China’s Apparel Machinery Exports Remain Firm in 2019

According to the China Sewing Machinery Association, the nation’s exports of apparel machinery in 2019 increased by 1.3% over the previous year to US$2.5 billion. Sales to Vietnam and India were strong, but fell for the U.S. and Japan.
Meanwhile, imports rose 5.9% to US$833 million, and Japan was the largest supplier.
Although exports increased for the fourth consecutive year, the increase was 4.1 percentage points smaller than the previous year. By country/region, exports to Vietnam were the largest with US$373 million, up 11.5%.
Exports of industrial sewing machines decreased by 4.2% to 3.89 million machines, while the value rose 0.8% to US$1,200 million. Exports of embroidery machines (unit price: US$2,000 or higher) grew 5.3% to 25,400 machines, but the value decreased by 1.1% to US$350 million. The export value of garment manufacturing-related equipment climbed 17.1% to US$386 million.
Exports of household sewing machines (standard and multifunctional models with a unit price of US$22 or higher) fell 12.2% to 2.93 million machines, and the value dropped 19.0% to US$164 million. Exports of standard models increased by 14.7% to 1.71 million machines, and the value jumped 29.2% to US$49 million. Sales increased to developing countries.
2019 imports of apparel machinery increased by 5.9% to US$833 million. The increase was 42.5 points smaller than the previous year. Japan topped the list of suppliers with US$384 million, up 8.0%. Imports from Vietnam climbed 28.4% to US$330,000, reflecting the increase in production capacity by Japanese-affiliated machinery manufacturers in Vietnam.
Imports of industrial sewing machines amounted to 46,500 machines (down 8.7%) valued at US$106 million (down 27.8%). Imports of garment manufacturing-related equipment rose 19.7% to US$633 million.
CSMA also reported that the pretax profits of 238 Chinese apparel machinery manufacturers larger than a certain scale amounted to 1.5 billion yuan in 2019, which is a decrease of 29.4% from the year before. Total sales declined by 11.8% to 27.6 billion yuan.
The production of industrial sewing machines fall 17.0% to about 6.97 million machines, dropping to the 2017 level.
The production of standard household sewing machines grew by 11.7% to about 1.9 million machines. Production was supported by exports to Africa, the Middle East and South America. The production of multi-functional models decreased by 26.6% to about 1.1 million machines, as Japanese- and Taiwanese-affiliated machinery manufacturers shifted their production to Vietnam.
The sales of industrial sewing machines in the Chinese domestic market fell 30% to 3.08 million machines, which is below the 2017 level. By area, sales in Guangdong Province dropped by more than 50%.