28 November 2012
China's apparel industry began possibly bottoming out in October, according to official data, after suffering for months from higher raw material and labor costs. Our monthly report offers a statistical view of production costs and consumer prices in China, including in textile and clothing industries. Labor costs in major provinces are also being tracked.
China's industry is possibly bottoming out after clearly suffering for a surge in production costs and a global economic slowdown.
Latest data indicate a slight improvement in manufacturing production and orders.
For the first time in three months, the official PMI index rose above 50% in October, indicating than more than half of companies participating in the survey now report positive prospects.
The textile and apparel industries are among these sectors benefiting from a possible improvement in production and orders, with demand for textile raw materials also bottoming out.
November may have confirmed positive trends for overall industrial production in China, HSBC bank said.
Clothing exports began again rising in US$ terms in October, in addition, if compared with the same month of 2011.
Over the first three quarters, clothing exports only gained 0.7%, compared with a jump of 18.3% in full 2011, while textile exports only rose 0.2%, from 22.9% in previous year.
The surge in exports in 2011 was however mostly due to a sharp rise of textile material prices which depressed demand in volume terms, actually.
This year by contrast, China's average clothing export price no more rose.
Production costs in the clothing industry only went up 1.6% in October from the same month in 2011, according to official data.
Overall production costs of China's industry fell 2.8% by contrast, but less significantly than in previous three months.
Fuel and power costs continued also declining, but at a lower pace than in October, which could reflect some improvement in industrial production.
This is probably to early to announce that China's textile and clothing industries reached an inflection point, as a first step toward a marked recovery.
First signs are however emerging, being confirmed by the lower unit prices of US apparel imports from China in September.
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