knitted fabric export industry is poised for growth,
after recovering from a slowdown in the first few
months of 2005.
The country's nearly 3,000 exporters shipped
close to US$3 billion worth of knitted fabric in
2004, registering 17 percent growth. But exports
slowed at the beginning of the following year as
orders from garment-exporting countries in Asia,
China's main market for knitted fabric, decreased.
These garment makers suffered from the lifting of
WTO quotas in January, with many of their overseas
buyers turning to China for their apparel sourcing.
Safeguards on a number of China-made knitted
apparel categories and an increased focus on the EU
market, however, have propelled growth, with sales
in the first seven months of 2005 increasing 13
percent to US$2 billion.
are some of the key trends we see in China's
knitted fabric industry:
|Rising material costs will
continue to have a major impact on prices,
with the majority of suppliers increasing
quotes by up to 15 percent.
|Many companies are
upgrading their facilities to improve
production efficiency and capability. A
number of makers in this report are
purchasing new machines that can make either
more types or larger amounts of fabric.
|Single-jersey knit fabric
will remain China's largest export product
in the line, as it is the easiest to make
and has the most number of applications.
Unlike other types, single-jersey knits do
not require specialized types of machines in
production. The manufacturing process is
also simpler, and the fabric can be used in
many types of apparel.
|Buyers can expect more
functional knitted fabric releases from
China in coming months. Apart from coating
the fabric with new or improved functional
finishes, more companies are using yarn made
of plant-based synthetic fiber. This is
indicative of an upmarket shift in
production focus and a growing awareness of
China makers can offer most types of knitted
fabric, which can be classified in many different
ways. For the purpose of this report, knitted fabric
is divided into six major categories: single/jersey,
double/ interlock, rib, purl, tricot and raschel.
While most suppliers offer a range of knitted
fabric across all categories, some specialize in one
or two lines. More than 80 percent of the suppliers
in this report make at least two types of knitted
fabric, with about two-thirds making only weft knits
The features and prices of each type of knitted
fabric are discussed according to low end, midrange
and high end in the Products & Prices section of
this report. It also details the other types of
knitted fabric that fall under each major
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