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Global Textile Machinery Shipments Robust, Asia Tops List

Carmen Pang, Senior Editor

Global shipments of textile machinery remained strong in 2003, especially for Asian markets, according to a report by the Switzerland-based International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). The report, which includes data from about 120 textile machinery manufacturers, covers spinning, texturing, weaving and knitting machinery.

Shipments of short-staple ring-spinning machines in 2003 totaled 8.2 million, representing a 133-percent surge from 2002 levels. Of all spindles shipped, 88 percent went to Asia, with China topping the list. Shipments to India, Pakistan and Turkey were also substantially higher than in the previous year. Because of weakened Chinese and Turkish investment, shipments of long-staple ring-spinning equipment, at 240,000 spindles, saw an overall decline of 32 percent in 2003. The top buyers in this sector were China, Turkey and Iran. Shipments of open-end rotors declined by 5 percent from 2002 levels, to 346,000 in 2003. Shipments were concentrated in China and Turkey, which together accounted for 81 percent of global shipments. Shipments of single heater drawtexturing spindles totaled 14,500 in 2003, a 300-percent increase from 2002. Double heater spindle shipments improved strongly as well totaling 216,000 units and representing a 49-percent increase. Asia's share of the total double heater spindle market was 92 percent, with China and India as the main buyers.

In 2003, the weaving machinery market contracted slightly. Global shuttleless loom shipments fell by 11 percent to 62,600. Key markets in Asia were China, Pakistan and Turkey. Of the total number of machines shipped, rapier/projectile looms accounted for 44 percent; air-jet looms, 33 percent; and water-jet looms, 23 percent. More than 10,000 large circular knitting machines were shipped in 2003, representing a 10-percent increase over 2002 levels. Among the deliveries, 66 percent went to Asia and 24 percent to Europe. Machines equipped with electronic needle selection made up 5 percent of all deliveries.A total of 9,300 electronic flat knitting machines were shipped, providing an annual gain of 4 percent for the sector. Asia absorbed 58 percent of the total shipments, while Europe accounted for 40 percent.

July 2004