China's textile and apparel exports: price drivers

According to the statistics of the China Textile Industry Association Statistical Center, China's textile and apparel exports in the first three quarters of this year continued to grow faster than last year. From January to September, the total value of China's textile and apparel exports reached US$190.717 billion, an increase of 24.02% year-on-year, of which textile exports reached US$75.482 billion, which represented a year-on-year increase of 25.2%, and apparel exports reached US$115.235 billion, a year-on-year increase of 23.26%. The growth rate of textiles decreased by 5.4 percentage points over the same period of last year, while that of clothing increased by 4.2 percentage points. Under the influence of factors such as rising raw materials and labor costs, price increase has become the main driving force for export growth.

Quantity-driven to price-driven Since the beginning of this year, China's textile and apparel exports have grown rapidly from quantity-driven to price-driven. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, in the first three quarters, the average price of Chinese exports increased by 9.9%. After deducting price factors, the actual export volume increased by 11.7%. Among them, the export price of textile and garments rose by 20.9%, and the actual export volume after deducting price factors increased by only 2.8%. Among them, there are factors such as the increase in the overall cost of raw materials and labor, which have caused price increases, and the relative increase in bargaining power of the overall product.

Among the major export products, chemical fiber yarns, chemical fiber fabrics, and industrial textiles performed well. In the first three quarters, exports increased by 44.4%, 37.8%, and 34.6% year-on-year respectively. The export of knitted garments and woven garments all performed smoothly. The export volume in the first three quarters increased by 25% and 20.9% year-on-year respectively, of which chemical fiber knitted garments and chemical fiber woven garments increased by 28.7% and 32.1% respectively.

The increase in export value was mainly driven by the increase in export prices, which at the same time meant that the export volume of many products had stagnated or even decreased year-on-year, among which cotton products were more prominent. In the first three quarters, the export volume of cotton yarn, cotton cloth, cotton knitted garments and cotton woven garments decreased by 24.5%, 3.3%, 3.1% and 10.5% respectively.

The traditional market is loaded with weight. From January to September this year, the EU, the United States, Japan, ASEAN, and Hong Kong are the top five export markets for China's textile and clothing. The top five markets together accounted for 62.6% of total exports. Since the beginning of this year, there have been more uncertain factors in the economic growth of the top three markets in China's exports. The fiscal deficit and debt problems in Europe and the United States have deteriorated, and the Japanese economy has been weakened after the earthquake. These factors have affected our country’s exports to varying degrees. In spite of this, according to statistical data, China's exports to the three major markets in the first three quarters still performed well, and they maintained a double-digit increase year-on-year.

In the first three quarters, China’s textile industry’s exports to the EU reached US$42.77 billion, a year-on-year increase of 25.8%, of which textiles and apparel exports were US$9.78 billion and US$32.99 billion, respectively, a year-on-year increase of 20% and 27.7% respectively. Under the background of the continuous fermentation of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, and the overall lack of consumption, this performance has not come easily. According to the statistics of Eurostat, in July 2011, the EU-27 retail sales increased by 0.6% from the previous month and only 1.0% from the same period of last year. This shows that the share of Chinese textiles in the EU market continues to increase.

In the U.S. market, as the unemployment rate remained high and the income of the residents stagnated, consumers’ willingness to consume was not strong. The increase in textile and apparel exports in China slowed down significantly from last year. Customs statistics show that China’s textile industry’s exports to the United States reached US$ 29.92 billion in the first three quarters, an increase of 12.3% year-on-year, and the growth rate was 18% lower than the same period of last year. Among them, the export value of textiles and garments was 8.49 billion U.S. dollars and 21.43 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, which was an increase of 9.9% and 13.7% year-on-year respectively.

Affected by the earthquake, Japan’s economic performance did not show substantial improvement this year. From January to August 2011, the accumulated apparel sales of major department stores and supermarkets in Japan amounted to 2,981.2 billion yen, a 4.9% decrease year-on-year. Against this background, China’s The export performance is outstanding. In the first three quarters of the year, China’s exports to Japan had stagnated during the first two years of its sweep. The export volume reached US$20.61 billion, a year-on-year increase of 25.5% and an acceleration of 23% over the same period of last year.

