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China's textile and apparel exports show strong growth in May


Chinas textile and apparel exports show strong growth in May

China's textile and apparel exports witnessed significant increase in May 2024, according to converted export volume data. All three major segments – fibers, textiles, and clothing – displayed growth compared to both the previous month and the same period last year.

Finished fabric products led the increase, boasting of the fastest year-on-year growth rate. Yarns and fabrics, on the other hand, displayed a weaker performance. Notably, used clothing exports witnessed a remarkable increase within this segment.

Export volume grows across categories

There was a significant rise in export volume year-on-year (YoY) and month-on-month (MoM) across all major categories. While growth rates varied slightly between segments, the overall trend was positive. Interestingly, the year-on-year growth rate for May surpassed the combined growth rate for the year up to that point across categories. This indicates a significant acceleration in exports specifically for the month of May.

As pointed out, finished fabric products remained the fastest-growing segment, followed by apparel and then yarns and fabrics. In subcategory used clothing exports witnessed a particularly notable increase, both YoY and MoM.

Seasonal upward trends were observed, the year-on-year and month-on-month growth suggests a potential seasonal upswing in exports potentially influenced by shipping delays due to maritime congestion in April and May. From January to May, fabric and other textiles performed the best, while fibers and yarns (especially polyester filament exports) lagged behind. Apparel growth fell in the middle.

Table: Top 5 subcategory growth from Jan to May


Y-o-Y change (tons)

Used Clothing

+ Significant Increase

Synthetic Fiber Filament Yarn

+ Over 100,000

Woven Fabrics

+ Over 100,000

Knitted Fabrics

+ Positive Growth

Cotton Yarn

+ Positive Growth

Used clothing leads the charge

A detailed analysis of subcategories with year-on-year changes exceeding 20,000 tons revealed a clear leader: used clothing. This category witnessed the most significant increase, followed by synthetic fiber filament yarn and woven fabrics, which both saw a rise of over 100,000 tons compared to the same period in 2023. Kenya, the Philippines, Angola, Tanzania, and Nigeria were the leading destinations for these exports. Conversely, synthetic fiber filament yarn, particularly polyester filament, experienced the most significant decline.

The report highlights the rapid growth trend of used clothing exports over the past few years, with this trend appearing to accelerate. Overall, China's textile and apparel industry appears to be experiencing a robust period, driven by strong growth across various segments and a surge in used clothing exports. This trend suggests continued positive developments for the industry in the coming months.


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