Textile Industry Year-End Trade And Economic Report

Textile Industry Year-End Trade And Economic Report The president of the American Textile
Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) cited the industrys increased exports as the brightest spot in an
otherwise challenging economic picture for the U.S. textile industry in 2000.According to ATMI
President Roger W. Chastain, Textile mill shipments fell for the third consecutive year as the
general economy started to cool and imports of low-cost Asian textiles continued to exert downward
pressure on domestic textile prices. However, the importance of well-negotiated trade agreements
such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the recently inaugurated U.S.-Caribbean
Basin Trade Partnership Act was underscored by the 12-percent increase in exports of yarn, fabric
and made-up textile goods in 2000. Chastain noted that despite a strong U.S. dollar, textile
exports exceeded $10 billion for the first time in history.The annual business review issued by
ATMI also showed that: Textile mill shipments fell in 2000 for the third year in a row. This was
the first three-year decline in textile mill shipments in at least 40 years. Shipments declined
approximately 1 percent last year to $77 billion, the lowest level since 1993. Mill fiber
consumption managed a 1- percent gain last year to 16.6 billion pounds. Following two consecutive
declines, the producer price index (PPI) for selected textile mill products remained unchanged in
2000 from 1999. Textile corporate sales also weakened in 2000 and were down 4 percent, to $58.2
billion, the lowest sales level since 1991. Significant write-offs resulted in an after-tax
industry loss of approximately $300 million last year, following profits of $700 million in 1999.
Prior to last year, the industry has not had an annual loss in the more than 50 years that the data
has been collected. Meanwhile, despite an 18-minute increase in the average workweek in the textile
industry in 2000, the index of hours worked in the industry fell 2 percent, reflecting the slower
pace of industry conditions. Textile employment continued its long-term decline in 2000 and reached
an average of 543,000 workers, about 3 percent or 15,000 workers below 1999. However, industry
productivity continued to grow as the pounds of fiber processed per employee increased 3.4 percent
in 2000 and real shipments per worker hour rose 2.5 percent.
February 2001