Taiwan’s Textile & Apparel Exports Post First Decrease in Three Years

According to the Taiwan Textile Federation, 2019 exports of textiles and apparel fell 9.0% compared to the previous year to US$9.1 billion. It was the first decrease in exports in three years since 2016.
As a result of U.S.-China trade friction and political turmoil in Hong Kong, exports sharply decreased to Mainland China and Hong Kong. The fact that Taiwanese companies in the upstream and middle-stream sectors have relocated their production to Vietnam and Indonesia is also a factor for the decrease.
Exports of fabrics (the largest category) decreased by 6.0% to US$6.2 billion. Exports of spun yarns were vigorous up to 2018, but dropped 14.0% in 2019 to US$1.4 billion. Exports of textile fibers fell 25.0% to US$640 million.
In regard to exports to the top five destinations, exports to Vietnam were the largest, but decreased by 2.0% to US$2.2 billion. Exports of fabrics decreased by 1.0% to US$1.7 billion, while those of spun yarns grew by 2.0% to US$241.0 million. Spun yarn exports in 2018 climbed 27.0%.
Exports to Vietnam sharply increased for fabrics in 2017 and for spun yarns in 2018, and both were items leading overall exports of textiles and apparel. The decreases in fabrics and spun yarns are attributed to the fact that Taiwanese companies in the midstream sector are vigorously extending their manufacturing operations to Vietnam.
Exports to Mainland China (the second largest) fell 18.0% to US$1.5 billion, of which fabrics dropped 16.0% to US$974.0 million, along with spun yarns by 21.0% to US$445.0 million.
Exports to Hong Kong (fifth largest) declined by 19.0% to US$447.0 million, of which fabrics fell 18.0% to US$339 million and spun yarns by 28.0% to US$63 million.