MORE FROM CHINA: China’s man-made fiber production in 2002 increased 20.1 percent from the previous year to 9.91 million metric tons (21.8 billion pounds), according to the Japan Chemical Fibers Association, a national organization of fiber producers. Polyester fiber output increased 22.8 percent to 7.72 million metric tons (17 billion pounds), which broke down into 2.95 million metric tons (6.5 billion pounds) for staple, up 23.2 percent, and 4.77 million metric tons (10.5 billion pounds) for filament, up 22.6 percent. Production of nylon rose 12.9 percent to 475,000 tons (1.05 billion pounds), while acrylics moved up 11.3 percent to 594,000 tons (1.3 billion pounds), the association reported.

Meanwhile, apparel imports by Japan declined 5 percent in quantity in 2002 to 2.98 billion pieces worth $15.7 billion, down 6 percent in value terms, according to figures released by the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo. China continued as the nation’s dominant supplier, accounting for an 89.4 percent share of total imports. Chinese shipments came to 2.67 billion pieces, down 3 percent, valued at $12.7 billion, down 5 percent. Italy came second with 11.86 million pieces, down 8 percent, worth $786 million, up 5 percent. After Vietnam and South Korea, the U.S. ranked fifth with 18.55 million pieces, down 32 percent, with the value of $218 million, down 26 percent.

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