to a good start and I don't think we will stay at the current low level for a long time. As it looks now, we no longer need to take advantage of the short-time work in the spinning mill we had requested for July.
I am worried about the companies that will be hit hard by this crisis, especially in our industry, of course. We are already noticing insolvencies of long-established companies. The textile value chain in Germany is already very limited; let’s hope that this pandemic doesn’t shrink it any further.
 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
We saw a positive development even before the pandemic: More and more customers are asking about sustainable products, which we offer in a wide range.
Last year we started building up the brand "Cotton since 1901 - made in Germany" and launched it in April this year. We want to make the fact even clearer that we offer a regional, transparent and sustainable product with our cotton yarns made in Dietenheim. We have been based in Germany for almost 120 years and are part of our cityscape and local life. We - and our product - stand for consistency, responsibility and the highest quality standards.
Our yarns are the DNA of a high quality garment. Products that are made from "Cotton since 1901" are provided with a corresponding hang tag in the shops.
We are happy that we were able to launch this brand despite the difficulties that the corona measures implicated. Because now the topic is more important than ever. I recently had a conversation with a customer: Nothing works except in the sustainable segment. In short: high-quality products remain in demand, while it is becoming more and more difficult on the average market.

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
In Germany, we have a high degree of company-internal value-add, we spin, twist and dye. Our cotton is extra-long-staple and we source it from Spain and Israel, from long-term suppliers. Because of Corona, there was no reason for our procurement to take consequences.
However, the crisis will have made it clear to many people that mass products used in daily life are no longer so easy to manufacture on their doorstep. But we need a reliable and high availability in Germany. That is why we should strengthen regional production, also in the long term. Sure, this is only possible in cooperation with customers and partners who appreciate these values. That doesn't work if everyone just looks at the price. Pricing is not everything. From this perspective, the pandemic was certainly an important catalyst.
 
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future?
Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?

Vertical partnerships are becoming increasingly important. Well, the shrinkage of the industry implicates this anyway. But we have to work together even more and the quality of the partnerships needs to become closer.
If one of the remaining specialists fails - let's assume that the companies that are now going bankrupt would have to close completely - then everyone else will be affected. There are no such specialists ten a penny, if they fall away, then some products cannot be manufactured locally anymore. You can build a fantastic car, no matter how good, if you don't have someone who can provide you with the steering wheel, you don't have a finished car.

What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
Regional products should be given a parent brand so that consumers can recognize a regionally manufactured product as such. There was something like this in Switzerland with Swisscotton. I have suggested this several times in the association of the textile industry. It would be best for the industry if all manufacturers jointly build up such a regional label. After all, consumers are ready to spend money if they know where a product comes from and that it was manufactured fairly and sustainably. Everyone would benefit from such transparent added value. And digitization offers the ideal platform for this.

What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry?
Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?

As far as public procurement is concerned, I cannot answer this question because it does not really affect us.
But of course the pandemic has shown how fatal it can be if products are no longer manufactured in Germany, for example if antibiotics are market under the name of German companies but are actually manufactured on the other side of the world.
At the end of the day, the question arises: being a part of the textile industry – are we systemically relevant? Partly yes, I think, because if tomorrow
nobody produces yarns in Germany or Europe anymore, this will have consequences for systemically relevant products. And, as you know, you only realise that things can get tight when there is a bang. That is why I think that in a country like Germany there must be a basic supply of products and technology. After all, it's also about further development, about innovations. If I want to make a virus-free mask, I need local partners.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on.
Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?

For us at Otto, sustainability and environmental protection have been a long-standing central corporate value. We produce our electricity partly independently, from hydropower. Our products and processes have been certified according to the highest standards. In my lectures, I often show how much water is needed to produce cotton, and how precious this raw material is in itself.
Together with the valuable regional added value, this gave rise to our new brand "Cotton since 1901". There will be a QR code on the hang tags on the finished garments, so that the buyer can check what is inside the product.
Such approaches, which are sustainable and regional, are a mega opportunity that we have to use. The corona crisis had demonstrated this very clearly.
 
What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
I'm afraid things will go on as before in many areas. But still: We looked at the medical manufacturers who suddenly could no longer deliver everyday medicines. And we have seen the conditions under which meat products are produced.
Do we want that? No. In the end, consumers value flawless products - and we should deliver them.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

07.07.2020

Mayer & Cie.: “COVID-19 - A Challenge without a Blueprint”

Interview with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG will start the three-part series. The world market leader for circular knitting machines, founded in 1905 in Albstadt / Baden-Württemberg, employs around 400 people worldwide and today offers an international network of more than 80 sales and service representatives.

Interview with Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG

At least Europe seems to be able to breathe a sigh of relief after weeks of lockdown during the corona pandemic. The textile industry, an industry that has lived globalisation for so many years, is facing the challenge of maintaining its place in the new normal and building on its previous performance as quickly as possible.

Textination talked to three company representatives along the textile chain about personal and operational experiences.

Wolfgang Müller, Head of Sales & Service at Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG will start the three-part series. The world market leader for circular knitting machines, founded in 1905 in Albstadt / Baden-Württemberg, employs around 400 people worldwide and today offers an international network of more than 80 sales and service representatives.

How have you felt about the corona era to date - as a company and personally?
What would you on no account want to go through again and what might you even consider maintaining on a daily basis?

The corona era is a challenge without a blueprint. Because it is not an economic crisis as previously understood we have no tried and tested solutions with which to react to the situation. Nevertheless, and this is my personal opinion, there is never only a downside even though the pandemic situation has, of course, had the worst conceivable effect on our order intake.
A positive aspect is that we are forced to deal with issues we would otherwise have put off until the future. Web meetings and virtual trade fairs instead of travelling half way round the world. We can use the time gained to optimise our processes.
When the lockdown began I personally had more time for myself and a few hours more sleep than otherwise. But that positive side effect is already history.    
          
What has the pandemic meant for your company so far?
Let me go back a little further. The trade dispute between the United States and China and many other, smaller local conflicts led to the textile machinery market having faced an understandably most reluctant client base since 2018. After this rather lengthy lean period we noted from the beginning of 2020 a growing inclination to invest once more. Of course, corona abruptly interrupted that trend. So the pandemic hit us at a time when the industry was recovering. We now have a steady order intake once more, but at a lower level than we need if we are to fully utilise our production capacity. So after the summer holidays we will switch to short-time working until the situation is back to normal.
 
What adjustments or innovations to your product portfolio have you felt obliged by the pandemic to undertake?
Contact and travel bans have not only shown us how useful video conferences are; they have also demonstrated most vividly how important digital solutions are – and that we need to work on them intensively. Prior to the corona outbreak, we invested a great deal of time and knowledge in this area so that we were able to unveil knitlink at the 2019 ITMA 2019.
A Web shop for spare parts and our new service approach are both based on knitlink. Using a ticket system that we are developing from our CRM system along with digital measures in service support we can assist our customers faster and at less expense than previously. In addition, our customers will in future be able to record and analyse the production data of their Mayer circular knitting machines.

What are your views on global supply chains in the future, and will you be drawing consequences for your procurement policy?
We as suppliers noticed at the outset of the corona crisis in March that the desire for short supply chains on the part of clothing manufacturers was leading to more orders from countries closer to Europe. Now that the situation is hopefully starting to ease off, this trend is still apparent.
As for our own supply chain, throughout the entire lockdown phase we have had gratifyingly few problems and no downtimes whatever.
 
How do you rate the importance of partnerships within the industry in the future?
Does Covid-19 have the potential to promote the creation of new cooperation arrangements in the industry? Or have they already taken shape?

Cooperation arrangements can be a great enrichment. For over a year and a half we have been collaborating with a design studio in Amsterdam. Our partner Byborre not only develops designs of its own; it also supports sportswear and clothing manufacturers step by step in developing their textiles.
The customer uses his own partners and suppliers while Byborre supplies the machinery and parameters needed to manufacture the desired fabrics.
Byborre could be described as a kind of “translator,” interpreting between us, the machine manufacturers, and those who use the fabrics that are made on our machines.
We as engineers know of course what our machines are capable of accomplishing. Jointly with Byborre we coax new designs and uses out of these capabilities.
Apart from that we cooperate in various bodies such as the VDMA’s Marketing and Trade Fair Committee.
These, however, are not cooperation arrangements arising from or as a consequence of Covid-19. We have no such cooperation to report.

What initiatives or approaches for your industry would you welcome for the near future?
A positive mention must be made of offers by the state government to assist with digitisation projects that we must all take forward.
A strengthening of regional production would also be desirable. That said, even I cannot imagine how that could be achieved other than for high-quality or niche products.

What would you like to see as part of the German textile industry?
Do you feel that the status of the German textile industry has changed as a result of the pandemic, especially in respect of public procurement?

Although “textile” is part of our description as textile machinery manufacturers, our actual home is in the second part of the name – in mechanical engineering. Its status in Germany is, as is known, very high.
That of the textile industry is, from my external vantage point, unchanged. At the beginning of April, when face masks were desperately sought, there were many good intentions, but German firms that offered to manufacture them were refused long-term assurances by the government.
So naturally nobody invested in the idea and everything will probably remain as it is, with the price reigning supreme and competition continuing unabated.

Until now the big issues have been globalisation, sustainability / climate change / environmental protection, digitisation, the labour market situation and so on.
Where do they stand now and how must we rate them against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic?

The overriding issue right now is Covid-19, and everything else is subordinated to it. At the same time it functions like a magnifying glass. Take precarious jobs, for example. The high rates of infection in abattoirs have meant that they can no longer be ignored. Covid-19 has also created facts in respect of environmental protection. Next to nobody is flying, people are working from home and doing less shopping. That leads to lower emissions. The ailing global economy is a blessing for the planet. Germany too is likely to be on climate target for 2020; without corona we would have failed to do so. As for globalisation, it is at least marking time as regional production fills part of the bill.
How long that will continue to be the case remains to be seen, of course, but it is clear that we can be extremely flexible if we need to be.
 
What lessons are to be learnt in respect of these targets for the post-corona era?
There is unlikely to be a “post-corona era” inasmuch as we will no longer get rid of the virus. We must learn to cope with it.
The virus or rather the restrictions it has imposed on us have forced us to be creative. We must deal with existing processes differently – both in private life and professionally. By that I mean such everyday activities as shopping as well as Web meetings and working at home, which was not previously a widespread option at our company. They have certainly made us more efficient.
Another realisation applies to us as an SME just as it does to politics. We have an opportunity to master the crisis and maybe even gain in strength and size from it. But only because we have invested sensibly when times were good and above all managed our business soundly and solidly.

This interview was conducted by Ines Chucholowius, CEO Textination GmbH

Source:

Textination GmbH

Fotos: (c) ITMA
25.06.2019

A MORE INTERNATIONAL ITMA 2019 SETS NEW RECORD WITH BIGGEST NUMBER OF EXHIBITORS

Since its launch in 1951, ITMA has enjoyed wide industry recognition as the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition. This year’s exhibition in Barcelona sees its reputation solidify further with the largest gathering of exhibitors in its history. The record number of exhibitors totaling 1,717 from 45 countries has set a new milestone.

Speaking at the press conference on the opening day of the 18th edition of the exhibition, Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX), said: “The global economy is still facing challenges, accentuated by trade tensions and disruption. However, textile being the world’s oldest manufacturing industry has demonstrated its resilience over the years. 

Since its launch in 1951, ITMA has enjoyed wide industry recognition as the world’s largest textile and garment technology exhibition. This year’s exhibition in Barcelona sees its reputation solidify further with the largest gathering of exhibitors in its history. The record number of exhibitors totaling 1,717 from 45 countries has set a new milestone.

Speaking at the press conference on the opening day of the 18th edition of the exhibition, Mr Fritz P. Mayer, President of the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX), said: “The global economy is still facing challenges, accentuated by trade tensions and disruption. However, textile being the world’s oldest manufacturing industry has demonstrated its resilience over the years. 

