According to a World Trade Organization study, China’s textile export growth has displaced some Asian competitors.

GENEVA — Asian countries lost global market share in textiles and apparel trade from 1995 to 2003 and U.S. textile exporters posted gains, according to data released last week by the World Trade Organization.<BR><BR>The statistics also show that...

GENEVA — Asian countries lost global market share in textiles and apparel trade from 1995 to 2003 and U.S. textile exporters posted gains, according to data released last week by the World Trade Organization.

The statistics also show that exporters such as China, which have increased their exports in recent years, have done so by displacing other exporters in the region, such as Taiwan and South Korea, which posted declines.

In 2003, world trade in textiles reached $136.9 billion, up from $122.9 billion in 2002. Trade in apparel reached $185 billion, ahead of the 2002 figure of $167 billion, the WTO said.

Asia’s share of textile exports fell from a 51 percent global share in 1995 to 50 percent in 2003, while North America increased its share to 10 percent in 2003 from 8 percent in 1995.

U.S. textile exports, the report said, increased to $10.9 billion in 2003 for an 8 percent share, up from $7.3 billion, a 6.6 percent global share, in 1995. Textile exports accounted for 1.5 percent of total U.S. merchandise exports.

The data for the then 15-member European Union, which excludes intra-EU trade, showed that in 2003 the bloc’s textile exports totaled $26.3 billion, for a 19.3 percent share. That’s a fraction less than the 19.6 percent global share reported for 1995.

Countries that lost significant textile market share over the eight-year period include South Korea, which dropped to 7.4 percent from 11 percent, and Taiwan, which fell to 6.8 percent from 10.6 percent. Much of the displacement was filled in by China and, to a smaller extent, by India and Pakistan.

China’s textile exports in 2003 increased by 31 percent to $26.9 billion and accounted for a 19.7 percent global share, up from 12.4 percent in 1995. Indian exports last year reached $6.5 billion, for a 4.8 percent global share, and Pakistan’s $5.8 billion gave it a 4.2 percent share.

Similarly, on the textiles import front, the WTO data reveal that in 2003 the EU was the largest importer, with $19.9 billion, followed by the U.S. with $18.2 billion and China in third place with $14.2 billion.

This story first appeared in the September 28, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

With regard to trade in apparel, the report said that developing countries have slightly increased their global market share to 71 percent in 2003 from 69 percent in 1995. Asia’s share slipped to 54 percent from 56 percent.

The beneficiaries during this period were Latin American exporting nations, which increased their market share to 11 percent in 2003 from 7 percent in 1995. Latin America’s growth in apparel exports may also explain part of the reason for the U.S.’s rising textile exports: The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act extends duty- and quota-free treatments to garments made in some Latin American countries if they use U.S.-made fabric.

In 2003, China was the world’s leading apparel exporter, shipping $52 billion in goods for a 28.1 percent market share. That’s up from $24 billion, for 19.3 percent, in 1995.

China was trailed by the EU, with $19 billion in shipments for a 10.3 percent share. That was down from its 12 percent share in 1995.

Other significant exporters included Turkey, shipping $9.9 billion for a 5.4 percent share; Mexico with $7.3 billion, for a 4 percent share; Romania, which reported $4 billion in exports last year for a 2.2 percent global share; Vietnam, exporting $3.5 billion for a 1.9 percent share, and Morocco with $2.8 for a 1.5 percent share.

South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong all witnessed contractions in export shipments.

The leading apparel importer was the U.S., with $71.2 billion for a 36.5 percent global share, up from 32 percent in 1995, followed by the EU with $60.3 billion for a 30.9 percent share and Japan with $19.4 billion for a 10 percent share, the WTO said.