Global Textile Machinery Shipments Fell In 2019; 2020 Will Be No Better


In 2019, global shipments of spinning, texturing, weaving, knitting, and finishing machines decreased on average compared to 2018, according to the International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics, Vol. 42/2019. The report was released by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF), earlier this month.

Deliveries of new short-staple spindles, open-end rotors, and long-staple spindles dropped by 20%, 20%, and 66%, respectively. The number of shipped draw-texturing spindles declined by 4.5% and deliveries of shuttle-less looms shrunk by 0.5%. Shipments of large circular machines contracted by 1.2%, while shipped flat knitting machines fell by 40%. The sum of deliveries in the finishing segment also dropped by 2% on average.

The report covers six segments of textile machinery, namely spinning, draw-texturing, weaving, large diameter circular knitting, flat knitting & finishing. The 2019 survey has been compiled in cooperation with more than 200 textile machinery manufacturers representing a comprehensive measure of world production.

China, India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan reduce investments in spinning machines
The total number of shipped short-staple spindles decreased by about 1.7 million units in 2019 to a level of 6.96 million. Most of the new short-staple spindles (92%) were shipped to Asia and Oceania, where delivery decreased by 20%. While levels stayed relatively small, Africa and South America saw shipments increasing by 150% and 120%, respectively.

The six largest investors in the short-staple segment were China, India, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. As many as 563,600 open-end rotors were shipped worldwide in 2019.

This represents a 147,500-units drop compared to 2018. Ninety percent of global shipments went to Asia and Oceania where deliveries decreased by 21% to 517,000 rotors. Indonesia & Pakistan, the world’s 5th and 6th largest investors in open-end rotors, increased their investments by 120% and 15%, respectively.

China, Vietnam, India, & Uzbekistan, the world’s 1st to 4th largest investors in 2019 decreased investment by 48% on average. Global shipments of long-staple (wool) spindles decreased from 120,000 in 2018 to nearly 40,000 in 2019 (66%). This effect was mainly driven by a fall in deliveries to Europe (72%) and South America (80%). Eighty percent of total deliveries were shipped to China and India.

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Texturing machinery shipments to China fare better
Global shipments of single heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyamide filaments) increased by 12% from nearly 22,800 in 2018 to 25,500 in 2019. With a share of 88%, Asia and Oceania was the strongest destination for single heater draw-texturing spindles. China and Chinese Taipei were the main investors in this segment with a share of 64% and 12% of global deliveries, respectively.

In the category of double heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyester filaments) global shipments decreased by 5% to a level of 464,000 spindles. Asia’s share of worldwide shipments decreased to 90%. Thereby, China remained the largest investor accounting for 77% of global shipments.

Circular & flat knitting machinery shipments fell 1.2% in 2019
Global shipments of large diameter circular knitting machines fell by 1.2% to 26,400 units in 2019. The region Asia & Oceania was the world’s leading investor in this category with 86% of worldwide shipments. With 61% of all deliveries (i.e. 13,143 units), China was the favoured destination. India and Vietnam ranked second and third with 2,670 and 2,210 units, respectively. In 2019, the segment of electronic flat knitting machines decreased by 40% to around 96,000 machines. Asia & Oceania was the main destination for these machines with a share of 92% of world shipments.

China remained the world’s largest investor with an 80% share despite a 44% decrease in investments from 122,550 units to 68,760 units.

Bangladesh emerged an important market for weaving machines
In 2019, worldwide shipments of shuttleless looms decreased by 0.6% to 133,250 units. Thereby, shipments in the categories of air-jet and rapier & projectile fell by 7.7% to 30,200 & 22% to 25,000, respectively. Deliveries of water-jet looms increased by 12% to 78,000. The main destination for shuttleless looms in 2019 was Asia & Oceania with 95% of all worldwide deliveries. And 98%, 93%, 86% of all water-jet, air-jet, and rapier/projectile looms went to that region. The main investors were China and India in all three sub-categories. Deliveries of weaving machines to these two countries reached 89% of total deliveries. Bangladesh further played an important role in the rapier/projectile segment with 20% of global shipments.

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Continuous and discontinuous dyeing machine shipments rose
In the ‘fabrics continuous’ segment, shipments of stenters and washing (stand-alone) grew by 34% and 0.6%. The growth in stenter deliveries is mainly explained by the addition of ITMF’s estimate for the number of stenters. The total number of shipped stenters of 1,700 units thus represents an estimate of the total market for this category. In the ‘fabrics discontinuous’ segment, the number of jigger dyeing/ beam dyeing machines shipped rose by 35% to 561 units. Deliveries in all other machine categories in both finishing sub-segments (i.e. continuous and discontinuous) decreased in 2019.

In 2020, machinery orders expected to be 41% lower
Between April 16-28, 2020, ITMF conducted a third survey among ITMF members and affiliated companies and associations about the impact of the pandemic on the global textile value chain, especially on current orders and expected turnover in 2020. In total, 600 companies from around the world participated.

Worldwide, current orders are down by 41% on average
Orders in East Asia dropped visibly less (28%) than in all the other regions (40% and more). It can be assumed that this region, which was hit first by the Corona-crisis, is also recovering first from it. Especially China and Korea were able to contain the epidemic successfully. In the last few weeks, most Chinese textile companies have ramped up production significantly. Likewise, off-line retail stores have reopened, and consumption is picking up again in East Asian countries. It remains to be seen what the consumption behaviour will be like in China, Korea and other places in the coming weeks and months.

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Global textile industry turnover expected to be down by 33% in 2020
Worldwide, expected turnover 2020 is down by 33% on average compared to 2019. Companies in Europe are expecting turnover in 2020 to be down by “only” 22%, a figure significantly better than the 33% reported in the second survey. Companies in East Asia are expecting turnover to be down by 26%, which is close to what was reported in the second survey (24%). Companies’ turnover expectations in South East Asia and South Asia on the other hand have deteriorated significantly. These regions were hit later by the Corona-pandemic and hence the full impact was felt with a delay. Compared to 2019, expected turnover for 2020 is down to 38% in South East Asia and to 31% in South Asia.


  • Securing enough liquidity
  • Supply chain disruption
  • Uncertainty


  • Increasingly thinking about diversification, currently focusing on medical textiles
  • Streamlining organisation and production processes
  • Accelerating the reassessment of existing supply chains
  • Acelerating digitalisation and investing in sustainable production

Government Support

  • Many companies receive little to no help, even if governments have support policies in place.
  • Government support can comprise:
  • Lans with low interest rates and deferred repayment
  • Delayed tax payments
  • Delayed social security payments
  • Short-work schemes
  • Reduction of power costs

The biggest relief comes when retailers/brands discuss adaption to the unwinding crisis with their suppliers instead of cancelling orders unilaterally.


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