China’s Fabric Exports to Africa Growing Rapidly

China’s exports of fabrics to Africa are growing at a rapid rate.

Mainland Chinese garment makers are extending their operations to Africa and building mills one after another to make good use of the abundant and cheap labor force for exports to Europe and the U.S. However, the makers are facing difficulties in procuring materials locally.

According to the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile and Apparel, 2017 fabric exports to Africa increased by 17.9% in volume and 13.1% in value over the previous year to 8,134 million meters worth US$6,769 million. In terms of volume, the scale is about 70% of exports to ASEAN (the largest market for Chinese-made fabrics). The unit price is 83 U.S. cents per meter, which is about 24% lower than the average unit price of US$1.23.

By country, exports to Nigeria were the largest: 1,828 million meters (up 77.5%) valued at US$1,290 million (up 55.3%). As a result, Nigeria came to rank among the top ten destinations in China’s fabric exports.