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Analyzing the Chinese Apparel Industry

China apparel market: Dominated by women’s wear segment

China apparel industry is exhibiting a stupendous growth over the past few years, owing to increasing domestic market, increasing foreign players' participation and private players' expansion. Additionally, expansion of brands in lower-tier cities and opening of numerous new luxury stores in the country are taking the Chinese textile and apparel industry to new heights.

The Chinese apparel market is dominated by women's wear segment, which is expected to continue ruling in the future. Other segments such as sportswear and woolen & thermal wears are also expected to witness a rapid growth in the coming years. Considering the above factors, the total Chinese apparel market is projected to grow at the rate of around 7% during the forecast period 2012-2016.

Some migration of apparel manufacturing from China is expected, and even encouraged by the government, as the country's economy matures. As other Asian nations become efficient at mass manufacturing, China must embrace research and high-technology production to transform its economy as South Korea and Japan once did. But healthy economic growth requires that China expand its service sector and create higher-skilled manufacturing jobs at a rapid clip to compensate. If costs continue to rise, but China is unable to become more innovative or develop home-grown technologies, then the jobs that move offshore won't be replaced by anything.

Crocodile Garments Limited, Fujian SBS Zipper Science & Technology Co., Ltd., Huatai Silk Co., Ltd. And Liyou Clothing Group are the top players in the industry. Increasing production costs along with the prices of cotton, one of essential raw materials in the industry, pose a considerable influence on textile & apparel industry. Since 2012, domestic cotton price has long been higher than that in the international market, with the differences in price increasingly widening.

This forced textile enterprises to bear higher raw material cost, badly weakening the international competitiveness of cotton fabrics which resulted in order fall, profit cut and loss jump. Since 2012, among major Chinese cotton textile enterprises, the loss made up around 30%. The dive of export growth came with the synergy of two aspects: firstly, the prices of raw materials such as cotton saw great fluctuations, and the increasing production cost led to the industrial transfer to emerging economics; secondly, the sustained bleak international demand.

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