GENEVA — Marked by major contractions in key Asian economies, worldwide fabric production fell by 7 percent in 1993’s third quarter, according to a report issued by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation.

The Zurich-based ITMF, which draws on data provided by more than 50 of its affiliate member industry organizations — including the American Textile Manufacturers Institute — points out in its latest survey that output of fabric production in some major Asian fabric-producing nations was sharply down, compared to the third quarter of 1992. Production declined 17 percent in Japan and 16 percent in both South Korea and Taiwan.

In the same period, however, Brazil’s fabric production was up 15 percent, while output remained basically unchanged for Europe and the U.S., the federation said.

The ITMF report said in the period July through September global fabric inventories rose by 2 percent against a year earlier. It attributed this largely to “a 5 percent rise in Asia, and 3 percent in the U.S.”

Fabric inventories were unchanged in Asia, down 11 percent in Europe and up by 21 percent in the U.S., ITMF said.

In terms of orders, the European mills in the third quarter posted an 8 percent gain over the second quarter of 1993. However, orders were down by a wide 15 percent in the U.S.

ITMF said the downturn in the U.S. order index points to “a slowdown in the U.S. textile industry.”

Turning to yarn production, the federation notes global production in this sector was down 3 percent in the third quarter, compared to the April-through-June period of 1993.

It noted that Brazil and India notched major gains in yarn production, up 9 percent and 11 percent respectively, while Egypt recorded a drop of 7 percent.

ITMF also said yarn inventories in the third quarter were slightly up — 1 percent — over the April-June period, but stood 3 percent lower compared to the same period earlier. European yarn inventories shrank by 8 percent during the third quarter compared with the second quarter.

This shrinkage was mainly attributed to declines in Belgium (14 percent), France (11 percent), Germany (29 percent), Switzerland (13 percent), Turkey (7 percent) and the U.K. (69 percent), the report said.

Finally, ITMF noted that European yarn orders were up 10 percent in the 1993’s third quarter against the second, and were up by the same percentage compared to a year earlier. — Fairchild News Service