accounted for approximately 60 percent of the
world's output of sleepwear in 2005. More than
10,000 exporters of sleepwear shipped out US$1.6
billion worth of the products in the same year.
As with most garment industries in China,
sleepwear makers enjoyed significant growth in the
first few months after the WTO textile quotas were
eliminated. Export volume in the first two months of
2005 grew by 46 percent and sales, 29 percent,
compared with the previous corresponding period.
Exports from January to November 2005 to the US
alone were 231 percent more than total outbound
shipments to the country in 2004.
Shortly after the US and EU filed safeguard
petitions, exports began to drop and average prices
started to climb. However, an agreement between
these countries and China late last year has
eliminated the possibility of restrictions for
shipments of sleepwear. Government-imposed export
taxes were also removed in December.
These developments have affected suppliers'
production strategies for the year, with many taking
a cautious attitude toward expansion, and exploring
other options to generate more overseas orders.
are some of the key trends we see in China's
sleepwear industry in response to this
|Suppliers are expected to
produce more upscale models in coming
months. The threat of possible safeguards,
export taxes and higher operating expenses
are the factors that have contributed to
this upmarket shift. The growth experienced
by the midrange and high-end makers is
propelling many companies to venture into
these segments as well.
|Higher material and labor
costs continue to be a challenge for most
makers, with 46 percent of companies in this
report planning to raise product prices by
up to 10 percent in coming months. However,
intense competition in the line is keeping
price movements at a minimum, with the
majority planning to keep prices stable.
|More suppliers will invest
in automated machinery and vertical
integration to improve efficiency and allow
for greater design variety. Some companies
are purchasing weaving and knitting machines
to produce part of their fabric requirement
|Women's pajama and shorts
sets will continue to dominate sleepwear
exports from China, followed by women's
nightgowns and nightshirts.
China makers can offer most types of sleepwear
for men and women, but most focus on the latter.
More than 80 percent of suppliers featured in
this report produce all the styles of sleepwear for
export, and more than 90 percent have women's styles
as their main line.
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