Revaluation adds to garment makers' woes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 July, 2005, 12:00am

The textile industry has been dealt a double blow by restrictive quotas imposed by western nations on Chinese exports and Beijing's decision to revalue the yuan, according to industry officials and the latest figures.

Cao Xinyu , vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, said many textile firms were scaling down operations or stopping production of some items.

The China National Textile and Apparel Council, an industry regulator, said the 2.1 per cent appreciation of the yuan against the greenback and the US safeguard measures imposed on Chinese textile exports would cost the industry as much as US$2.5 billion this year.

The double blow also would cost the industry 3.5 percentage points of growth in output, the council said on its website.

A council study suggests textile industry profits could drop by 2 per cent to 6 per cent on the back of a 1 per cent appreciation of the yuan.

'If the value of renminbi rises by 5 to 10 per cent, the profit of the whole textile industry would drop by 10 to 60 per cent,' it said, adding that export-oriented enterprises would fare even worse.

Mr Cao said that the textile industry was facing an uncertain future as most quotas imposed by the US and the European Union for this year had been used up and his chamber had sent alerts to domestic companies, asking them to suspend exports of some categories of textile goods to those nations.

The chamber said the quotas set by the US for cotton shirts, cotton trousers, underwear and synthetic fibre shirts had all been used up.

Since May, Washington has imposed limits on imports of seven categories of textile goods made on the mainland.

The Bush administration has carried out safeguard investigations on six other categories of garments.

Last month China and the EU reached a deal to avert a possible trade war over textiles. However, both agreed to set quotas limiting the growth of exports of certain categories of textile products to EU markets.

As little or no quotas were left for the second half of the year, mainland exporters were struggling to adjust, Mr Cao said.