10/07/2024 – China’s textile exports

Slow recovery after the pandemic slump

The global markets are recovering and opening up to increased imports of textiles and garments, even though imports still remain below the pre-pandemic levels. The global economy displayed a weak recovery, affected by geopolitical tensions, trade disputes and high inflation. Despite the challenges, China continues to be the world’s leading supplier of textiles and clothing.


Countries in China’s Belt-Road-Initiative accounted for more than 50 % of China’s textile and clothing exports. © stock.adobe.com/ sirisakboakaew


textile network met with George Zhang, CCPIT-Tex’s vice chairman, at New York’s Texworld trade show to find out more about China’s current export business. © Manik Mehta


The CCPIT-Tex, the textile and garment trade promotion arm of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and China National Textile & Apparel Council (CNTAC), closely monitors Chinas’s textile trade and industry. George Zhang, CCPIT-Tex’s vice chairman, told textile network at New York’s Texworld trade show that Chinese exporters were confident about surmounting the present challenges following the modernization and upgrading of the industry’s machinery, supported by their ability to produce for the high-end market. “We experienced a decline in exports of textiles and clothing last year but the trade is now moving towards recovery… some Chinese suppliers have been shipping the products by air, instead of the sea route to avoid shipping disruptions (Red Sea turmoil, etc. ),” Zang said.

Some Chinese exhibitors cited the exchange rate fluctuations as one of the causes of some “ups and downs” in export figures for 2023. “The dollar’s exchange rate was quoted at 6.73 yuan in February 2023, rising to 7.34 yuan in September before stabilizing at around 7.10 yuan in the earlier part of 2024. The fluctuations do impact trade figures,” one Shenzhen based exporter said.

Exports to countries in China’s BR Initiative did particularly well

China’s exports of textile goods alone in 2023 amounted to US$ 134.5b, posting an 8.3% growth in dollar terms and 3.1% in yuan terms. Clothing/garment exports amounted to US$ 159.14b according to CCPIT-Tex, down 7.8% in dollar and 2.8% in yuan terms.

The CCPIT-Tex observes that the growth momentum started again from April 2023, showing a “marginal but significant improvement”. Indeed, as Zhang said, the year ended on a positive note, with December recording increases of 5.2% and 3.5% in textile and clothing exports respectively over December 2022. Chinese sources say that countries involved in China’s Belt-Road-Initiative (including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey) accounted for more than 50% of China’s textile and clothing exports.

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