Taiwan's textile exports up 5.6% to US$12.54 B. in 2004

Jan 20, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Judy, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 20, 2005 (CENS)--Taiwan's textile exports totaled US$12.54 billion in 2004, posted an annual growth of 5.6%, the highest rise of its kind in three years, according to the statistics released by the customs authority here.

The export value generated trade-induced foreign exchange surplus of US$9.85 billion for the year, representing an annual growth of 3.7%. The textile industry used to be the No. 1 contributor to Taiwan's trade-created forex surplus, but the industry's export value has shrunk obviously, particularly in recent years, due mainly to the exodus of manufacturers in the line. In 2003 the industry's exports fell to US$11.88 billion, generating a net forex surplus of US$9.5 billion, the lowest in 10 years.

Last year Taiwan's imports of textile products posted at US$2.688 billion, up 12% from 2003's US$2.4 billion. Imports of cotton saw a sharp rise of 20%, reflecting a rising demand for raw materials by local textile makers expecting growing business for the year.

Some market observers noted that Taiwan's increased textile exports in 2004 were partly caused by price hikes for purified terephalic acid (PTA) and ethylene glycol (EG), two upstream materials for synthetic fiber extracted from crude oil, which witnessed soaring prices in the international market during the year.

Long-fiber cloth used to be the staple of Taiwan's textile exports, accounting for 60%-70% of the industry's total outbound shipments. However, exports of cotton yarn and short-fiber cloth climbed up by 6.9% from 2003 to US$8.948 billion in 2004. As a result, the export ratio of long-fiber cloth fell to below 60%.
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