“This is also the spirit of our exhibitors who continually innovate and launch new technologies and solutions. We are glad that ITMA has been providing a reputable platform for textile machinery manufacturers to market their innovations. This has enabled us to record the largest number of exhibitors in ITMA’s history.”

The exhibits are showcased over 114,500 square metres of net exhibit space, a 9 per cent increase over the previous edition in 2015. The exhibition occupies all nine halls of the Gran Via venue, including the space under the linkway. To allow more companies to participate, many exhibitors were allocated lesser stand space than what they had originally applied for.  

Mr Charles Beauduin, Chairman of ITMA Services, organiser of ITMA 2019 enthused: “The exhibition would have been larger if we had not turned away applicants due to a lack of space. Unfortunately, we could not accommodate a wait-list of about 250 applicants who booked some 8,200 square metres.”

He added: “ITMA has also evolved into a more international exhibition with a rich diversity of technology offerings from both East and West. Almost half of the total number of exhibitors are from non CEMATEX countries. This augurs well for the development of ITMA into a definitive textile and garment platform for the industry.”

International participation
Of the total number of exhibitors, over half are from CEMATEX countries; the balance comprising companies from other parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. Reflecting the international composition of the participants, the largest number of exhibitors are from Italy (364 exhibitors), China (276 exhibitors), Germany (222 exhibitors), India (169 exhibitors) and Turkey (164 exhibitors).

CEMATEX countries continue to occupy the largest exhibit space, taking up 65% of the total net exhibit space. Italy booked 26% of the space, followed by Germany which booked 18%. The top non-CEMATEX countries are: Turkey with 9%, China with 8%, and India with 5% of the space booked.

Product sectors
Visitors can expect to source a wide range of integrated solutions across the entire value chain in 19 exhibit sectors. Printing, which has seen many advances being made in the last few years, is an exciting growth sector. Chalking up a 38 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors compared with the previous exhibition, it is one of the top five sectors at ITMA 2019:

  • Finishing - 325 exhibitors
  • Spinning - 281 exhibitors
  • Weaving - 182 exhibitors
  • Printing - 157 exhibitors
  • Knitting - 136 exhibitors

Nonwoven and technical textiles due to their wide range of applications continue to be an important sector at ITMA 2019. Garment making, which has been impacted by digitalisation and fast fashion, is also making a bigger impact at ITMA.

Mr Mayer said, “We are extremely pleased to bring garment technology back in focus at ITMA. While ITMA has been traditionally strong in textile making technologies, we are glad that we are able to present garment making solutions from some of the world’s most renowned technology providers. There is an increase of 27 per cent in number of exhibitors as compared with ITMA 2015." Completing the entire value chain is the showcase on fibres, yarn and fabrics. The addition of innovative fabrics in the fibre and yarn chapter at ITMA further completes the sourcing experience for buyers.
 
Focus on innovation
The theme of ITMA 2019 is ‘Innovating the World of Textiles’. To support the innovation drive, CEMATEX has introduced the ITMA Innovation Lab. A new umbrella branding of a series of activities, the Lab includes the Research and Innovation Pavilion, ITMA Speakers Platform, ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award and Innovation Video Showcase. Speakers from the industry have been invited to share their perspectives and experiences at the Speakers Platform which will be held from 21 to 25 June. A finance forum was also held on 21 June.

Co-located events and industry engagement
To encourage the exchange of knowledge, collaboration and networking, several events are staged alongside ITMA 2019. The ITMA-EDANA Nonwovens Forum and Textile Colourant and Chemical Leaders Forum have met with overwhelming response and seats have been added. Similar strong response has also been received by partner events, including the Better Cotton Initiative Seminar, European Digital Textile Conference, TexSummit Global, Planet Textiles, SAC & ZDHC Manufacturer Forum and Texmeeting by TEXFOR.

“The series of co-located events is part of ITMA’s outreach programme to engage industry partners and to create an inclusive platform for the global textile and garment community. We have over 190 international, regional and local organisations lending their support to our exhibition,” Mr Mayer said. ITMA 2019 is held at Fira de Barcelona Gran Via venue till 26 June. The opening hours are from 10.00am to 6.00pm daily, except 26 June when the exhibition will end at 4.00pm.

About CEMATEX & ITMA
The European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers (CEMATEX) comprises national textile machinery associations from Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It is the owner of ITMA and ITMA ASIA. Considered the ‘Olympics’ of textile machinery exhibitions, ITMA has a 68-year history of displaying the latest technology for every single work process of textile and garment making. It is held every four years in Europe.

 

More information:
ITMA 2019
Source:

CEMATEX & ITMA Services

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

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

 

 

 

 

Foto: PIXABAY
19.02.2019

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REMAINS DIFFICULT MARKET FOR GERMAN TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Deliveries have risen sharply recently

Cheap and used technology dominates at the Dominican market for textile machinery. It is some of the country's problems that give German suppliers some hope.

The good news is that in the first eleven months of 2018 German exports of textile and clothing machinery to the Dominican Republic rose by 580 percent year-on-year, and, according to Eurostat, by 2017 German deliveries had tripled. The bad news: German sector exports reached only EUR 1.7 million in absolute terms. This is considerably less than, for example, in Guatemala with its not much larger technology market.

  • Deliveries have risen sharply recently

Cheap and used technology dominates at the Dominican market for textile machinery. It is some of the country's problems that give German suppliers some hope.

The good news is that in the first eleven months of 2018 German exports of textile and clothing machinery to the Dominican Republic rose by 580 percent year-on-year, and, according to Eurostat, by 2017 German deliveries had tripled. The bad news: German sector exports reached only EUR 1.7 million in absolute terms. This is considerably less than, for example, in Guatemala with its not much larger technology market.

Representatives of German providers are not surprised about the figures. Cheap equipment from China and other Asian countries are in demand, but above all mainly used machines. Hugo Clavijo of Texquim, who represents the German suppliers Mayer & Cie. (circular knitting machines) and Groz-Beckert (needles), among others in the Dominican Republic, estimates, that just five out of every hundred machines sold are new. Around the turn of the millennium, the market thus became the residual ramp for the declining US textile industry. According to UN Comtrade, around 60 percent of the value of technology deliveries in recent years came from the USA.

The International Textile Manufacturers Federation also registered hardly any shipments of new machines: for 2010 to 2017, the ITMF shows just ten flat knitting machines and eleven (all in 2017) circular knitting machines. Also, for this period 720 Double Heaters for texturing synthetic filaments for yarn production were listed. The ITMF counts the deliveries of 200 textile machinery manufacturers worldwide and thus a large part of the market, albeit not the entire one.

Electricity and water bottlenecks as arguments for expensive machines
Hugo Clavijo currently sees no great chance of a rapid improvement in the sale of expensive German technology. But ironically, it is some of the country's problems that may transform the potential customer interest into concrete procurements: The energy supply for the textile companies is expensive and unreliable, and the companies have to treat their process water themselves. Economical and less repair-prone machines would come into a closer consideration even if the purchase prices were significantly higher. It would also be helpful to enforce environmental standards, which today are largely on paper only.

There is also a need for technology if the Dominican textile and clothing manufacturers expand their capacities due to possible changes in international trade policy, i.e. if clothing customers in the USA would place orders in the Caribbean country instead of Asia. At the moment, however, the Dominican export industry is not using its factories to capacity.

Installed capacity of the Dominican textile industry in comparison (2016, in units) 1)

Machinery / technology Dominican Republic Guatemala Ethiopia Turkey
Rotor Spinning 2) 1,400 21,000 19,000 800,000
Short Staple Spinning 2) 20,000 150,000 293,852 7,900,000
Shuttle Looms 3) 500 3,000 167 20,000
Shuttleless Looms 3) 150 890 2,200 49,500

1) no data on other machines; 2) spinning machines; 3) weaving machines

Source: International Textile Manufacturers Federation

The Dominican textile and clothing industry, which, according to the central bank, generated 11 percent of the country's total export revenues with clothing from free zones in 2017, is not fully vertically integrated: it mainly imports yarns, which then is mainly being knitted but also woven or otherwise processed and then assembled into finished clothing. It often produces T-shirts and other knitwear with a high cotton content. And this is "the cheap stuff," as Clavijo says.

There is a limited production of synthetic yarn in the Dominican Republic which, according to Hugo Clavijo, is limited to two companies: The Korean company Youm Kwang textures filaments in the country, while the US company A&E (American & Efird) produces sewing thread from imported filaments.

Four export producers as important technology customers
The Dominican textile sector is said to consist of about two equal segments. A dozen medium-sized companies and a large number of garage companies supply the domestic market. In addition, four companies produce for export in the country's free zones: Gildan (Canada), Hanes (USA), Willbes (Korea) and the local Grupo M, which has been working in a 50/50 joint venture with Brandix from Sri Lanka since the beginning of 2017. The procurement of machines in foreign companies is not decided by the local management, but by the corporate headquarters, according to representatives.

The four export producers are said to be vertically integrated from yarn processing onwards. Grupo M supplies about one fifth of its fabrics, knitwear, etc. to processors, while the other three industry giants manufacture these preliminary products completely by themselves. According to Comtrade (SITC chapter 84), three quarters of the clothing exports go to the USA, the remainder predominantly to the neighboring Haiti.

For US clothing customers, the nearby Dominican Republic offers fast and cheap transport routes as well as the advantageous customs regime of the DR-CAFTA trade agreement. According to Hugo Clavijo, however, Dominican clothing exporters must obtain their intermediate products from the USA in order to benefit from all customs relief. Producers for the Dominican domestic market, on the other hand, are using yarns and fabrics from China, Pakistan or other third countries that offer lower production costs.

USA dominate machine deliveries
The Dominican market for textile and clothing machinery has stagnated in recent years: For 2017, UN Comtrade estimated imports - there is no significant domestic production - at USD 36 million. That was as much as 2014 and around USD 10 million more than around 2010.

According to Comtrade, Germany was ranked sixth in the import ranking with an average share of 2.0 percent between 2015 and 2017. Eurostat, whose (export) data deviate considerably in some cases, noted stagnating industry deliveries from the European Union to the Dominican Republic for the first eleven months of 2018 in addition to the high growth for Made in Germany.

Dominican imports of textile machinery (USD thousand *)
ITC-Pos. Supplying country/ Goods Group 2015 2016 2017
  total 33,398 30,817 36,257
724.35, .39 Sewing machines (excluding domestic sewing machines) 12,131 10,350 12,784
7244 Spinn- and texturing machines 2,852 2,102 4,585
7245 Knitting and weaving machines 3,362 2,683 1,543
7246 Auxiliary machines 6,068 5,215 5,384
724.73, .74 Washing machines, stenter frames, etc. (except for housholds and landries), large-dryers 5,135 5,615 7,652
724.92 Parts for items 724.73 and .74 and for dry-cleaning machines (724.72) and domestic tumble dryers 3,850 4,852 4,309
  Supplying countries      
  USA 22,000 17,320 20,743
  China 3,424 3,058 2,380
  Spain 2,176 2,567 2,614
  Japan 973 1,894 2,688
  Italy 923 1,194 496
  Germany 397 724 873

*) SITC 724 without household sewing machines (724,33), household washing machines (724,.71), machines for dry cleaning (724.72), leather processing (7248), parts of household washing machines (724.91).
Source: UN Comtrade.

 

More information:
GTAI
Source:

Ulrich Binkert, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

PIXABAY
04.12.2018

CLOTHING INDUSTRY IN CAMBODIA WITH UNCERTAIN OUTLOOK

  • Exports rise in the country's most important industrial sector.

Phnom Penh (GTAI) - Cambodia's clothing exports are growing steadily. However, two factors cloud the prospects for the future.

Cambodia's garment industry is the backbone of the Kingdom's export-oriented economy. Industry exports account for around 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). More than 800,000 Cambodians are employed in over 800 companies. That is more than 85 percent of all factory workers in the country.

Apparel and footwear exports reached USD 8.0 billion in 2017, according to Cambodian customs. This represented an increase of 9.6 percent compared with 2016. Proud growth rates between 7 and almost 15 percent were already achieved in previous years. GTAI estimates on the basis of partner countries' imports an even higher export volume of around USD 12 billion.

