Textile Machine Shipments Are Headed To Asia, Oceania


Global shipments of new short-staple spindles and open-end rotors increased by 1.5% and 13% in 2018, respectively. The number of shipped draw-texturing spindles rose by 50% and deliveries of shuttleless looms improved by 39%. Shipments of long-staple spindles, circular knitting machines, and electronic flat knitting machines decreased by 27%, 4% and 20%, respectively.

In the finishing segment, the sum of machines shipped worldwide in the category “fabric continuous” and “fabric discontinuous” fell by 0.5% and 1.5% year-on-year, respectively.

These are the main results of the 41st annual International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) released by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). The report covers six segments of textile machinery, namely spinning, draw-texturing, weaving, large circular knitting, flat knitting and finishing. The 2018 survey has been compiled in cooperation with more than 200 textile machinery manufacturers representing a comprehensive measure of world production.

Spinning machinery
The total number of shipped short-staple spindles increased by about 126,000 units to a level of 8.66 million. Shipments increased for the second consecutive year, but the global trend slowed down. Most of the new short-staple spindles (92%) were shipped to Asia and Oceania where delivery decreased by 2%.

The most dynamic destinations recorded in 2018 were Korea,  Turkey, Vietnam and Egypt with increases of 834%, 306%, 290%, 285%, respectively.

The six largest investors in the short-staple segment were China, India, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Indonesia. Global shipments of long-staple (wool) spindles decreased from 165,000 in 2017 to nearly 120,000 in 2018. This effect was mainly driven by a drop in deliveries to Asia and Oceania (-48,000 units).

This region remained the strongest destination for this type of machinery but deliveries to China and Iran dropped by 60%. The biggest investors were Turkey, Iran, China, Italy, and Vietnam.

Some 721,000 open-end rotors were shipped worldwide in 2018. This represents an increase of 83,000 units compared to 2017. Ninety-one percent of global shipments went to Asia and Oceania where the share to total deliveries improved by 20% to 658,000 rotors. However, China, the world’s largest investor in open-end rotors, increased its investments by 7% in 2018 while deliveries to Thailand, Malaysia, and Egypt rose by over three times.

Texturing machinery
Global shipments of single heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyamide filaments) increased by 48% from nearly 15,500 in 2017 to 22,800 in 2018. With a share of 91%, Asia and Oceania was the strongest destination for single heater draw-texturing spindles. China and Japan were the main investors in this segment with a share of 68% and 11% of global deliveries, respectively.

In the category of double heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyester filaments) the positive trend continues and global shipments increased by 50% on an annual basis to about 490,000 spindles. Asia’s share of worldwide shipments grew to 93%. Thereby, China remained the largest investor accounting for 68% of global shipments.

Surprisingly, India’s investments in texturing spindles dropped after 2011, after peaking to 90,000 units in 2011. Today, imports of texturing spindles are around 10,000 units.

Weaving machinery
In 2018, worldwide shipments of shuttleless looms increased by 39% to 133,500 units. Thereby, shipments of airjet and waterjet looms increased by 21% to 32,750 and 91% to 69,240, respectively. The deliveries of rapier/projectile looms dropped by 5% to 31,560. The main destination for shuttleless looms in 2018 was Asia and Oceania with 93% of all worldwide deliveries. Ninety-two percent of all waterjet looms, 83% of all rapier/projectile looms, and 99% of all airjet looms went to that region. The main investors were China and India in all three categories. Deliveries of weaving machines to the two countries reached 81% of total deliveries. Turkey and Bangladesh further played an important role in the rapier/projectile segment with a combined 18% of global shipments.

Exports to  Turkey show a strong growth  trend since 2009. From near zero levels in 2009, Turkey’s imports of shuttleless looms went up to 3000 units in 2013, and are currently at around 4000 units.

Bangladesh too is investing in its primary textile sector. With the result that  its imports of shuttleless looms has been going up after  a dip in 2011 and 2012. In 2015, Bangladesh imported around 8000 shuttleless looms. However, imports have slowed down, and in 2018, stood at around 4000 looms.

Circular and flat knitting machinery
Global shipments of large circular knitting machines fell by 4% to 26,300 units in 2018. Asia and Oceania was also the world’s leading investor in this category with 85% of all new circular knitting machines shipped to the region. With 48% of worldwide deliveries, China was the largest investor. India and Vietnam ranked second and third with 2,680 and 1,440 units, respectively.

