Lower textile imports lead to positive trade balance
A few days back, we had carried news on exports of the Malaysian textile and garment industry which are maintaining a slow and steady growth. Even after the elimination of quotas in 2005, the industry has been able to survive and grow, albeit a bit slowly compared to its global competitors.
Imports of textile and garments in to Malaysia, though off course are growing faster than exports of the same from the country. While exports grew at 5.34 percent in 2007 compared to 2006, imports rose by 13.05 percent in the same comparable period.
Total imports of the sector ascended from US $1.47 billion in 2006 to $1.66 billion in 2007. Shipments of textiles soared from $1.14 billion to $1.27 billion and that of garments from $325.68 million to $386.77 million in 2006 and 2007 respectively to garner individual growth rates of 11.43 percent and 18.75 percent in that order.
The biggest growth in textile imports came from woven textile fabrics other than cotton which saw shipments mount from $30.43 million in 2006 when corresponded with $36.90 million in 2007 to grow by 21.26 percent.
Textile yarn which accounts for 24.11 percent of all textile imports also saw its inward shipments increase from $258.98 million to $308.64 million to yield a growth rate of 19.18 percent in the period under preview.
Other textile goods with considerable growth in imports were Made-up articles with 17.55 percent, Man-made fibres and its waste 15.84 percent and woven fabrics from Man-made textiles with 15.13 percent.
Interestingly Malaysia is also a big exporter of textile yarns and woven fabrics from man-made textiles. The country exported textile yarn worth $625.46 million and woven fabrics other than cotton amounting to $272.04 million in 2007.
On the other hand imports of men's clothing; knitted/crocheted sky rocketed from just $14.34 million in 2006 to $26.81 million in 2007 to record a growth of 87 percent. Women's clothing (Not knitted/crocheted) also posted a growth of a good 47.88 percent by climbing from $61.99 million to $91.68 million.
The other major product within the garment category to achieve a super growth was apparels made from textiles other than cotton, also reflected a growth rate of 34.09 percent in growing from $96.50 million to $129.4 million.
But apart from the positive growth rates of products, there were goods from amongst both categories which reflected a negative growth rate. Imports of Men's clothing (not knitted/crocheted) fell from $56.52 million to $44.31 million and synthetic fibres went down from $73.71 million to $60.16 million to post negative growths of 21.59 and 18.38 percent respectively.
The main redeeming feature about the Malaysian textile and garment industry is that the trade balance depicts a positive picture. Trade balance for 2007 stood at a positive $1.35 billion, while for 2006 it was $1.39 billion, which goes to show that the sector is not import dependent for its raw material and other requirements.
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Fibre2fashion News Desk - India