  • Exports rise in the country's most important industrial sector.

Phnom Penh (GTAI) - Cambodia's clothing exports are growing steadily. However, two factors cloud the prospects for the future.

Cambodia's garment industry is the backbone of the Kingdom's export-oriented economy. Industry exports account for around 40 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). More than 800,000 Cambodians are employed in over 800 companies. That is more than 85 percent of all factory workers in the country.

Apparel and footwear exports reached USD 8.0 billion in 2017, according to Cambodian customs. This represented an increase of 9.6 percent compared with 2016. Proud growth rates between 7 and almost 15 percent were already achieved in previous years. GTAI estimates on the basis of partner countries' imports an even higher export volume of around USD 12 billion.

More than 70 percent of the country's total exports of goods regularly come from the sector. Shoes accounted for exports of USD 873 million (+14.4 percent) in 2017. Foreign business with shoes has been improving for some years now and has been able to increase its share of exports to over 10 percent. With an unchanged share of 46 percent compared to the previous year, the EU continued to play a major role among the customers in 2017, followed by the USA with 24 percent.

The value-added volume of the sector is low and the road to an integrated textile industry in Cambodia is still long. Machines, raw materials and design come from abroad in the form of a CMT model ("Cut Make Trim"). Fabrics, yarns and haberdashery have to be imported in order to keep the local clothing industry "on the runway". In 2016, according to the United Nations Comtrade Database, USD 4.1 billion worth of textiles came into the country for processing - about 60 percent of which came from China. Textile imports have risen proportionally to clothing exports in recent years.

The garment industry is dominated by foreign companies, mostly from the Asian neighborhood China, Hong Kong (SVR), Singapore, Malaysia or South Korea. Many manufacturers produce to order for multinational brands such as Adidas, Puma, Gap, H&M, Marks & Spencer or Uniqlo. In principle, the complete contract manufacturing is intended for export.

Rising wages fuel fear of competition
After years of growth the sector is looking to the future with concern. The country is increasingly in danger of losing market share to its competitors - for example in Myanmar, Vietnam or Bangladesh - primarily due to rising wage costs. In January 2018, the monthly minimum wage for workers was raised to USD 170, up from USD 153. Compared to 2013, when a minimum of USD 80 was required by law, there has now been more than a doubling.

The annual agenda included regular increases of around 10 percent. According to the Cambodia Garment and Footwear Sector Bulletin of the International Labor Organization (ILO), workers who worked the full month, including overtime payments and incentives, were paid an average wage of just under USD 243 in 2017. Last year, it was USD 225.

In the past, low wages were mainly responsible for the attractiveness and competitiveness of Cambodian industry. This advantage is crumbling year after year as a result of the increase of minimum wages. An end to this politically motivated development is not in sight. The government can imagine, referring to expert recommendations, that minimum wages will be raised to USD 250 per month by 2023.

If the trend continues, companies are likely to migrate and not too many new investors will pitch their tents in Cambodia, critics warn. In 2017, sector companies invested nearly USD 270 million in 55 projects. This represented 5 per cent of the Kingdom's total investments. In the previous year, this share had been 9 percent.

Industry representatives complain that the costs grow faster than the productivity. Automation of production processes is becoming more and more urgent in order to keep up with productivity. However, both the lack of skilled workers and an infrastructure in need of improvement are serious bottleneck factors. There are also critics who are generally pessimistic about a possible automation in the sector. Cambodia could only score points through low labor cost advantages. Automated mass production is reserved for countries that have a reliable and cost-effective power supply and are closer to the sales markets.

Will the trade routes to the EU remain free?
Even more worrying would be the EU's cancellation of the preferential trading system EBA ("Everything But Arms"). Finally, the exemption of Cambodian clothing from customs duties is at stake on the main market. A discontinuation is likely to trigger a wave of migration of the clothing industry. Quite a few companies have taken the EBA initiative alone as an opportunity to establish themselves in the Kingdom.

In addition, the view wanders across the border to Vietnam. Manufacturers there could soon benefit from a free trade agreement with the EU. Vietnam is also participating at the Asia-Pacific Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), while Cambodia remains outside. If the trade arrangements remain unchanged, Cambodia may get off with a black eye. However, the other factors should not be ignored. Transport and general export costs are also considered comparatively high compared with Vietnam or China.

Cambodian exporters are currently benefiting from the trade dispute between the USA and China. The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) semi-annual report supports this assumption. According to the study, apparel and footwear exports rose by 11 percent in the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period of last year to reach a volume of USD 4 billion. Since July 2016, clothing, shoes and travel goods (suitcases, bags, etc.) can be delivered duty-free to the USA. According to the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC), shipments of travel goods to the USA in the first half of 2018 reached an amount of around USD 160 million - three times the previous annual exports.

Cambodia's imports of textile machinery amounted to USD 127.3 million (SITC 724) in 2017 according to the UN Comtrade database. This was 11.4 percent more than in the previous year. About 60 percent of the capital goods came from China; the remaining deliveries are relatively evenly distributed among other Asian countries. German deliveries only appear very sparsely in the statistics. Used machines from abroad are more likely to be in demand, but are not recorded statistically.

More information:
cambodja Asien GTAI
Source:

Michael Sauermost, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

20.11.2018

CHINA'S CLOTHING COMPANIESS REPOSITION THEMSELVES

  • AUTOMATION AND STRONGER FOCUS ON THE DOMESTIC MARKET

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese apparel industry is repositioning itself. Increased wage costs force more automation, more customers demanding more quality.
Nowhere else in the world so much clothing is being produced as in China. According to the sector portal http://www.ask.com, alone 22.9 billion pairs of socks were being produced in 2017. This was 4.8 percent more than in the previous year, and the production of jeans amounted to more than 0.6 billion pieces according to information from http://www.chyxx.com, an increase of 5.0 percent.

  • AUTOMATION AND STRONGER FOCUS ON THE DOMESTIC MARKET

Beijing (GTAI) - The Chinese apparel industry is repositioning itself. Increased wage costs force more automation, more customers demanding more quality.
Nowhere else in the world so much clothing is being produced as in China. According to the sector portal http://www.ask.com, alone 22.9 billion pairs of socks were being produced in 2017. This was 4.8 percent more than in the previous year, and the production of jeans amounted to more than 0.6 billion pieces according to information from http://www.chyxx.com, an increase of 5.0 percent.
China is not only the world's largest production nation, but also by far the world's largest export nation in the sector. However, countries such as India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia are catching up enormously due to lower wages. As a result, China - measured by its share of world clothing exports - has lost around 5.5 percentage points since 2013, down to only 32.4% in 2017.

China's share of world clothing exports 1) (in USD billion; shares in %)
  2008 2013 2015 2017
World Export 380 468 471 486
China Export 120 177 175 157
China's share 31.6 37.9 37.1 32.4

1) SITC Pos.84; 2) Partially estimated on the basis of information provided by the ITC
Source: UN Comtrade, GTAI calculation.

By contrast, Bangladesh (+3.7 points), Vietnam (+2.0 points) and Cambodia (+1.3 points) in particular recorded gains in the period from 2013 to 2017. In absolute terms, Chinese apparel exports fell by 15.6% to USD 157 billion since the record year of 2014 (USD187 billion). No improvement is in sight as exports are stagnating in 2018.

Export of clothing 1) by country (in USD million; shares in %)
  2008 Share 2013 Share 2017 Share
World Export 380,000 100.0 468,000 100.0 486,000 100.0
China 120,405 31.6 177,435 37.9 157,464 32.4
ASEAN3) 29,793 7.8 42,123 9.0 61,441 12.6
Vietnam 8,724 2.3 17,230 3.7 27,930 5.7
Kambodscha 3,014 0.8 4,832 1.0 11,250 2.3
Bangladesch 12,035 3.2 19,679 4.2 38,460 7.9
India 10,968 2.9 16,843 3.6 18,313 4.0
Germany 18,183 4.8 19,178 4.1 22,034 4.6

1) SITC Pos. 84; 2) partly estimated on the basis of ITC data; 3) excluding Laos and Brunei
Sources: UN-Comtrade; ITC; GTAI calculation

Rising wage costs as investment driver
Due to rising personnel costs throughout the country, manufacturers were and are under considerable cost pressure. With an average hourly wage for a Chinese worker of the equivalent of around USD 5.2 (2017), China has not only left classic emerging markets such as Thailand (USD 2.3) or Mexico (USD 3.9) behind - not to mention India with USD 0.8 - but is already approaching individual European countries (e.g. Greece 2016: USD 6.0).


Companies have met and continue to meet this challenge through increased automation. Between 2015 (9.1 million) and 2017 (7.8 million) alone, the workforce of the textile and clothing industry shrank by 14.3 percent - according to the Chinese statistical office. More and better machines make it possible to say goodbye to the previous labor-intensive production - and thus lower cost pressure with more precise and faster execution. Imports of textile machinery are also benefiting from this. These rose in 2017 by a whopping 34.1 percent year-on-year to nearly USD 3.9 billion.


Germany no longer number one textile machinery supplier
Although Germany lost its position as most important supplier country for textile machinery to Japan, it was still able to increase its deliveries by 28.3 percent to USD 1.1 billion. This corresponded to a supply share of 28.3 percent. Japanese manufacturers achieved a ratio of 30.0 percent with just under USD 1.2 billion (+52.8 percent). Competition from Italy came to only 11.5 percent. The good performance is remarkable due to the fact that a number of German textile machine manufacturers have invested heavily in recent years in the region in order to be able to meet the wishes of Chinese customers more effectively.

China's textile machinery imports *) by selected countries (in USD million; year-on-year change and 2017 shares in %)
  2015 2016 2017 Change Shares
Total 3,354 2,907 3,897 34.1 100.0
including          
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

*) SITC-Pos. 724
Source: UN-Comtrade; GTAI calculation

Due to the high pressure to modernization Chinese textile machinery imports in the first seven months of 2018 increased by almost 15 percent compared to the previous period. German machine manufacturers in particular benefited from this development, with deliveries increasing by 30 percent in the same period. As Japanese exports of textile machinery to China stagnated at the same time, German manufacturers are likely to take the lead again in 2018.
As the garment exports come under such severe pressure, the industry is now increasingly geared towards the local market. Whereas ten years ago about half of the value of production was exported, today it is only about a third. In fact, the Chinese spent an average of around 4.8 percent of their disposable income or 1,238 Renminbi (RMB; around 183 US dollars; 1 USD = 6.7531 RMB, annual mean rate of 2017) on clothing in 2017, according to the Chinese Statistical Office. With an average disposable annual income of 25,974 RMB and a population of 1.39 billion, this translates into a market volume of approximately USD 255 billion.

China's consumers demand quality and design
This makes the Chinese clothing market one of the largest in the world - and one that is becoming increasingly diversified. Local offerings range from the cheapest mass-produced goods, qualitatively and visually appealing products in the mid-price segment up to luxury and haute couture. Much has changed in the upper price segment in particular. "In the past, the Chinese exported the best qualities, but today they keep them for themselves," says a British sourcing expert who has been working in the Kashmir business for decades, describing the development.

In general, Chinese consumer demand is becoming increasingly sophisticated and differentiated. In addition to the tendency towards recognized brands, an increasing individualization of consumption can also be observed. The question is what fits well, pleases and is also somehow "special". "People in the North used to buy cashmere clothes because they warmed well," explains Cheng Xudong, president of the private Dongrong Group. The design was of secondary importance - and accordingly most of the pieces were "old-fashioned".

"Today, cashmere clothes also look very good," Cheng adds. "That's why it's bought not only in the north, but also in the more southern parts of the country." In general, the middle class in particular is looking for a high-quality lifestyle - and clothing is a part of it. The entrepreneur is convinced that if the textile and clothing industry succeeds in adapting to the higher quality demands of local customers through a technical upgrade and improved design, then the industry will continue to do well in the future.

Additional information
Further information on the economic situation, the sectors, business practice, law, customs, tenders and development projects in China can be found at http://www.gtai.de/china The website http://www.gtai.de/asien-pazifik provides an overview of various topics in the region.