Emerging Market Opportunities and Competition Coexisting It is worth mentioning that in the first three quarters of this year, ASEAN officially surpassed Hong Kong and China to become the fourth largest export market for textiles in China. The rapid growth of China’s exports to ASEAN marks the reduction of two-way tariffs in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. The effect is gradually emerging. From January to September, China's exports to ASEAN amounted to US$14.43 billion, an increase of 41.3% year-on-year, an increase of nearly 3 percentage points over the same period of last year. Textiles and garments exported 10.54 billion U.S. dollars and 3.89 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, a year-on-year increase of 41% and 42.2% respectively.

Although China's textile and apparel exports to ASEAN have shown a good momentum, with the cost competition advantages of the ASEAN region and other Southeast Asian countries highlighted, there is a competitive relationship between China's textile industry exports and these emerging trading partners. In recent years, garment export trends in Southeast Asian countries represented by Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh have performed well. According to relevant statistics of the WTO, from 1990 to 2009, Bangladesh’s clothing exports accounted for the world’s clothing exports from 0.6% to 3.4%; from 2000 to 2009, Vietnam’s clothing exports accounted for the world’s clothing exports from 0.9% to 2.7%. . From January to August of this year, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia performed better in the United States than in China, according to the US Department of Commerce. Objectively, these countries have the advantage of low labor cost and high quality in the field of garment processing. Therefore, obtaining a large number of international apparel orders is due, but statistics in recent years have not hindered the development of China's garment industry. Not to mention completely replacing or causing major **. On the other hand, the development of garment processing industries in these countries has led to the export of relevant surface materials in China. In general, China currently maintains a cooperative and competitive trade partnership between these countries.

The inflection point in the growth of foreign demand or the elimination of the Spring Festival period. From January to August this year, China’s monthly export of textiles and clothing maintained a relatively stable growth trend, but in September it showed a trend of declining growth rate. The textile export growth rate fell to 16.5% in the month. The growth rate of garment exports fell to 13.8%. This signal indicates that there may be an inflection point in China's textile and apparel growth momentum.

At present, the global macroeconomic trend has reached a critical period. Due to the great consumption of the financial crisis in 2008, the operating space for major economies to adopt new monetary and fiscal policies to stimulate economic growth and increase employment opportunities has now been significantly reduced. At present, the benchmark interest rates of major developed economies such as the United States, Europe, and Japan have remained historically low, and the decline rate is very small and they need to guard against inflation. At the same time, the level of fiscal deficits in various countries is worrying. The US debt has been downgraded by credit, and the sovereignty of the euro area has spread from Greece to larger economies such as Spain and Italy, and the survival of the euro. The second bottom of the global economy is not rumor.

Following the September World Economic Outlook Organization’s latest World Economic Outlook, which lowered the economic growth rate of major global economies in the next two years, the Fed also significantly lowered its growth forecast for the US economy for the next two years on November 3. It is estimated that the unemployment rate at the end of this year in the United States will remain at more than 9%. In 2012, it will only improve between 8.5% and 8.7%.

In view of this, it is highly probable that advanced economies, which are major demanders of China's textile and apparel products, will have a weaker economy and a higher unemployment rate in the coming year. Therefore, in the short term, there will be no high-speed growth in external market demand, and even worse, there will be a severe year-on-year decline. In recent days, the WTO forecasted that the annual growth rate of annual global trade in goods will fall to 5.8%, which is a full decrease of about 16% from the growth rate of 22% last year. The slowdown in the overall economic growth of the world will inevitably lead to an unfavorable trade outlook. The export of textiles and garments in China cannot be excluded.

In addition, in the current global economic situation is grim, the probability of second bottoming out increases, potential trade frictions from developing and developed countries must also arouse industry attention. As a major competitor of China in the European market, Turkey has taken safeguard measures for some of China's fabrics and clothing this year, which has seriously damaged the interests of the company. Since the beginning of this year, Brazil and Argentina in South America have targeted the Chinese textile and clothing industry as a key target because of the poor status of the domestic textile industry. The dual anti-surveys from the United States and Europe are also ubiquitous and political weights. Industry organizations and export enterprises should take precautions to prepare for the relevant lawsuits.

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