In 2018, the segment of electronic flat knitting machines decreased by 20% to around 160,000 machines. Asia and Oceania was the main destination for these machines with a share of 95% of world shipments. China remained the world’s largest investor. The country kept its global share of 86% of worldwide shipments despite a decrease in investments from 154,850 units to 122,550 units.

Finishing machinery
In the segment of fabrics continuous, shipments of washing (stand-alone), singeing line, relax dryers/tumblers, stenters, and sanforizers/compacters increased in 2018 by 58%, 20%, 9%, 3%, and 1%, respectively. Deliveries in the other sub-segments decreased. In the category “fabrics discontinuous”, shipments of airjet dyeing machines increased by 16% and deliveries of overflow dyeing and jigger dyeing/beam dyeing machines fell by 7% and 19% respectively.

Trends during ITMA 2019
Visitorship from India remained high, especially in spinning and related segments. Investments in India’s spinning sector have slowed down, but are expected to pick up significantly over the next few years.

There were many visitors from Vietnam. Vietnam is going strong in its investments – not just in garmenting but also in the primary textile sector. Interest was especially high in spinning technologies.

The current uncertainty in the US-China trade relations kept many Chinese visitors away. The current thaw in US-China relations could see a pike in interest and orders during the next ITMA Asia in Shanghai.

Uzbek textile entrepreneurs were present in large numbers, scouting for textile manufacturing technologies. The Uzbek government has identified textile and clothing industry as a growth engine, and is supporting its development. The industry is further helped by Chinese investments. China’s Belt & Road Initiative is already bringing in benefits for the Uzbek industry and  economy. Investments in the textile industry will continue to grow in the coming years.

Bangladesh and Pakistan textile industry also turned up at the show. Other important visitors were from Europe and the Americas.

Future trends
According to ITMF, China will remain an important player in the textile and apparel manufacturing space. While production costs in China are rising, they are still quite competitive. Labour cost is less than US$ 1 per unit of apparel. While labour costs from 2005 to 2017 have increased by around 44%, apparel production during the time increased by 62.5%. China’s productivity per person went up by around 67% from 2005-2017. And apparel manufacturers’ revenues went up by 72% during the same period.

So, it still remains profitable for Chinese entrepreneurs to remain in the textile business. China, as we know, is moving up the value chain, and is also an important textile technology manufacturer today. If the BRI is even partly successful, logistics costs for China and its suppliers would reduce significantly.

Meanwhile, domestic textile consumption in Asia’s leading markets is growing fast, and domestic players  will invest to meet the  growing local demand.

It is estimated that in China, textile fibre consumption was 20.1 kg per capita, which is expected to grow to 29 kg per capita by 2030. In India, textile fibre consumption in 2017 was as low as 5.8 kg per capita. This is expected to reach 6.3 kg per capita in 2020, and 8.2 kg per capita by 2030. The world average in 2017 was 12.5 kg per   capita, going up to 15.2 kg per capita by 2030.

In Europe, in 2017, textile fibre consumption was 22.4 kg per  capita, which will go  up  to 29 kg per  capita by 2030. And in North America, per capita textile fibre consumption was 32.6 kg in 2017, moving up to 34.1 kg per  capita by 2020, and 38.5 kg per capita  by 2030.

So, textile fibre consumption in China will grow the most – by 44% – during 2017-2030. India’s fibre consumpiton during the period will grow by 41.38%. While fibre consumption in Europe and North America will increase by 29.46% and 18.10% during the period.

This will be supported by the strong growth in GDP per capita, both in India and China. According to the ITMF report, India’s GDP per capita will grow by 53.5% from 2018 to 2023, while China’s GDP per capita will grow by 50.5% during the same years. In comparison, GDP per capita growth in Europe will be 22.6% during the period, and in USA 15.1%. GDP per capita growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will be 37.1% during the period.

An analysis of fibre production preferences shows that polyester will remain the fibre of choice. According to the ITMF report, global polyester (filament) fibre production is expected to increase by 11%, from 35.49 million tons in 2017, to 39.28 million tons in 2020. Polyester staple fibre production will increase by 5% during these four years -from 16.76 million tons to 17.58 million tons.

Cellulosic fibre production will grow significantly during this period. Cellulosic staple fibre production will increase 19% to 5.10 million tons, and cellulosic filament fibre production will go up by 10% to 0.29 million tons by 2020. Nylon filament and staple fibre production too are estimated to show strong growth of 14% and 11% during the period. Cotton fibre production will go up by 2% to  2020. Textile technology developers will need to look at these trends to offer better solutions here.


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