 

More information:
China Sampe China GTAI
Source:

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

Taiwan's Textile Industry sustains its Position with Innovations Photo: Pixabay
25.09.2018

TAIWAN'S TEXTILE INDUSTRY SUSTAINS ITS POSITION WITH INNOVATIONS

  • Manufacturers rely, among others, on German Machines

Tokyo (GTAI) - When it comes to functional textiles, Taiwan belongs to the international top league. To ensure that this remains the case, industry manufacturers invest in modern equipment and innovations.

Taiwan is an important global supplier of functional textiles. The sector wants to maintain this position and expand it as much as possible. They are therefore investing in new capacities, research and development. There are good sales opportunities for suppliers of pre-products and equipment.

The demand for functional textiles is increasing in the sports, leisure and footwear industries. In other sectors, such as the automotive and medical industries, building materials and agricultural aids, these are also increasingly being used. Functional textiles are usually not recognizable as Taiwan products. Nevertheless, some of them are very visible.

  • Manufacturers rely, among others, on German Machines

Tokyo (GTAI) - When it comes to functional textiles, Taiwan belongs to the international top league. To ensure that this remains the case, industry manufacturers invest in modern equipment and innovations.

Taiwan is an important global supplier of functional textiles. The sector wants to maintain this position and expand it as much as possible. They are therefore investing in new capacities, research and development. There are good sales opportunities for suppliers of pre-products and equipment.

The demand for functional textiles is increasing in the sports, leisure and footwear industries. In other sectors, such as the automotive and medical industries, building materials and agricultural aids, these are also increasingly being used. Functional textiles are usually not recognizable as Taiwan products. Nevertheless, some of them are very visible.

For example, at least 15 out of 32 teams at the 2018 FIFA World Cup wore clothing made with textiles of Taiwanese origin for internationally renowned brand names, according to the Taiwan Industrial Development Bureau (IDB). According to the Taiwan Footwear Manufacturers Association, Taiwanese manufacturers are responsible for approximately 80 percent of all sports shoes produced worldwide.

Textile manufacturers invest
Far Eastern New Century (FENC) is one of the largest textile manufacturers on the island. Its production capacity is nowadays mainly located abroad with productions in China, Japan, the USA and Vietnam. FENC is also expanding its capacity in Taiwan. Polyester spunbonded nonwovens have been produced for the Asian market in a joint venture with Freudenberg in Germany since 1987.

Freudenberg Far Eastern Spunweb has announced that it will set up a third production line for nonwovens at the Tayuan plant, thereby increasing the existing production of 20,000 tons by 11,000 tons per year. Construction of the new production facility, which is scheduled to start operations in 2020, has now begun. The latest automated production technology is to be used. According to the company, the investments amount will approximately be at USD 43 million.

Biggest companies in the textile industry in Taiwan by sales
(in USD million; change compared to previous year in %)

Company 2016 2017 Change
Far Eastern New Century Corp. 6,679 7,157 0.,9
Formosa Taffeta Co., Ltd. 1,233 1,337 2.2
Shinkong Synthetic Fiber Corporation 1,066 1,200 6.1
Eclat Textile Co., Ltd. 759 796 -1.2
Makalot Industrial Co., Ltd. 685 735 1.2
Tainan Spinning Co., Ltd. 602 692 8.3

Source: CommonWealth Magazine, Taiwan Stock Exchange

Germany remains an important equipment supplier
Taiwan's textile manufacturers import their equipment mainly from China, Japan and Germany, with some of the machines produced in China coming from companies with Japanese, German, Italian or Taiwanese parent companies. German deliveries declined by 13.7 percent to USD 71.1 compared to 2016 million in 2017. However, Taiwan's imports from Germany increased by 24.3 percent in the first six months of 2018, exceeding deliveries from Japan at USD 42.5 million.

The fact that the import of equipment remains at a high level has to do with the fact that companies in the textile industry in Taiwan are modernizing existing plants and converting them to Industry 4.0. In addition, the number of textile manufacturers in Taiwan has increased in recent years. According to statistics from the Taiwan Federation of Textiles, the number of companies rose from 3,143 to 3,214 between 2014 and 2017.

Main suppliers of textile machinery *)
to Taiwan (USD million; change in % compared to previous year)

Supplying country 2016 2017 Change
China 108.7 111.0 2.1
Japan 97.2 97.2 0
Germany 82.5 71.1 -13.7
Italy 32.8 23.8 -27.3
Switzerland 13.6 14.1 3.6
USA 19.2 12.1 -37.2
Total 405.4 364.7 -10.0

*) HS-Codes 8444-8453; without 8450
Source: Customs Statistics, Ministry of Finance

Core functions remain in Taiwan
By contrast, the production value of the textile sector fell slightly. In local currency terms, it fell in 2017 compared with 2016 by 1.7 percent. Converted to US dollars, the production value of textiles was USD 9 billion, according to the statistics from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The production of synthetic fibers stagnated at just under USD 3 billion in 2017.

Taiwan is home to the headquarters of the often family-run textile companies. Purchasing and marketing decisions are mainly made here, and, last but not least, research and development are carried out here too. For example, several manufacturers are currently developing smart textiles with integrated temperature control, heart and location functions.

Foreign activities are diversified
The textile manufacturers are investing predominantly in new capacities outside Taiwan. For example, FENC 2018 is expanding its capacity for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and terephthalic acid (PTA), which among others are required for the production of synthetic fibers. Together with an Indonesian and a Mexican partner, FENC acquires two new plants of a bankrupt US company in West Virginia and Texas. Among other things, this reduces the risk of possible trade restrictions and, conversely, increases the opportunity to benefit from free trade agreements.

Vietnam is also a focus of investment. Here, most Taiwanese textile companies are in the process of establishing or expanding new capacities. FENC, Formosa Taffeta, Eclat, Makalot and several others invested in the southeast Asian tigerland several years ago. By contrast, new investments in China have become rare, primarily due to rising wage costs.

 

More information:
Taiwan
Source:

Jürgen Maurer, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY Photo: Pixabay
11.09.2018

INDIA'S GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS TEXTILE INDUSTRY

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

  • Clothing exports are declining 

New Delhi (GTAI) - Structural weaknesses and fiscal reforms are affecting the Indian textile industry. Modernization and diversification are necessary. For this where support measures will come into force.

In the 2016/17 fiscal year (April 1st to March 31st), India's government initiated a number of fundamental reforms such as the introduction of the nationwide Goods and Services Tax (GST) and a partial currency devaluation. These measures are intended to advance the economy as a whole in the medium to long term, but have led to uncertainty and difficulties in individual sectors, including the textile industry. Added to this are high cotton prices. The government is now trying to help the industry with individual measures. It remains to be seen whether these will be sufficient and lead to a sustained improvement. Finally, there are structural weaknesses which are also slowing down the growth of the Industry.

"The by the introduction of GST caused dent and monetary depreciation has now been overcome. However, the structural problems remain, so that no fundamental changes in the textile industry are to be expected", according to the assessment of a German supplier with many years of experience in India in talks with Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).

Government launches aid measures
However, some government measures should provide relief. At the beginning of August 2018, import duties on 328 textile products, especially fabrics and nonwovens, were increased from around 5 to 10 percent to up to 20 percent. Also, at the beginning of the month, the Executive Board introduced four bills to amend the general VAT Act introduced on July 1st 2017. This should make refunds, for example of taxes on intermediate products, easier and faster. The introduction of GST and the delays in reimbursement have put particular pressure on the liquidity of small and medium-sized companies, which make up the bulk of textile companies. For example, the denim industry temporarily had to take 25 to 30 percent of its capacity out of production after the tax introduction.

 Also, the Ministry of Textiles wants to strengthen the to it entrusted weakening industry. At the beginning of August 2018, for example, it added changes to the Technology Upgradation Funds Scheme (TUFS), which has been in existence since 1999. This now expanded technology promotion program allows cooperative banks to provide financing to textile companies for technological improvements. They also become accessible for liability partnerships. Of the approximately USD 1.1 billion, that the central government budget is holding for the textile industry in the fiscal year 2018/19, one third, 14 percent more than in the previous year, are intended for the TUFS. Manufacturers of synthetic fibers and the clothing industry in particular are likely to benefit from this, according to industry sources.

The existence of an own Ministry of Textiles shows how important this industry is for India, not only as a source of foreign exchange, but also as an employer. The entire sector, from spinning mills, weaving mills to clothing and other finished goods, contributed around 14 percent to value creation in the manufacturing industry and 13 percent to foreign exchange revenues in 2017, and employs directly 40 million and indirectly 60 million workers.

As one of the world's leading producers of cotton, jute and silk, India has comparative advantages in the textile sector and can look back on a long tradition in processing. Accordingly, cotton is the main raw material in yarn and fabric production. After all, 5.7 billion tons of yarn were spun in 2016/17, achieving an annual average increase of 3.1 percent between 2011 and 2017. The weaving mills processed 63.5 billion square meters of fabric in 2016/17, after 61.7 billion in 2011. The proportion of cotton fabrics rose from 51 to 61 percent in 2011 to 2017. The remaining part is accounted for approximately equally by synthetic and blended fabrics.

 
Production and export growth come to a halt Based on the previously strong growth the government is optimistic. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Textile, India's textile and clothing industry is expected to more than double its sales between 2015 and 2021. Exports are expected to increase from USD 35 billion to USD 82 billion, after doubling in the period from 2006 to 2014 from USD 17.6 billion to USD 37.6 billion. After that, however, they stagnated and, at USD 35 billion in 2017/18 and missed the by the government set target by USD 10 billion. The production of textiles and clothing declined from 2015 to 2017. It is unlikely to improve in 2018.

Textile and clothing industry in India 1)
  2015/16
 
2016/17 2)  2017/18 2)
Export of textiles and textiles products USD in USD billion 18.1 18.2 18.7
Export of clothing 17.0 17.4 16.7
Import of yarn, fabrics, made-ups in USD billion 1.7 1.5 n.a.
Change of production of textiles in % -0.2 -3.2 n.a.
Change of production of non-knitted clothing in % -3.6 -3.3 n.a.


1) Financial years from 1 April to 31 March; 2) Provisional data for 2016/17 and 2017/18
Source: Statistical Office India
     

Clothing industry needs to modernize 
India's textile industry has cost advantages over industrialized countries and advanced emerging countries such as China. Smaller developing countries, however, have become well-known competitors in the meantime and have partly surpassed India in terms of clothing. So Bangladesh and Vietnam exported more clothing than India. In addition there is growing competition from other low-wage countries such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Some of these countries have free trade agreements with the EU, while India has difficulties in negotiating them. The smaller competitors have also geared their clothing industry to exports and modernized it accordingly. After all, they do not have significant local markets. The Indian textile manufacturers are different: If there is not enough quality for export, the domestic market, which has a population of 1.3 billion inhabitants and is growing strongly, is still there, industry representatives explain to GTAI.

India's apparel industry therefore still has a considerable potential for modernization and requires new production technologies, particularly to improve operating efficiency. Other structural weaknesses include strong wage increases with insufficient productivity growth and a shortage of well-trained skilled workers. Other disadvantages are the fragmentation of the clothing industry - many companies lack size - and the lack of adaptation to global fashion trends. While the fashion world is more prone to fiber mixed fabrics, the Indian clothing is not yet following this trend. There is a lack of product diversification.

The spinning and weaving sector looks more modern. Industry experts attest to it a leading international position in terms of size, technology, productivity, quality and price. This is also evident when importing machines. India was the most important export market for German spinning machines to China in 2017 and the fifth largest market for weaving machines, according to the Textile Machinery Association of the German Engineering Federation (VDMA). In textile finishing machinery, India does not rank among the top six export markets, but its competitor Bangladesh does.

