China exported 141.6 billion U.S. dollars worth of textile and apparel products in the first 10 months of 2007, a growth of 20.1 percent over the same period of 2006.
The total included 95.61 billion U.S. dollars worth of clothing and accessories, up 22.9 percent, and 45.95 billion dollars worth of yarns, fabrics and related products, up 14.5 percent, according to customs sources.
Of the total exports, private companies accounted for 41.3 percent, or 58.47 billion U.S. dollars, up 44.2 percent, and foreign-funded businesses made up 31.9 percent, or 45.14 billion dollars, up 16.3 percent.
The European Union, the United States, Japan and the region of Hong Kong remained the top four markets of textiles made on the Chinese mainland.
Between January and October, the mainland sold 23.27 billion U.S. dollars worth of textile and apparel products to the EU, down 0.4 percent from the same period of the previous year, and 21.12 billion dollars worth to the United States, up 23.3 percent.
Customs sources said China's textile export would continue to be pressurized by a reduction in export rebates, further appreciation of Renminbi and continuous price rises for raw materials.
However, preventing the export from running away again is still a major concern of the industry regulators.
At the end of last year, the quota system for Chinese textile shipments to the European Union expired.
Just a few days prior to the expiration, a new online textile export license system began operation in China, as one of a series of measures taken by the country to better regulate the textile export market and avoid a surge of Chinese clothing exports to the EU like one in 2005, according to Zhao Qiuyuan, a senior analyst with the China Trade Remedy Information website under the Ministry of Commerce.
China and the EU agreed last September to set up a bilateral system to monitor Chinese exports of T-shirts, pullovers, men's trousers, blouses, dresses, bras, bed linens and flax yarn after the quota system ended. Monitoring will continue until the end of 2008, without quantity restrictions
Commenting on the possibility of "Made in China" products flooding the EU, Zhao Qiuyuan said that besides government efforts, domestic exporters should exercise restraint, since the EU might adopt tightening measures if there was a new surge of Chinese goods.
Industry watchers said if the bilateral monitoring system functioned smoothly, it would serve as a good example for dealing with the Sino-U.S. textile quota system, which was set to expire by the end of 2008.
(Xinhua News Agency January 7, 2008)