According to the report World Trade Statistical Review 2017 by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the current dollar value of world textiles and apparel exports by top ten countries totaled $246 bn and $384 bn respectively in 2016, decreasing by $22 bn and $3 bn respectively from a previous year.

China remained the top exporter of textiles in 2016, with a 37 per cent share of world exports, even though its exports declined by 3 per cent. The next biggest exporters were the EU, with a 23 per cent share, growing by 1 per cent in 2016, and India, with a 6 per cent share, a decline of 6 per cent. Pakistan rose from ninth to seventh position while Vietnam entered the top ten for the first time with a 2 per cent share, an increase of 9 per cent.

More than half of the top ten textiles exporters recorded a decline in the value of their exports, with the highest decline of -13 per cent experienced by Hong Kong, followed by Taiwan (-8 per cent), South Korea (-6 per cent) and India (-6 per cent), the US (-5 per cent), and China (-3 per cent).

The top ten exporters of clothing in 2016 remained unchanged. However, Hong Kong (China) fell from fifth to sixth position and India did the reverse, rising to fifth place. China’s exports of clothing fell by 7 per cent but it still stayed in top position, representing 36 per cent in value of world exports of clothing in 2016.

EU exports of clothing increased by 4 per cent in 2016, reaching a market share of 26 per cent. The highest increases were recorded by Cambodia and Bangladesh – 6 per cent for both countries. Exports of China and the US fell the most, by 7 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

Measured in value, the EU, the US, and China were the top three importers of textiles in 2016, accounting for 37.9 per cent of world textile imports. The countries were followed by Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong (China), Bangladesh, Mexico, Turkey and Indonesia.

The EU, the US, and Japan also remained the top three importers of apparel in 2016, altogether accounting for 63 per cent of world apparel imports in 2016. Notably, China’s apparel imports have been experiencing an annual growth of 17 per cent, much higher than most other countries, followed by South Korea at an annual growth of 12 per cent, and Australia at 5 per cent.