Double-digit growth in foreign direct Investment 
Foreign investments in the Indian textile industry are welcome and 100 percent foundations by foreign companies are welcome. On promotional trips to countries such as Japan, Germany, Italy and France, India is actively attracting investors and has not been unsuccessful. The inflow of foreign direct investment into the textile sector, including dyed and printed textiles, amounted to USD 2.7 billion between April 2000 and September 2017. Cumulative investments increased by an annual average of 17.3 percent between 2010 and 2017. However, the bulk of the investment is being stemmed by national Indians. Total investments in India's textile sector from June 2017 to May 2018 amounted to USD 4.2 Billion.

Contact Details
Name Internet Remark
Germany Trade & Invest http://www.gtai.de/indien Foreign information for the German Export Business
AHK Indien http://www.indien.ahk.de Contact for German companies
Ministry of Textiles http://www.texmin.nic.in Ministry
Office of Textile Commissioner http://www.txcindia.gov.in Government 
Confederation of Indian Textile Industry http://www.citiindia.com Textile Association
Textile Association India http://www.textileassociationindia.org Textile Association India
The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India http://www.cmai.in Clothing Association


    

More information:
India Bangladesh(7621)
Source:

Rainer Jaensch, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

Foto: Pixabay
08.05.2018

IN INDONESIA DEMAND FOR TEXTILE MACHINERY STAGNATING

  • Clothing exports stagnate
  • Shoe production becomes more important
  • Investment in modern technology necessary

Bonn (GTAI) - The Indonesian textile industry faces strong regional competition. Since their demand for machinery and clothing exports peaked about five years ago, the industry's exports have stagnated. Nevertheless, the archipelago is important for international market participants at least as a second location alongside the major producing countries. In the meantime, the country has developed into an important shoe manufacturer and is further expanding its production capacities.

  • Clothing exports stagnate
  • Shoe production becomes more important
  • Investment in modern technology necessary

Bonn (GTAI) - The Indonesian textile industry faces strong regional competition. Since their demand for machinery and clothing exports peaked about five years ago, the industry's exports have stagnated. Nevertheless, the archipelago is important for international market participants at least as a second location alongside the major producing countries. In the meantime, the country has developed into an important shoe manufacturer and is further expanding its production capacities.

Indonesia is one of the top 15 clothing exporters. Over the past decades, the archipelago has continuously increased its production and thus created a growing demand for textile machinery. But the market has been stagnating for five years: exports are at around USD 7.5 billion per year, and imports of textile machinery have fallen from USD 1 billion per year to only around 800 million US dollars.

The most important supplier of textile machinery is the PR China, which has expanded its import share to around 30 percent in recent years and displaced Japan from first place. According to Indonesian import statistics, the German delivery ratio fluctuates by 10 percent.

The Indonesian textile association API cites the lower demand for clothing, especially from the USA and Europe, as the reason for the weak export development. About half of industry exports goes to North America. The largest customers are Japan, Germany, South Korea and the United Kingdom. What the association does not say: Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Cambodia and Myanmar have all significantly increased their clothing exports in the past five years.

Indonesia's import of textile machinery *) (in USD million)
2007 360.5
2008 580.9
2009 339.9
2010 641.1
2011 952.1
2012 1.021.7
2013 973.8
2014 940.2
2015 804.3
2016 822.9

*) SITC 724
Source: UN Comtrade

Shorter production cycles
Indonesia's textile companies must therefore invest in order to remain competitive. Even though, according to API, more than half of the member companies are already technologically advanced, many market participants still have an outdated machinery. And especially against the background of fiercer competitive conditions, this is a decisive disadvantage. According to the association, larger fashion chains insist on ever shorter delivery times. Where the producers used to have three months, today it is only three weeks.

Regional competition is also a problem for manufacturers. The archipelago has good conditions for a labor-intensive industry such as the textile industry. Wages are low - outside the conurbations - and the labor supply is inexhaustible (also because many men work as sewers in the factories). Nevertheless, the country has not yet managed to become serious competition for the main export countries of cheap mass-produced goods.

Indonesia's import of textile machinery by supplier countries *) (in USD million; Change in % compared to previous year)
  2014 2015 2016 Change
PR China 279.4 269.2 524.7 -5.4
Taiwan 79.7 86.8 98.3 13.2
Germany 104.5 68.4 93.6 36.8
Japan 163.7 91.3 85.1 -6.8
Korean Rep. 60.5 65.8 57.0 -13.4
India 48.3 43.1 42.6 -1.2
Singapur 37.1 33.4 41.3 23.7
Italy 47.1 39.1 36.3 -7.2

*) SITC 724
Source: UN Comtrade

The archipelago also has locational disadvantages: it is further away from the European sales markets than other manufacturing countries and has a greater distance to China also, which, due to the high wage increases, is increasingly relocating its clothing production to its immediate neighbors. Moreover, in Indonesia, which is comparatively wealthy due to its large raw material exports, the minimum wages of India, Cambodia, Bangladesh or Myanmar cannot be undercut.

Asia's top clothing exporters 1) (USD billion;
change 2016 compared to 2011 in %)
  2011 2016 Change
PR China 153.7 158.2 2.9
Bangladesh 19.2 29.5** 53.6
Vietnam 13.1 22.9** 74.8
India 14.7 17.9 21.8
Indonesia 8.0 7.5 -7.1
Cambodia 4.0 6.6** 65.0

1) SITC 84; 2) Mirror statistics of partner countries
Source: UN Comtrade

Investments at previous year's level
After all, Indonesia has managed to become an important second location for international apparel companies, mitigating risks in major manufacturing countries. Most of the manufacturers are located in populous Java. For the government, further expansion of the industry is important in order to bring the large number of unskilled workers to work.

According to the latest available data from the Federal Statistical Office (BPS), the number of employees in the roughly 2,600 medium and large companies in the sector has increased from 470,000 (2008) to 550,000 (2014). In addition, there are just under 210,000 workers in small and micro companies (2015), most of whom are one- or two-person businesses.

The BKPM investment agency reports FDI of USD 184 million for the first half of 2017 for 494 projects. This corresponds almost exactly to the sum of the same period of the previous year. For the full year of 2016, USD 321 million of FDI had flowed into the sector.

Shoe manufacturers expand capacities
The domestic footwear industry is developing far more dynamically than the textile industry. Indonesia has become the third most important exporter in terms of cheap mass production in a few years, but it is far behind China and Vietnam. After all, the corresponding exports between 2011 and 2016 have steadily increased from USD 3.3 billion to USD 4.6 billion.

Asia's most important footwear exporters 1 (in USD bn, change 2016 compared to 2015 in %)
  2011 2016 Change
PR China 41.7 47.2 13.1
Vietnam 6.7 13.0** 93.5
Indonesia 3.3 4.6 40.5
India 2.1 2.7 31.4

1) SITC 82; 2) General Statistics Office of Vietnam
Source: UN Comtrade

And the signs are still on expansion: In the first six months of 2017, the leather and footwear sector had FDI of USD 187 million, a third more than in the total year 2016. Domestic market participants are also expanding. The Indonesian manufacturer SCI is currently building a new production facility in the central Javanese Salatiga, near the port city of Semarang. It should be completed in October. In the first phase 300,000 to 500,000 pairs of shoes per year could be produced, the maximum capacity is 1 million pairs.
 

Source:

Frank Malerius, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

26.09.2017

TAIWAN'S TEXTILES AND CLOTHING ARE EXPECTING HIGHER DEMAND

  • Production and Exports on a recreation Course
  • Investments in Capacity and Modernization

Taipei (GTAI) - Taiwanese textile and clothing manufacturers see improved sales prospects in 2017 and 2018, following a weak development in the previous year. With its range of functional textiles in particular, the country occupies a position of great importance throughout the world. In order to maintain competitiveness, the sector companies invest in new equipment and product innovations. One of the most important machine suppliers is, among others, Germany in third place behind China and Japan.

  • Production and Exports on a recreation Course
  • Investments in Capacity and Modernization

Taipei (GTAI) - Taiwanese textile and clothing manufacturers see improved sales prospects in 2017 and 2018, following a weak development in the previous year. With its range of functional textiles in particular, the country occupies a position of great importance throughout the world. In order to maintain competitiveness, the sector companies invest in new equipment and product innovations. One of the most important machine suppliers is, among others, Germany in third place behind China and Japan.

Taiwan's textile industry is looking more optimistically on business performance in the current year as well as for 2018. This is attributable to the high level of consumer spending in the most important sales markets, price increases and major international sports events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Winter Olympics in South Korea. The island is the world's leading supplier of functional textiles used in sports and outdoor clothing.

According to the Taiwan Textile Research Institute, this textile sector accounts for about 50 percent of the world's production value of functional textiles. In order to maintain this position, the manufacturers are investing in capacity expansion, new technologies and the development of innovative textiles, while focusing on the diversification at production sites.

Production is recovering

Despite shrinking production development, the number of companies in the textile and clothing industry has risen over the last few years and, according to the Taiwan Textile Federation, at the end of 2016 to 4,361 companies. Of these, 3,205 (2015: 3,163) belonged to the textile segment and 1,156 (2015: 1,144) to the garment sector. The number of employees however is declining, as companies invest in automation.

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs the production value of the sector fell by 5.9 per cent in 2016 over 2015. The development in the first half of 2017 however indicated that the weakness phase is declining. In particular textile production, which represents the most important area, showed signs of recovery. Here a more efficient utilization in the second half of the year was expected, as inventories are declining and orders are rising.

On the other hand the production of clothing and accessories and the production of synthetic fibers and yarns have shown a further shrinking trend in the recent years. Most of the industrial companies have moved their production towards abroad. At the end of the first half of 2017 the clothing segment accounted for only 4.9 percent of the total apparel segment.

Production (in NT$ billion; change compared to the previous year in %)
  2015 2016 Change 1st half 2017 Change
Fibers and yarns 102.6 91.0 -11.4 45.4 -3.1
Textiles 284.7 272.4 -6.2 131.5 -1.3
Clothing  21.9 21.8 -0.2 9.1 -4.7
Total 409.3 385.2 -5.9 186.1 -1.9
Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs, 2017

Rising foreign trade expected

Export development also offers a better outlook. According to figures for the first six months of 2017 the export value of the textile and clothing sector shrank by only 0.3 per cent. For the full year 2016 the Taiwan Textile Federation statistics show a decline of 8.3% to USD 9.9 billion. The exports of textiles reached a value of USD 6.7 billion.

Exports of textiles and clothing are three times higher than imports. While exports are dominated by textile products with a share of 68%, imports of clothing accounts for 55%. Imports of textiles in 2016 were worth only about USD 427 Million.

Foreign trade in textiles and clothing
(in USD million; change compared to the previous year in %)
  2015 2016 Change 1st half 2017 Change
Import 3,458 3,308 1.0 1,566 0.2
Export 10,804 9,904 -8.3 4,968 -0.3
Source: Taiwan Textile Federation, 2017

Investment activities are growing

According to the reports of at the stock market listed companies, it looks good on the orders received from existing as well as from new customers. As a result, the capacities are expanded, as at the Far Eastern New Century. The company is looking above all at Vietnam, where USD 760 million will be invested in the expansion of a supply chain for textiles and clothing over the next three years.

Other manufacturers such as Eclat and Makalot are also expanding their activities in Vietnam. It also will be invested in Taiwan, where, for example, Eclat Textile wants to spend between USD 26 million and USD 33 million to build new facilities for digital textile products. Makalot Industrial has announced plans to create smart production lines in Vietnam and Taiwan to increase efficiency.

With Shinkong Synthetic Fibers, another large textile producer on the island, wants to expand production. The company plans to increase the production of artificial fibers during 2018 from 50,000 tons to 110,000 tons. This is to serve orders from European and Japanese customers from the automotive sector.

Finishing equipment imports show little dynamics

The investment activities and plans of the textile and clothing manufacturers are expected to lead to increasing finishing equipment imports and exports. However, imports of textile machinery show an overall decline in the first six months of 2017. Only China and Japan, the most important suppliers, were able to boast high growth rates. Germany, the third largest supplier, was much less successful.

