Related Event: Textile Trade Disputes
Related Story: Textile Export Contracts Drop at Fair
The textile and garment export situation, in particular with the US, was not looking healthy in the 98th session of China Export Commodities Fair (CECF), according to statistics published by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
The ministry said contracted garment exports stood at US$2.5 billion, down 13.8 per cent from the 96th session last Autumn; contracted textile exports reached US$2.2 billion, up 2.2 per cent from last Autumn.
However, US visitors to the textile section declined sharply and contracts with US buyers dropped 38.3 per cent from the 96th session.
CECF, the largest export exhibition of China, used to attract contracts by foreign buyers from all over the world, who placed both short-term orders for the coming months and long-term ones for the coming year.
Cao Xinyu, vice-chairman of China's Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Textiles, said that the unclear prospects of Sino-US textile conflicts were to blame for the decline.
"There are far fewer US visitors than expected because of the trade frictions," he said.
After the latest round of bilateral talks broke down in Beijing just before the CECF, the two sides have not scheduled a time for a new talks.
However, Cao said, the agreement made on textile trade between China and the European Union ruled out the largest uncertainty in Sino-EU textile trade. The agreement was reached in June and was amended in September.
As China and the United States failed to settle frictions, both importers and exporters are cautious about making orders in the next session of CECF.
"We had no visitors from the United States and only a few from the European Union," said Xu Huimin, an official with Weihai Jiaobo Trading Co Ltd, a company in East China's Shandong Province, which specialized in manufacturing pyjamas.
She said that it is a big blow to the company's exports for next year, as both are major markets of the company.
David Orens is one of the few US visitors to visit the textile exhibition hall though he placed no orders whatsoever.
"I've come here to collect information (about Chinese textile suppliers) and establish relations," said the official with the Los Angeles-based MLE Trading company.
Peter Goldman, president with Philadelphia Rapid Transit, said he only placed orders on unrestricted categories in this session and only to old suppliers.
"The contracts we signed declined some 50 per cent from last year," he said.
The half-month CECF concluded on Saturday.
According to statistics from the organizer, contracted volume hit US$29.4 billion, up 0.7 per cent over the previous session in April and up 8.2 per cent over last autumn.
Machinery and electrical products accounted for 41.6 per cent of the total contracted exports and light industrial products 33.2 per cent.
The European Union, with a contracted volume of US$10.4 billion, topped the export destinations in this session and was followed by the United States, the Middle East and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan.
Among the participants, Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces ranked the first three places in contracted value.
Some provinces like Anhui and Hubei witnessed a growth in contract volume.
(Photo: Facts and figures: The 98th session of CECF attracted 177,000 buyers from 210 countries and regions all over the world.Export contracts reached US$29.4 billion, up 0.7 per cent from the 97th session and up 8.2 per cent over the 96th session.US$6.7 billion was contracted in the Brand Zones, accounting for 23 per cent of the total contracted volume. )