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Gerald Schwartz


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Global Garment Exports Fall: WTO

Shipments of both textile and garment items by top 10 exporting countries fell in 2016 due to fading demand, according to data from the World Trade Organization.

The current dollar value of world textiles and apparel exports by top 10 countries totalled $246 billion and $384 billion respectively in 2016, decreasing by $22 billion and $3 billion respectively from the previous year.

China remained the top exporter of textiles in 2016, with a 37 percent share in global exports, even though its shipment declined 3 percent, the UK-based Innovation in Textiles reported citing data from the WTO.

The next biggest exporters were the EU, a bloc of 28-nations with a 23 percent share, growing by 1 percent in 2016, and India, with a 6 percent share, a decline of 6 percent.

Pakistan rose from ninth to seventh position while Vietnam entering the top 10 list for the first time with a 2 percent share, an increase of 9 percent.

More than half of the top 10 textiles exporters recorded a decline in the value of their exports, with the highest decline of 13 percent experienced by Hong Kong, followed by Taiwan by 8 percent, South Korea by 6 percent, the US 5 percent and China by 3 percent.

The top 10 exporters of clothing in 2016 remained unchanged. However, Hong Kong (China) fell from fifth to sixth position and India did the reverse, rising to the fifth place.

China's exports of clothing fell by 7 percent but it still stayed in the top position, representing 36 percent in value of world exports of clothing in 2016.

EU's exports of clothing increased by 4 percent in 2016, holding a market share of 26 percent.

The highest increases were recorded by Cambodia and Bangladesh at 6 percent for both countries. Exports of China and the US fell the most, by 7 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Measured in value, the EU, the US and China were the top three importers of textiles in 2016, accounting for 37.9 percent of world textile imports.

The three were followed by Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong (China), Bangladesh, Mexico, Turkey, and Indonesia.

The EU, the US and Japan were the top three importers of apparel in 2016, altogether accounting for 63 percent of world apparel imports in 2016.

Notably, China's apparel imports have been experiencing an annual growth of 17 percent, much higher than most other countries, followed by South Korea at an annual growth of 12 percent and Australia at 5 percent.

Innovation in Textiles





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