Main supplier countries of textile machinery
(in USD millions, change compared to the previous year in %) *)
  2015 2016 Change 1.st Half 2017 Change
Total 383.8 405.4 5.6 190.0 -2.5
PR China 93.6 108.7 16.1 65.5 28.8
Japan 107.3 97.2 -9.4 46.9 20.7
Germany 78.3 82.5 5.4 34.2 -28.4
Italy 20.4 32.8 60.5 11.0 -38.0
USA 11.9 19.2 61.2 5.9 10.5
*) HS-Pos. 8444-8453, ohne 8450; Source: Customs Statistics, Ministry of Finance, 2017

In the first six months of 2017, textile machine exports rose by 7.5 percent to USD 543 million. It is mainly supplied to the overseas production plants in China and Vietnam, to where in this period about USD 111 million was exported. At the third place follow the USA with USD 40 million.

More information:
Asien textile industry
Source:

Jürgen Maurer, Germany Trade & Invest www.gtai.de

CZECH TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES ITS UPSWING © tokamuwi / pixelio.de
22.08.2017

CZECH TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES ITS UPSWING

  • Sales are increasing since four years
  • Developing of up new markets abroad

Prague (GTAI) - Czech textile and clothing manufacturers are among the winners of the good economic situation. The trend towards domestic products and the rising purchasing power are inspiring the companies. At the same time they benefit from a growing demand from abroad. According to the association ATOK the turnover of the sector rose to Kc 53,5 billion (just under EUR 2 billion) in 2016. It was the fourth year of growth in a row.

  • Sales are increasing since four years
  • Developing of up new markets abroad

Prague (GTAI) - Czech textile and clothing manufacturers are among the winners of the good economic situation. The trend towards domestic products and the rising purchasing power are inspiring the companies. At the same time they benefit from a growing demand from abroad. According to the association ATOK the turnover of the sector rose to Kc 53,5 billion (just under EUR 2 billion) in 2016. It was the fourth year of growth in a row.

An important growth driver of the Czech textile industry is the automotive sector. The largest sales are achieved with technical textiles, and these are mostly used in the over 1.3 million passenger cars, which are rolling in the Czech Republic off the assembly lines every year. The German automotive supplier Borgers is therefore the second largest textile manufacturer in the country. The company produces textile trims for trunks, passenger compartments or underfloor at four locations in the Plzen region. About 200,000 parts leave the factory every day for VW, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Bentley and Rolls Royce. The largest textile company in 2016 was the company Juta with productions of geotextiles, insulation materials and packaging material.

The positive dynamism of textile manufacturers is continuing in 2017. According to statistics from January to May the production index rose by 3% and the value of new orders even rose by 5%. On the other hand the garment manufacturers have to announce sales reductions following the strong year before. Future growth could be curbed by rising wages, the appreciation of the national currency and a lack of staff.

Sales development of the Czech textile and clothing industry
Year Sales in Mrd. Kc .thereof textiles in Kc bn. .thereof Clothing in Kc bn. Change total sales in comparison to  previous year  in %
2013 47.1 40.7 6.4 2.6
2014 51.0 44.6 6.4 8.3
2015 52.4 45.4 7.0 2.7
2016 53.5 46.2 7.3 2.1

Sources: Association of the Textile, Garment and Leather Industry (ATOK), Calculations by Germany Trade & Invest

Even more dynamically than the sector's profits the foreign trade has developed in 2016. Since the Czech Republic is being used as a transit and logistics location by international trading companies, the volume of exports is significantly higher than the total turnover of the domestic manufacturers. According to the ATOK association, in 2016 textiles were exported for Kc 63.8 billion (EUR 2.36 billion) and clothing for Kc 47.2 billion (EUR 1.74 billion). This was an increase of 5% for textiles and 31% for clothing. Import of textiles rose by 6% to Ks 59.3 billion (EUR 2.19 billion), import of garment rose by 20% to Kc 67.9 billion (EUR 2.51 billion).

This has somewhat reduced the trade deficit in clothing. In the major fashion chains however foreign goods still dominate. Czech vendors have little chance of coming to the shelves and taking part in the fast fashion cycles and fast fashion changes. The association ATOK estimates that they have a market share of a maximum of 20% in clothing retailing. As a result, domestic manufacturers are increasingly focusing on direct selling, either via internet shops or through their own sales outlets. They also strengthen the building of their own brands, after having carried out commission work for international fashion groups for many years. Customized products are in the trend also. Some companies that have hitherto mainly served the home market are now looking increasingly at foreign markets. The swimwear and underwear producer Timo from Litomerice, for example, wants to supply to Germany also in the future, reported by the economic newspaper Hospodarske noviny.

Textile companies invest more and more abroad
The East Bohemian specialist for bathroom textiles, Grund, already has a sales company in Lower Saxony. The carpet manufacturer is now planning to build a factory in the south of the USA and intends to invest more than USD 1 million. Silon from South Bohemia, which is one of the largest manufacturers of polyester fibers in Europe, is building a manufacturing plant for plastic compounding in the USA in order to reduce the delivery time for raw materials and to be closer to the customer. There are interesting developments in the research area. The institute VUTS from Liberec, has developed, together with Taiwanese scientists, a pneumatic loom that can produce 3D fabrics made of high-strength polyester silk. The material can be used for boat building or flood protection. The machine should be presented for the first time at a trade fair in 2019. Until then the textile manufacturer Veba from Broumov wants to have developed a new 3D fabric. It is intended to reinforce matrices.

After the extra economy in 2015 due to the last-time levy of EU funds from the old funding period, investments in the textile industry had shrunk in 2016. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs the manufacturers invested some Kc 2.78 billion (around EUR 100 million), a sixth less than in the previous year. On the other hand, investments in the garment sector were up by a quarter to over Kc 850 million (around EUR 31 million). The development was also reflected in the import figures for textile machines. At the beginning of the year 2017 imports rose again in some product groups, thus opening up sales opportunities for finishing manufacturers. German suppliers account for roughly half of the machinery supply for the textile industry.

In April 2017 the Moravian nonwoven fabric manufacturer Retex had issued a tender for a production plant for over EUR 7 million. In Zatec near Usti nad Labem Unifrax wants to build a production plant for silicate fabrics. Juta is currently investing around EUR 13 million in the production of grids and plans to get the plant expansion at Dvur Kralove into operation in autumn 2017. The Japanese Toray Textiles is expanding its factory for airbag fabrics and printing plates in Prostejov over the next four years. The North Moravian supplier of outdoor clothing, Tilak, is also expanding its production facilities in Sumperk.

Import of selected textile machines to the Czech Republic (EUR 1,000)
Maschinengruppe / HS-Position 2015 2016 January to May 2017 Change*)
Jet-spinning machines / 8444 15,369 5,502 842 -81.2
.thereof from Germany 9,829 4,509 20 -99.5
Spinning machines / 8445 8,838 15,858 1,922 -51.1
.thereof from Germany 5,017 6,743 164 -91.1
Weaving looms/ 8446 12,860 4,277 1,882 -17.5
.thereof from Germany 2,247 687 36 n.a.
Knitting machines / 8447 11,965 6,737 2,672 14.7
.thereof from Germany 6,092 1,979 1,632 54.5
Auxiliary machines / 8448 73,358 88,360 42,830 27.9
.thereof from Germany 52,601 54,897 26,823 16.2
Nonwoven and felt machines 19,628 2,676 846 -45.8
.thereof from Germany 6,741 1,313 245 -79.0
Cleaning, dying and pressing machines / 8451 108,080 105,410 44,762 26.1
.thereof from Germany 50,325 47,580 17,714 1.7
Sewing machines / 8452 17,895 20,056 8,172 10.1
.thereof from Germany 6,340 6,353 2,081 -12.2
Machines for fur, leather processing or shoe production / 8453 4,386 2,626 1,056 12.9
.thereof from Germany 347 198 68 25.9
Total 272.379 251,501 104,984 14.2
.thereof from Germany 139.540 124.260 48,783 -4.0

Source: Czech Statistical Office

 

Israel's textile industry is catching up again © Rosel Eckstein / pixelio.de
25.07.2017

ISRAEL'S TEXTILE INDUSTRY IS CATCHING UP AGAIN

  • Production stabilizes at lower level
  • Import of textile machines increased

Jerusalem (GTAI) - The Israeli textile and clothing industry has largely stabilized after years of decline. This applies both to the added value of the sector and to exports. Thanks to new capacities, the textile sector was able in 2106 to record a significant increase in production. In the import of textile machinery Germany plays the leading role. On the other hand, the German import market share of imports of textile and clothing products is low..

  • Production stabilizes at lower level
  • Import of textile machines increased

Jerusalem (GTAI) - The Israeli textile and clothing industry has largely stabilized after years of decline. This applies both to the added value of the sector and to exports. Thanks to new capacities, the textile sector was able in 2106 to record a significant increase in production. In the import of textile machinery Germany plays the leading role. On the other hand, the German import market share of imports of textile and clothing products is low..

For a long time, Israel's textile and clothing industry was a serious problem sector of the manufacturing industry. But now it seems to catch up itself again. This is confirmed by the production statistics. In a crisis phase between 2007 and 2013, the added value by the textile and clothing industry had declined by a total of 25.7%. While the shrinking of the clothing sector was 21.4%, the textile industry fell by 31.2%. The reasons for this development were the increasing competition from low-cost imports on the domestic market and declining exports. Since 2013, however, the figures have stabilized and are pointing upwards.

Development of the Israeli textile and clothing industry 2006 to 2016 (selected years)
Year Index of added value textile and clothing (2011 = 100,0) Index of added value textile Index of added value clothing Exports of textiles and clothing*), Mio. US$ Imports of textile and clothing*), Mio. US$
2006 128.8 130.8 128.2 1,243 1,561
2011 100.0 100.0 100.0 1,011 2,256
2012 956 918 986 952 2,241
2013 910 840 964 920 2,365
2014 932 845 999 966 2,558
2015 928 849 987 930 2,420
2016 970 983 959 914 2,480

*) HS-section XI (spun textile fabrics and articles thereof)
Source: Monthly paper on foreign trade statistics, various editions, Central Statistical Office

Product range cleared up

The stabilization was achieved through a comprehensive clearing up process in the textile and clothing industry, in the course of which products and production processes, in which Israel was no longer internationally competitive, were discontinued or outsourced to cheaper locations. Thru rationalization processes the productivity was increased.  The added value of the textile and clothing industry in 2016 per employee reached 4.8% above the level of 2011. The cumulative increase in productivity in the textile sector was 3.5 and in the clothing sector 5.6%.
The adjustment of the product range led to a drop in exports and simultaneously to an increase in imports. The Israeli manufacturers are increasingly looking to raise their turnover in high-quality and less labor-intensive products, which also have opportunities on the world market.

According to the most recent available data, the export rate of the textile and clothing industry in 2014 was 50.1%. There was an extreme division in the clothing sector: while the manufacturers of clothing products other than underwear only accounted for 3.9% of their sales in the international business, almost the entire production of underwear was exported.
The main export position of the Israeli textile industry is covered by HS heading 56 (cotton, felt and nonwovens, special yarns, twine, cordage, ropes and cables). In 2016 these products accounted for 28.7% of the textile and clothing exports, followed by synthetic or artificial filaments with 14.3%, knitted products with 13.0% of the exports.

Production structure oft he textile and clothing industry 2014
Sector Turnover in Mio. US$ *) Export rate in %
Total (1+2) 1,834 50.1
1. Textile industry 1,014 52.7
Spinning, weaving, and finishing of textiles 557 57.0
Other textiles 457 47.5
Clothing industry 820 46.8
Clothing but underwear 425 3.9
Underwear 320 96.3

*) Conversion of official internal price data according to the yearly average exchange rate
Source: Central Office of Statistics

Following the successful stabilization, the Israeli industry is also daring to create new production capacities. In 2015 and 2016 two new factories were set up for the production of nonwovens and have started to operate. On the one hand, this became reflected in increased machinery investments by the textile sector, and secondly in the strong increase in the production of the textile industry in 2016 by 15.8%.

