Japan and Europe have been China's main textile export markets due to sharp depreciation in yen and Euro had a direct negative impact on textile exports. China's textile and garment exports continued to decline last year, mainly due to the good performance in the previous year and exchange rate fluctuations, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Wednesday.
China's textile export to the European Union reached $44.86 billion, falling by 10.6 percent year-on-year, the export to Japan reached $18.8 billion, dropping 12 percent, and the export to ASEAN countries hit $29.03 billion, slipping 1.7 percent, according to customs data.
From January to October in 2015, the textile industry saw positive growth in exports to the United States, Africa, South Korea. Yet exports to other markets dropped during the same period.
In November, retail sales revenues of clothing of China's 100 key retail enterprises declined by 5 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, from January to November, national online sales reached 3.45 trillion yuan, surging 34.5 percent year-on-year, and sales of clothing jumped 23.5 percent, the ministry said.
During the same period, the added value of the textile industry increased 6.4 percent year-on-year, and the sector continued to expand the scale of production. But the decreasing quality of domestic cotton has forced enterprises to largely import cotton from India and Pakistan.
As China is undergoing an economic transformation, high-tech industries are springing up in China's developed coastal regions to replace labor-intensive industries such as the textile industry.
Zhang Jianping, a senior researcher at the Institute for International Economic Research under the National Development and Reform Commission said that many labor-intensive Chinese industries had already shifted to Southeast Asian countries as the labor costs there are four to five times cheaper than in China.
In addition, weak domestic consumption, shortage of orders, increasing costs of labor and electricity, and environmental controls have left Chinese textile companies striving to cope with international competition.
In the face of new challenges and opportunities, the textile industry is looking to transform by applying new technologies and business models that cover the whole industry chain, including cotton, spinning, weaving and dyeing.
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