GENEVA — Global shipments of weaving, texturing and flat-knitting machinery posted significant declines in 2005 compared with the strong investments made the year before, an industry survey said.

The decreases largely reflect smaller investment by China, the world’s biggest market for textile machinery, although some other Asian countries reported increased shipments.

According to the latest annual survey by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation, global shipments of shuttleless looms last year fell 16 percent, to 53,500 unit sales, and investments in China dropped 30 percent, to 32,600 units, or 61 percent of total world sales.

India and Bangladesh posted major increases, but from a much lower base; shipments there reached 4,900 units and 3,900 units, respectively, the report said.

Shipments of single-heater draw-texturing spindles used for polyamide filament also fell last year, by 48 percent to 6,900 units. China and Turkey were the biggest investors in this segment, with market shares of 50 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Global shipments of double-heater draw-texturing spindles for polyester filament contracted by 21 percent, to 308,000 spindles. China was also the biggest destination for this category, with 260,000 spindles, or an 84 percent global share, followed by India with 13,700 and Hong Kong with 7,700 spindles, the ITMF said.

In 2005, the electronic flat-knitting machines market saw an 8 percent drop in shipments, to 10,500 units. Hong Kong was the biggest investor, with 4,800 units, followed by China with 2,800, Turkey at 570 and Italy with 370.

Results in the spinning sectors were mixed, however. Shipments of short-staple spindles were up; those of long-staple spindles and rotors were down, and sales of circular knitting machines posted solid gains, ITMF said.

Shipments of short-staple spindles reached 11.1 million units, up 7 percent from the year before, driven mostly by “the continuous expansion of Chinese domestic shipments,” the report noted.

China bought 7.2 million short-staple spindles, India absorbed 1.4 million, Pakistan took 1 million, Bangladesh received 540,000 and Turkey had 300,000, the survey said.

Global shipments of long-staple wool spindles fell 5 percent, the report noted. China was the biggest investor at 82,900 such spindles, down 15 percent from the previous year, followed by Turkey, which registered a 142 percent increase to 42,300, and Italy, with a gain of 245 percent to 14,000.

This story first appeared in the June 6, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Finally, the ITMF survey notes that shipments of circular knitting machines reached 30,500, up 32 percent, with China alone accounting for 22,500 of these.

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