Germany leading supplier of textile machines

Parallel to the increase in production the import of textile machinery is increasing since 2014. In 2016, it reached USD 62.2 million, more than twice the low level of 2013. German textile machinery manufacturers were able to participate in this growth in a leading position..

Import of textile machinery 2010 to 2016 (million USD)
Year Import thereof: from Germany German import market share in %
2010 21.1 4.8 22.7
2011 35.3 13.3 37.7
2012 41.5 16.3 39.3
2013 29.2 7.4 25.3
2014 34.4 10.5 30.5
2015 58.4 31.5 53.9
2016 62.2 37.5 60.2

Source: UN Comtade Database

In 2016 the German import market share of textile machinery reached a hight of 60.2%, so the Federal Republic was by far the most important delivery country, followed by Italy and France.

Leading suppliers for textile machines 2016
Country Import, Mio. US$ Import market share in %
Germany 39.5 60.2
Italy 6.3 10.1
France 4.1 6.6
Switzerland 2.6 4.2
Belgium 2.3 3.7
China 2.2 3.6
USA 1.3 2.1
Spain 1.1 1.8

Source: UN Comtrade Database

The leading supplier in the import market for garments and textile products is P.R.China. In 2016 39.3% of the imports of the HS section XI (textile materials and articles thereof) accounted for China. Germany played with 1.6% (USD 39.1 mio) only a subordinate role. The main German delivery positions were clothing and clothing accessories (HS chapters 61 and 62) with 43.7%, followed by synthetic or artificial spun fibers (14.3%).

Contact addresses
Manufacturers Association of Israel Textile and Fashion Industries Association Ansprechpartnerin: Ms. Maya Herscovitz, Director of Association
Hamered St. 29, Tel Aviv 68125 Tel.: 00972 3/519 88 55, Fax- 519 87 05 E-Mail: maya@industry.org.il,, Internet:  http://www.industry.org.il.

More information:
Israel
Source:

Wladimir Struminski, Germany Trade & Invest  www.gtai.de 

CHINA'S TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO AUTOMATE © Carola Langer / pixelio.de
11.07.2017

CHINA'S TEXTILE INDUSTRY CONTINUES TO AUTOMATE

  • Japan replaces Germany as the most important supplier of textile machines
  • Digitization is the trend of the future

Beijing (GTAI) - China, the largest apparel export apparel nation, is losing international market share due to rising personnel costs. The companies react with increased automation and production dis-placements. While imports of textile machines from Japan are gro-wing, deliveries from Germany are falling above average. The next wave of modernization will involve more digitization.

  • Japan replaces Germany as the most important supplier of textile machines
  • Digitization is the trend of the future

Beijing (GTAI) - China, the largest apparel export apparel nation, is losing international market share due to rising personnel costs. The companies react with increased automation and production dis-placements. While imports of textile machines from Japan are gro-wing, deliveries from Germany are falling above average. The next wave of modernization will involve more digitization.

Internationally, the PRC is by far the largest exportation nation of clothing. According to UN Comtrade after decades of ascent the peak seems to have crossed in 2014 with a record share of global clothing exports of 39.3%. Since then things are developing slowly but continuously downwards. In 2016, the Chinese share was estimated to be 37.1% (compared to 3.8% in Germany).  China loses market shares particular in favor of ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh or India. 

Export of clothing by country (SITC 84, export in USD million, share of world exports in %)
  2008 Share 2014 Share 2015 Share 2016 Share
World export1) 380,000 100 469,000 100 454,000 100 430,000 100
.PR China 120,405 31.7 186,614 39.3 174,702 39.3 159,645 37.1
.ASEAN, thereof: 26,410 7.0 39,928 8.4 40,859 9.0 n.a. -
.Vietnam 8,724 2.3 20,174 4.3 21,948 4.8 n.a. -
.Bangladesch2) 12,035 3.2 24,584 5.2 26,603 5.9 29,540 6.9
.India 10,986 2.9 17,650 3.7 18,168 4.0 17,932 4.2
.Germany 18,183 4.8 20,349 4.3 17,382 3.8 16,400 3.8

1) from 2014 estimation of world export; 2) based on information provided by partner countries; Source: UN Comtrade

Domestic textile machine manufacturers catching up

In fact, the Chinese textile industry is under considerable pressure because of the increase in personnel expenses. According to a Euromonitor study, the hourly wages of Chinese workers tripled between 2005 and 2016 from USD 1.20 to USD 3.60. Thus the People's Republic not only left classic emerging countries like Thailand ( USD 2.20 ) or Mexico (USD 2.20) behind  - not to mention USD 0.70 in India - but is already approaching individual European countries like Portugal (USD 4,50).

More information (in German) on wages and salary costs in China can be found at:
http://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Navigation/DE/Trade/Maerkte/Geschaeftspraxis/lohn-und-lohnnebenkosten,t=lohn-und-lohnnebenkosten--vr-china,did=1718070.html

Many companies face the challenge by greater automation. The Chinese textile companies can increasingly rely on textile machinery made in the country itself. While in 2016, according to official statistics, investments in the sector rose by 8.5% year on year to Yuan 1,142.4 billion (RMB, around USD 172 billion, 1 USD =6.642 RMB, annual average price in 2016), imports of textile machinery fell by 12.5% to USD 2.8 billion. However, there are no statistics on the extent to which sales are distributed by purely local companies or to those with a foreign background.

The fact is that, for example, German textile machine manufacturers have invested heavily locally in recent years in order for being able to meet the needs of their local customers. Against this backdrop, Germany was still able to defend its top spot with an import share of 29.5% against Japan in 2016, but had to cope with a strong minus of 30.6%, while the Japanese increased by 5.8%. Italy, ranked third and the most important Europe an competitor recorded a drop of 16.1%.

Textile machinery imports in the PRC by selected countries
(in USD millions, year-on-year change and share 2016 in %)
  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Change Share
Total, thereof: 4,518.0 4,477.3 4,209.6 3,246.8 2,84.,9 -12.5 100.0
.Germany 1,499.5 1,330.1 1,435.0 1,209.5 839.5 -30.6 29.5
.Japan 1,327.3 1,357.8 1,281.4 721.5 763.3 5.8 26.9
.Italy  479.5 416.7 435.2 407.1 341.6 -16.1 12.0
.Taiwan 189.9 233.6 227.5 207.2 186.9 -9.8 6.6
.Belgium 126.6 211.6 118.5 133.0 123.3 -7.3 4.3

Source: China Customs, GTAI calculation

In the current year 2017, however, the Japanese seem to take the rank of the competitor Germany with an increase of 51% in the first four months. The overall textile machinery import grew by a strong 19.7% after the weak previous year before. Import from Germany however did not benefit from this and fell by 8.9%. As a result the German share of machinery supply decreased from 29.5% (2016 as a whole) to 25.0% in the first four months of 2017, while Japanese companies increased their share from 26.9% to 31.9%.

Recent import development for textile machinery in 2017, in USD million, changes against last year and share in %
  Januar bis April 2017 Change  Share
Total, thereof: 1,131.0 19.7 100.0
.Japan 360.4 51.6 31.9
.Germany 282.9 -8.9 25.0
.Italy 130.1 16.8 11.5
.Taiwan 65.4 17.4 5.8
.Belgium 65.3 25.2 5.8

Source: China Customs, GTAI calculations

Production shift continues

Many Chinese textile companies are also thinking about a dislocation production - either to cheaper foreign countries or to the more favorable Chinese hinterland. In 2016, the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang became the main destination for new settlements in the western part of the People's Republic. On average, two new textile factories were opened every day in Xinjiang.

The regional textile industry office in Xinjiang is expecting an even greater run for 2017, thanks to massive political and financial support. Many jobs however are not created there. On-site visitors report about state-of-the-art facilities operated by only a few specialists. The political message is clear: Chinese textile production should remain in the country, be of a higher quality and, if necessary, be reoriented in the direction of technical textiles.However, at least private fashion manufacturers are skeptical about whether the politically favored "Go-West" actually pays for them. Because there too, wages are likely to rise sooner or later, according to the justified Apprehension.

The fact that Vietnam, Bangladesh, South Korea and Cambodia have entered the league of important PRC purchasing countries within a few years is a result not least of the fact that Chinese (and other) manufacturers already have dislocated production capacities. They return their products from there for sale to China.Nevertheless, the very large displacement wave so far has not yet happened. In fact, certain limits are imposed on the shift, since the target countries often encounter their capacity limits. Added to this is the extraordinary advantageous network of the various production stages in China: from cotton harvesting to textile processing and final finishing.

Future theme digitization As part of the country-wide "Made in China 2025" strategy, the textile industry is trying to exploit the many and new opened possibilities of digitization. In view of the increasing individualization of consumption, more machines will probably be required in the future, which are, for example, able to knit sweaters according to the size, color and pattern of the individual customer. In principle, intelligent networking of production, real shops and e-commerce are seen as the challenge of the future.

 

30.05.2017

IRAN'S TEXTILE AND CLOTHING INDUSTRY WANTS TO INVEST

  • But industry continues to be in a crisis
  • Germany leading textile machinery supplier again

Teheran (GTAI) - Iran's large, traditional textile and clothing industry fights against foreign competition. Although the manufacturers are protected against imports by import tariffs, industry representatives and the Ministry of Industry are talking about massive illegal imports. In order to improve competitiveness, investments in new plants are necessary, but the companies often lack the necessary financial resources. Textile machines from Germany are in high demand.

  • But industry continues to be in a crisis
  • Germany leading textile machinery supplier again

Teheran (GTAI) - Iran's large, traditional textile and clothing industry fights against foreign competition. Although the manufacturers are protected against imports by import tariffs, industry representatives and the Ministry of Industry are talking about massive illegal imports. In order to improve competitiveness, investments in new plants are necessary, but the companies often lack the necessary financial resources. Textile machines from Germany are in high demand.

Although the Ministry of Industry reports growth for several sectors of the textile and clothing industry for 2015/16 (Iranian year 1394, 03. 21.15 to 03. 20.16), the increased production level remains far below capacity. The data on the average utilization varies greatly, but no estimate is more than 50%, some company representatives report even 30% only. The industry also suffers from quality problems, which are mainly due to the outdated machinery park.
According to official data, there are almost 10,000 factories with about 290,000 employees in the textile and clothing sector. The industry, which is characterized by private ownership, is by government announcements often referred to as a promising economic sector with potential. Nevertheless, according to criticism it is lacking in the necessary support.

Approximately 400 mostly medium and large textile and clothing manufacturers are organized in the Association of Iran Textile Industries (http://aiti.org.ir). The spectrum of the association members ranges from cotton spinning and weaving mills to producers of acrylic and polyester yarns, synthetic fibers, machine-made carpets, wall-to-wall carpet floors, woolen and other blankets and bedspreads, clothing and up to manufacturers of textile machines and spare parts.

The main problem of the Iranian textile and clothing industry is the competition from abroad, particularly from the PR of China and Turkey. The re-exports via the Dubai trade hub have to be added too. Partially high import tariffs are intended to protect the domestic market, but a large part of the imports arrives illegally into the country. A duty of 55% is currently levied on clothing and a reduced rate of 33% applies to deliveries from Turkey. For fabrics 32% are due.

Great interest in modern technology
The Iranian textile industry wants to strengthen its competitiveness both on the domestic and international markets through the modernization of its machinery. The great interest of the sector companies in new technology shows the strong response to conferences and seminars offered by European associations and companies.

In April 2015, the  GermanTextile Machinery Association VDMA organized a symposium in Tehran in anticipation of the strong easing of Iran sanctions. About 1,100 local company representatives were able to study the offers from the 36 German textile machinery and accessories manufacturers.
The event showed the interest of the Iranian companies to look for solutions to improve their mostly old, often decades old facilities.

A considerable part of the machinery park came from Europe as already used equipment. A problem were the continuing export controls also. According to industry representatives replacement procurements were made difficult because many parts are classified as dual-use goods. Organizations from Italy and Switzerland also have organized information events for Iran's textile industry.

