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The Rupp Report

The Rupp Report: Decline Of Global Textile Machinery Shipments In 2008

Jürg Rupp, Executive Editor

According to the latest report from the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), Switzerland, the period of heavy investments in most textile machinery segments between 2003 and 2007 ended abruptly in 2008. All segments recorded shipments ranging from 3 to 66 percent lower in 2008 compared to 2007 shipments.

China (Was) The Leader
ITMF says the investment boom until 2007 was closely related to China's integration into the World Trade Organization (WTO) structures and the termination of the traditional quota regime under the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing. Trade in textile and apparel products no longer is subject to quotas but now is governed by the general rules and disciplines embodied in the WTO's multilateral trading system.

The report covers spinning, texturing, weaving, large circular knitting, flat knitting and finishing machinery. The 2008 survey has been compiled in cooperation with some 133 textile machinery manufacturers around the globe.

Compared to 2007, global shipments of short-staple spindles dropped in 2008 to 8.64 million spindles -- a 33-percent reduction. Nevertheless, this is still well above pre-investment boom levels. By far the largest part of this new machinery was absorbed by Asia - 8.31 million or 96 percent. China installed 3.69 million spindles, 43 percent of global shipments; followed by India, 2.53 million or 29 percent; Bangladesh, 642,000 or 7 percent; Vietnam, 580,000 or 6.5 percent; Indonesia, 250,000 or 2.9 percent; and Pakistan, 238,000 or 2.8 percent.

Global shipments of long-staple wool spindles decreased slightly in 2008 to 143,000, a 3-percent drop. While shipments to Asia rose by 17 percent to 115,350 - mainly as a consequence of higher investments in India and Indonesia - they fell in Europe, including Turkey, by 54 percent to 18,700. Shipments to South America remained almost unchanged at approximately 7,000, while North America recorded shipments in 2008 of 2,500 spindles, compared with none in 2007. Unlike the previous year, Africa did not invest in long-staple spindles in 2008.

After an exceptional skyrocketing increase in 2007 to 576,000 open-end (OE) rotors - an increase of 68 percent compared to 2006 - 2008 investments in OE rotors plummeted by 66 percent to 195,650. Taking delivery of 143,350 rotors or 73 percent of the total, Asia again was the main recipient of OE rotors. China's global share reached 46 percent or 89,200; followed by Brazil, 13 percent or 24,400; India, 9 percent or 17,700l and Bangladesh, 6 percent or 12,000. After an extraordinary investment boom in Turkey in 2007, shipments of OE rotors to that country dropped considerably in 2008 from 135,800 to only 7,500.

Shipments of single-heater draw-texturing spindles for polyamide fell by 20 percent to 5,230 in 2008. China was by far the biggest investor, with 4,300 spindles, representing 82 percent of the total; followed by Thailand, 430 spindles or 8 percent. Shipments of double-heater draw-texturing spindles for polyester dropped by 34 percent to 163,000 - back to pre-investment boom levels. The biggest investor again was China, with 62,600 new spindles or 38 percent of global investment; followed by India, 45,000 or 27 percent; Syria, 10,800 or 7 percent; Japan, 7,400 or 5 percent; and Vietnam, 7,000 or 4 percent.

Investments in shuttleless looms also plummeted in 2008 -- dropping by 34 percent to 44,800 machines - to the lowest investment level since 2000, the first year shipments of Chinese textile machinery manufacturers were included in this survey. Almost 40,000 machines -- 90 percent of the total -- went to Asia. China again was by far the biggest recipient of shuttleless looms, having installed 28,600 or 65 percent of total shipments in 2008. With 3,300 and 3,050 or 7 percent, respectively, India and Bangladesh came in at a distant second and third; followed by Indonesia, 1,700 or 4 percent; and Brazil, 830 or 2 percent.

Circular And Flat Knitting
Circular knitting machine shipments recorded a 21-percent fall to 21,150 in comparison to 2007. This was the lowest level during the past five years, but still considerably higher than pre-2004 levels. Taking 87 percent of shipments, Asia was the preferred region of investments in circular knitting machines. Again, China recorded the highest portion, with 14,400 or 68 percent of global shipments. Bangladesh ranked second with 1,070 machines or 5 percent; followed by India, 850 or 4 percent; Turkey, 600 or 3 percent; and Indonesia and Brazil, 530 or 2.5 percent each.

On the other side, the decrease of global textile machinery shipments was less pronounced in the segment of electronic flat knitting machines, which reported 2008 shipments down by 7 percent to 20,300. The bulk of shipments went to Asia. which received 88 percent, with Europe absorbing 10.5 percent. Once more, China was the biggest single investor, receiving 8,970 machines or 44 percent; followed by Hong Kong, 7,110 or 35 percent; Italy, 1,120 or 6 percent; Turkey. 760 or 4 percent; and Cambodia, 620 or 3 percent.

June 9, 2009