The global cotton and textile industry hangs on every move China makes, so any opportunity to gain insight into the country’s future direction is far too valuable to miss. That’s why I’m so excited to meet with the delegation of Chinese textile professionals that will be attending the 2013 Cotton International Global Summit, to be held 20-22 March at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino in Singapore.
The delegation will be led by two of the top industry figures from China: Yang Shibin, president of the China Knitting Industrial Association (CKIA), and Zhu Beina, president of the China Cotton Textile Association (CCTA). CKIA has influence with more than 5,000 Chinese knitting companies, and the members of CCTA account for 60% of China’s total cloth and yarn output.
The recent shift to cotton yarn imports (as opposed to the prior emphasis on importing raw cotton) is largely viewed as evidence that China is continuing its journey up the textile value chain. By outsourcing some of its spinning capacity to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, China’s textile industry seeks to carve out a bigger share of the finished goods market and its higher profit margins. Cotton yarn’s duty-free status has been another factor in the growth of imports by Chinese textile manufacturers.
Nonetheless, few believe that China will cut back too severely on its raw cotton consumption:
- Globally, demand for cotton apparel will remain strong because consumers prefer it to synthetic alternatives.
- Domestically, textiles are one of the country’s pillar industries, employing tens of millions of people and serving as one of the primary growth engines for its economy.
- Even with a 40% duty levied on it, importing cotton at its current price point is still a cheaper option than buying high-priced cotton from the national reserve.
The path taken by China’s textile industry will change the face of the entire Southeast Asian region, so it will be fascinating to gain insight from the 30+ CKIA and CCTA textile executives at the Global Summit. We’ll be publishing as much of that information as we can, so if you aren’t able to travel to Singapore and speak to them in person, watch for our continuing coverage in future issues of Cotton International magazine and e-News.
For information about the 2013 Cotton International Global Summit program, click here. To register, click here.