Machinery import decreased again
The interest in modern technology however leads to limited investments only. Due to the weak financial strength of a large part of the industrial enterprises, intensified state support measures, in particular favorable loans, are requested. The banks lend credits to textile companies with great restraint only and demand high interest rates. According to Iranian customs despite the difficult situation textile and clothing machinery worth USD 324 million were imported in 2015/16. However - this was 11% less than in 2014/15 (USD 364 million).

Germany: export of textile, clothing and leather machinery to Iran 2013 to 2016 (in EUR 1,000):
HS-Pos. Description 2013 2014 2015 2016 -11 months
  Total 16,248 39,966 48,993 25,827
84.44 Machinery for jet spinning etc. of synthetic or artificial material 83 2,991 325 1,005
84.45 Machines for preparation or processing for spinning and doubling etc. 2,145 6,699 7,140 2,612
84.46 Weaving looms 8,009 20,896 30,873 11,941
84.47 Machines for knitting, sewing, gimping, tulle, lace, embroidery, net knitting and tufting etc. 642 712 618 1,444
84.48 Auxiliary machines and devices for machines of positions 84.44, 84.45, 84.46 or 84.47 4,400 7,347 7,760 6,412
84.49 Machines for the manufacturing of felts and nonwovens 6 0 77 0
84.51 Machinery and devices for washing, drying, ironing, pressing, etc. (excluding machines of pos. 84.50). 634 915 1,629 1,672
84.52 Sewing machines 321 380 543 673
84.53 Machines and devices for processing of hides etc. 8 26 28 69


Source: Eurostat

Germany is traditionally the leading textile machinery supplier in Iran, followed by Italy. However, the sanction phase brought a turnaround in favor of Asian suppliers. According to VDMA calculations, the most important suppliers of textile machinery exported to Iran in 2013 a value of EUR 85 million only (excluding dryers, and clothing and leather technology), of which 33% were attributed to the PRC, followed by Germany (16%), Turkey (12%), Korea (Rep., 7%) and Italy (5%). Deliveries of clothing and leather technology amounted to EUR 113 million in 2013, led by Korea (Rep.) with 53%, the PRC reached 36%, Germany came to 0.3% only.

The VDMA data for 2015 show for textile machinery Germany as the leading supplier again. At the textile machinery exported to Iran German suppliers accounted for a share of 30%, the PRC fell to 22%, Turkey reached 12%, Korea (rep.) 6% and Italy 4 %. In the clothing and leather technology the Chinese-Korean dominance remained in 2015 (PRC: 49% from EURO 131 million and Korea (rep.): 41%)..

PR of China: Exports of textile, clothing and leather machinery to Iran 2013 to 2016 (in USD 1,000):
HS-Pos. Description 2013 2014 2015 2016- 11 months
  Total 84,518 133,739 103,055 75,748
84.44 Machinery for jet spinning of synthetic or artificial fibers 16,457 5,319 1,990 1,925
84.45 Machines for preparation or processing of materials for spinning, doubling etc. 288 2.602 2.844 1,269
84.46 Weaving looms 2,650 6,039 4,103 1,836
84.47 Machines for knitting, gimping tulle, lace, embroidery, knotting and tufting etc. 6,672 10,795 8,642 7,878
84.48 Auxiliary machines and devices for pos.84.44, 84.45,
84.46 or 84.47 etc.
5,684 17,061 7,319 3,921
84.49 Machines for the manufacturing of felts and nonwovens 2,053 2,029 5,540 2,900
84.51 Machinery and devices for washing, drying, ironing, pressing, etc. (excluding machines of pos. 84.50). 11,368 15,894 16,559 13,728
84.52 Sewing machines 33.567 49.714 38.191 36.182
84.53 Machines and devices for the processing of hides 5.779 24.286 17.867 6.109

Source: China Customs

According to Eurostat exports of textile, clothing and leather industry machines of the EU28 Group to Iran increased between 2013 and 2015 from EUR 38 million to EUR 89, with Germany accounting for 42% respectively 55%. Italy delivered EUR 10.4 million in 2015 (2014: EUR 14.0 million, 2013: 6.3 million). The deliveries of the EU28 Group and Germany also were declining in 2016.

 

Central America imports more textile machinery © Oliver Brunner/pixelio.de
07.03.2017

CENTRAL AMERICA IMPORTS MORE TEXTILE MACHINERY

  • Large-scale projects in Honduras
  • More vertical integration strived

Following the US President's decree against the Pacific Pact TPP, Central America's textile and clothing industry counts for its main market on further tariff advantages compared to the Asian competition. Next to the so far dominating subcontracting work the sector wants to intensify the production of pre-products, what requires more and better textile machinery for this purpose. Guatemala is already investing, while Nicaragua will continue to stay mainly with sewing and tailoring. The largest technology market was lately El Salvador.

  • Large-scale projects in Honduras
  • More vertical integration strived

Following the US President's decree against the Pacific Pact TPP, Central America's textile and clothing industry counts for its main market on further tariff advantages compared to the Asian competition. Next to the so far dominating subcontracting work the sector wants to intensify the production of pre-products, what requires more and better textile machinery for this purpose. Guatemala is already investing, while Nicaragua will continue to stay mainly with sewing and tailoring. The largest technology market was lately El Salvador.

Honduras wants to expand its textile and clothing industry strongly. The aim of the "20/20" program is to significantly increase exports and with it new jobs. One focus should be the production of sportswear and other synthetic clothing, including pre-products. Central America's "largest factory for polyester yarn" (DTY) went into construction at the end of January 2017 in Choloma. It is expected to cost USD 73 million and produce 25,000 tons per year. According to Mario Canahuati, a Honduran shareholder of the investor United Textiles of America, an additional USD 120 million factory for synthetic materials and garments should be added later.

Observers believe the sector's expansion plans are realistic because it can stem the relatively large investment in the synthetic fiber production. In the Honduran textile industry there are many joint ventures with US partners which can raise capital in North America. In the other countries of the region the sector companies are more strongly medium-sized. They are depending more on the local capital market with its high interest rates and restrictive banks.

Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador invest

According to a machine representative the textile manufacturers in Guatemala will invest more in dyeing machines in order to become more independent from suppliers and keep the quality better under control. According to Invest in Guatemala the sector there delivers higher quality end products than the competition from El Salvador and Honduras, on the US market clothing from Guatemalan is almost twice as expensive.

The textile industry in Guatemala and El Salvador is more vertically integrated than in Honduras: it produces relatively quite a lot of yarn and fabrics by itself and is less dependent of the typical subcontracting (Maquila) method, which only imports textiles and re-exports them as finished clothing. Honduras mainly processes imported synthetic fiber yarns, which the country - like El Salvador - manufactures partly by itself.

The best market in Central America for a large German textile machine manufacturer is currently El Salvador, which imports the most technology in the region. The customers are quite innovative and work more concept orientated, which makes the cooperation easier. Due to increased yarn prices, some weaving companies are currently investing in spinning machines, a machinery salesman says. According to the Central America Strategic Sourcing Review, more than 20% of the factories are "vertically integrated".

In the opinion of machine representatives, Nicaragua is still concentrating on subcontracting. Investors are reluctant to spend larger sums which would be needed for modern textile  manufacturing. In addition there is a lack of good specialists for the foreseeable future, the level of training is only sufficient for easier sewing and clothing manufacturing. In Panama the textile industry does not play a nameable role; in Costa Rica, which is also relatively prosperous, the sector is larger, but exports little.

Central America’s textile and clothing industry

Indicator Guatemala Honduras El Salvador Nicaragua
Number of manufacturers 215 125
(2015)
n.a. n.a.
Employees (direct) 90,000 (2013) 99,100
(2015)
75,000
(estimation)
70,000
(estimation, 2014)
Clothing exports to the USA
(2016, bn. US$) *)
1,380 2,554 1,941 1,472
Production of synthetic fibres
(2016, 1,000 t)
0 26,5 17,2 0
Installed capacity (2015, 1,000 Units)
Spindles 153 n.a. 250 40
OE-Rotors 21 n.a. 1.4 n.a.
Weaving looms 3.9 n.a. 3.2 0.65

*) Costa Rica 29 Mio.; Clothing = almost total industry exports; 80% of exports are for the US; data from US import authority. Source: ITMF; national associations and authorities; Press

Central America Textile companies are usually located in a free zone and produce for export, mainly the US. In Honduras, according to a study by the Central Bank, Maquila - with textile / clothing as the largest segment - produced 36% of pre-products for other contractors and 64% of final products, which in turn were exported up to 99%.

US protectionism could even help

The protectionism, which is announced in the main market USA, develops some optimism to Central America's textile industry. As listed in “Honduras 20/20” it now can deliver more cheaply to the US than the competition from China or Vietnam because of existing trade agreements. At an - now not targeted anymore - omission of cutting US customs duties for Vietnam, it would be much more expensive. In addition, a garment factory in Honduras is able to deliver to the US in two days, a delivery from Vietnam requires twenty days. In the today so very fast fashion world, this is the main reason why Wal-Mart & Co. are ordering massive masses in Central America.

Until now, Central America has been supplying mainly cheap clothing for the US mass market, but, as a German machinery exporter is hoping, they will try to settle themselves against the Asian competition with higher valuable goods. For this the Central American manufacturers would need better technology, which preferable comes from Europe. In the view of other representatives Central America will need in future productive machines that are cheap at the same time. Chinese machines with European components are a big competition.

Machinery imports rising

Central America Imports of textile machinery and sewing machines have risen by one-third to over USD 130 million between 2013 and 2015. In addition, according to the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), Honduras has imported 170 round knitting machines in 2014 and 2015, Guatemala only 26, El Salvador 23 and Nicaragua ten. Germany was the fifth most important delivery country. Leading supplier was the USA. For Guatemala, with its many Korean-owned textile companies, Korea (Rep) was the main supplier.According to ITMF, Central America will shift its investments somewhat away from the clothing area towards the textile sector. Already today, the representative of a German manufacturer says: "We are currently selling very well in Mexico and Central America." 

Central America‘s1) imports of textile machinery (bn. US$) 2)

SITC Product group /Country / Country of delivery 2013 2014 2015 20163)
  total 97.5 116.0 131.6 70.8
72472) Machines for washing, drying, dying a.o. 25.7 27.9 35.4 9.4
724.35 Other sewing machines 21.0 24.2 29.2 18.8
7245 Weaving looms and knitting machines 21.7 23.7 28.8 20.9
7244 Spinning machines 11.5 21.7 19.8 11.6
7246 Auxiliary machines 14.4 12.8 13.8 8.1
72492) Parts 3.1 5.7 4.6 2.0
  USA 32.5 33.4 27.9 12.7
  Italy 8.8 10.6 20.8 17.5
  China 9.1 12.1 15.4 6.6
  Korea (Rep.) 6.2 9.5 12.1 0.5
  Germany 9.6 4.0 10.9 6.9
  Japan 3.9 7.2 7.7 6.0
  El Salvador 48.5 55.4 70.9 70.8
724.35   12.9 16.4 20.5 18.8
7245   7.0 11.7 16.1 20.9
72472)   11.3 12.0 12.9 9.4
7244   6.5 5.1 11.2 11.6
7246   9.4 8.6 7.9 8.1
  Guatemala 28.9 32.6 44.8 n.a
72472)   5.3 6.2 12.4 n.a.
7245   8.9 8.3 11.2 n.a
7244   3.5 4.9 7.2 n.a
724.35   5.8 5.9 6.8 n.a
7246   4.4 3.7 5.5 n.a
  Costa Rica 13.9 21.3 10.2 n.a
72472)   5.2 5.0 5.7 n.a
7244   1.4 11.4 1.3 n.a
7245   5.1 3.0 1.2 n.a
724.35   1.4 1.2 1.2 n.a
  Panama 6.1 6.8 5.8 n.a
72472)   4.0 4.7 4.3 n.a

1) without Honduras and Nicaragua; 2) SITC 724, without household sewing machines, (724.33), household washing machines, (724.71), machines for dry-cleaning(724.72), leather machines(7248), parts for household washing machines; 3) El Salvador only
Source: UN Comtrade