China's textile and apparel exports have surpassed $300 billion for three consecutive years, indicating the robustness of the downstream segment of the textile manufacturing industry. The industry relies on raw materials such as cotton, fibers, and wool to create top-quality clothing that meets rigorous standards and satisfies customer preferences. In this regard, advanced textile machinery is instrumental in the manufacturing process. China's textile machinery has been particularly impressive in delivering an array of high-quality textiles and apparel, enabling the consistent growth of the country's textile and apparel exports.

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In 2022, China's textile and apparel exports climbed to $340.95 billion, marking a year-on-year increase of 2.5%. This also represents the third successive year in which exports have surpassed the $300 billion mark. The China National Textile and Apparel Council's figures show that the B2B e-commerce transaction volume in the textile and apparel industry came in at roughly RMB 6 trillion, while online retail sales of clothing and home textiles exceeded RMB 2 trillion. Both of these segments continued to demonstrate consistent growth patterns.

The sustained strength and competitiveness of the textile industry are largely due to the ever-deeper fusion of information technology and industrialization, coupled with ongoing enhancements in digital capabilities. As of December 2022, the textile industry's comprehensive development index for the integration of information technology and industrialization reached 57.1, while the digitization rate of production equipment stood at 55.6%. Additionally, the networking rate of digital production equipment was 49%, while the preparedness for intelligent manufacturing was 14.6%.

The China National Textile Industry Federation reports that fixed asset investment in China's textile, chemical fiber, and apparel sectors climbed by 4.7%, 21.4%, and 25.3%, respectively, in 2022 compared to the previous year. These figures highlight the robustness and competitiveness of the textile industry's supply and value chains. As the Chinese textile and garment sector continues to make strides in e-commerce within the country, an increasing number of textile and garment enterprises and brands are expanding their reach by "going global" through cross-border e-commerce. This approach allows them to tap into larger markets and seize more opportunities. Although the United States, European Union, ASEAN, and Japan remain the primary markets for China's garment exports, there is a vast potential for further growth in other international markets.

Growth of National Textile and Apparel Industry in 2022

Data from the China National Textile Industry Council indicates that in 2022, B2B e-commerce transactions in China's textile and apparel industry reached approximately 6 trillion yuan. Moreover, online retail sales of clothing and home textiles surpassed 2 trillion yuan, exhibiting consistent growth. Speaking at the 2023 Guangxi-ASEAN International Textile and Apparel Industry Expo Cross-border E-commerce Summit and Procurement Matchmaking Meeting, the vice chairman of the China National Textile Industry Council observed that cross-border e-commerce has become an effective way for companies and brands to cut out intermediaries, reduce transaction costs, and enhance brand awareness when venturing into global markets.

In recent years, the African e-commerce market has been rapidly expanding, providing a new blue ocean for cross-border e-commerce. According to statistics, the revenue generated by the African e-commerce market hit 28 billion US dollars in 2021 and is expected to reach 33.3 billion US dollars in 2022. By 2024, this market may grow to reach 42.3 billion US dollars, a 500% increase from the 7.7 billion US dollars recorded in 2017. Although the African clothing market is currently transitioning from traditional trade to digital commerce, it lacks significant local brands. The Chinese clothing industry can leverage cross-border e-commerce channels to tap into this market, offering local consumers a broader and more diverse range of product choices.

The market potential of Latin America is noteworthy. With a considerable demographic dividend and a high proportion of online shoppers, the region has become one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets globally. Despite this, the consumer market in Latin America remains generally underdeveloped, providing limited brand options and narrow price ranges for buyers. There is a scarcity of Chinese brands operating in the local market, which presents an opportunity for high-quality Chinese clothing brands with competitive pricing and strong customer service capabilities to establish a presence in the Latin American market.

During a press conference held on March 20th, Mr. Yu Jianhua, Director General of the General Administration of Customs of China, responded to recent media reports regarding a significant accumulation of empty containers at Chinese ports. He explained that the situation was caused by multiple factors, such as a high influx of new containers in the previous period, low domestic storage costs, and a short-term surge of empty containers returning from overseas after the global pandemic situation eased. Seasonal patterns also played a role. This accumulation of empty containers indicates the international market's confidence in China's export capacity in the upcoming stage.

Despite the opportunities, the garment industry still faces challenges when it comes to exporting. Fragmented orders, increasing transportation costs, and rising labor costs domestically, a backlog of overseas warehousing inventory, and escalating trade frictions are all obstacles for garment enterprises in cross-border logistics. Clothing companies may experience delays in delivery with no recourse, loss of goods in transit with no way to claim compensation, accumulation of unsold goods due to lack of warehouse space for returns, language barriers, and low efficiency. Longyuan International Logistics offers integrated digital, customized, and stable services to efficiently support the garment industry in expanding overseas and address these issues.

China's textile and garment industry is further shifting to Southeast Asian countries and central and western regions of China. Textile and garment enterprises in Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and other regions are increasing investment and construction efforts in Guangxi to facilitate connectivity with ASEAN and RCEP member countries, which presents immense business opportunities.

SUNTECH Textile Machinery is a distinguished manufacturer of textile machinery with a rich legacy of automation and intelligent manufacturing technology for textile and warehousing equipment. SUNTECH's state-of-the-art core technologies have garnered global recognition.

SUNTECH Textile Machinery has the range of products encompasses almost all fabric types, including but not limited to pinking machine, non-woven machine, beam truck, meltblown machine, fabric cutting machine, motorized beam trolley, beam storage, and fabric inspection machine. SUNTECH Textile Machinery continues to lead the textile industry with its innovative approach and extensive experience. We welcomes quotes and cooperation opportunities with open arms.