LEADING TEXTILE EXPORTERS
The production of fibres and textiles in developed countries has become expensive and there is a continuous for new sources of fibre and garment at the lowest price and highest quality…
- China is the world’s largest textile exporter (18% of all exports), India is the second (3.6%);
- Chinese export of textile materials and products has shown striking growth over the past years, from US$3.2 billion in 1985 to US$7.0 billion in 1990 and up to US$43.2 billion in 1997. Since 1999, the export demand of textile products increased again in line with the gradual recovery of the world economy from the Asian financial crises. The export of yarn, cloth and clothing in China increased all by more than 10% in 2000 compared with 1999. In addition, the sharp rise in oil price and price of man–made fibre has made cotton more attractive as a raw material;
- the textile industry in India covers a wide gamut of activities ranging from production of raw material like cotton, jute, silk and wool to providing high value-added products such as fabrics and garments to consumers. Textile exports during the period of April-February 2003-2004 amounted to US$11,698.5 million as against US$11,142.2 million during the same period in the previous year, showing an increase of around 5%;
- in the past, West Africans described cotton as 'white gold'; but the worth of this asset began to decline when prices started sliding in the mid-1990s, reaching an all-time low by October 2001 and generating both hardship and unprecedented political mobilisation among producers. Prices have risen recently, but are expected to fall again once China has recovered from poor harvests. One major factor in the slump is overproduction and the dumping of exports by the United States, made possible by handouts to agri-business, which totalled $2.3 billion in the 2001-2002 season. In 2003, 68% of US cotton was exported, at prices substantially below true production costs. This avalanche of cotton, produced by a mere 25,000 US plantations, deprives the highly competitve African smallholders of markets and pushes down world prices. Greek and Spanish production, although much less than that of the USA, has risen sharply as a result of US$700 million in annual CAP subsidies, making it harder for Africa to compete in Europe, its principal market. Direct losses to West Africa as a result of US and EU subsidies are estimated at US$250 million per annum;
- the World Trade Organization agreed with Brazil in saying that US cotton subsidies are illegal and need to be reduced. Brazil pointed out that in 2001 and 2002, US$4 billion of subsidies were paid for a US$3 billion crop. On July 5, 2005, the White House sent a proposal to Congress to eliminate the export subsidies;
- in 2004, twenty-two nations had exports to the United States exceeding US$1 billion. Topping the list was China with US$10,721 million in exports and leading supplier of both woven and knit apparel. The value of Chinese shipments increased by 23.4% over 2003, pushing up China's market share from 13.8% to 16.0% of US imports.