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Global textile machinery manufacturers

Though Bangladesh is going through some political unrest, global demand for textile & clothing remain stable in a reforming market after prolonged economic and financial crisis which has spread through all segments of the global economy. And it is also true that key importing countries of textile and clothing items have observed a momentous go down in import volumes, due to a slumping demand from European markets and the United States. US are to struggle to keep consumer spending continued amid two major shocks in the same weeks in Boston & Texas. But for textile machinery investment pattern, it remains changing as it was always. In one side low cast manufacturing places are under search light and on the other hand rising use of electronics and expansion of automation and robotics are ready to cut cost in high wage countries. However, first kind of machineries are basically for the developing countries which are mainly labour concentrated markets and require machinery where more of the available cheap labor can be used. And the new automated machinery are more positive for the developed markets where labour is expensive and the industry needs more and more automation for reducing their operation costs. This story continues after the first part published at March issue and focusing on countries like Switzerland, Japan, Korea, United States, Britain to see how they are moving in grabbing textile machinery market competing others. A product range based analysis based on ITC market access data identifies the position of specific countries in the global textile machinery export market. This story has been developed by A S M Tareq Amin & Ataullah Al Farhan under the active supervision of BTT editors.

Switzerland is strong enough at this sector having almost stable export through last five years. China & Italy are following strongly while Japan also exporting significantly. France, USA, Belgium & Taiwan also have good enough market share.


Swiss Textile machine manufacturers are masters of their speciality and supply the machines themselves as well as the measuring, regulating and process software. Swiss companies are at their best in making the equipment that could solve meticulous problems. Switzerland is always one of the largest producers of textile machinery in the world and the competitors themselves consider its terrific quality and innovative potential. With an estimated global market share of 33 per cent, the Swiss play a leading role in the textile machinery world. At present Swiss textile machinery holdings employ well over 28,000 people in over 100 companies and branch units around the world. Switzerland owned or based companies are in fact the largest machinery manufacturer in the world. Their manufacturing units are spread all over the world as per the demand pattern. In recent years, Swiss entrepreneurs have been capable to expand their financial and technological split of the textile machinery industry.


Swiss operations in Asia have always played a very important role, especially in the textile sector. As early as in the 19th century Swiss companies were already well established in Canton and Shanghai. At present, over one third of Swiss produced textile machinery is exported to Asian markets. Bangladesh remained a great market for Switzerland machinery especially in the spinning machinery range. No doubt, the Asian economies are back with impressive growth rates. Swiss entrepreneurs have always had to be internationally minded and geared to the world markets. But in the changing world where countries like China, India and other machinery manufacturers in Europe are increasing their capacities, Switzerland companies are under tight competition and had to work hard to keep their competitive edge. According to the Swiss Textile Industry Association, export earnings (estimated) of textile machinery decreased to US 1.6439 billion in 2009 from US 1.7587billion in 2008, thus showing decline of 6.5%. The overall decline of exports in 2009 was mainly due to low investment activities in the prime markets. The most significant negative impact came from the dominating markets Turkey, India, Pakistan.

Japan The Japanese textile machinery industry always remained devoted to its mission of contributing to the encroachment of Japan’s textile industry.


Textile Machinery Association has been a constant eyewitness, started machinery manufacturing from 1951. Clothing materials, like everything else, were acutely scarce because her textile industry had hardly recovered from the near-devastation by war. Japan has busied herself with buying foreign processes and equipment and has been lacking in efforts to devise new methods and machinery. Yet the renovation of her textile industry was subject to precise restrictions. In 1950 all restrictions on Japan’s textile equipment were removed. A rapid spindlage expansion and re-equipment proceeded. Productivity per worker and per unit of machinery rose to a new level. Japan has now about 45 renowned textile machinery manufacturing companies like Fukuhara, Murata, Shima Seiki, Toyota and so forth.


Japan is the second largest trade partner of the EU after China. China is the focal marketplace for Japan. About 40% of the entire export goes to china. Other markets are India, Indonesia, Hongkong, Bangladesh, French, Italy and Pakistan. Japan is now encouraging the sound development and evolution for textile machinery industry through the rationalization and the trade promotion.


The Republic of Korea – positioned in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, bounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, and traditionally referred to as South Korea – was the seventh-largest textile and apparel exporter, holding a 2-percent share of the US$527 billion global market in 2009. The textile industry is a leading force in Korean economic development and a major source of foreign exchange earnings. Another aspect of the South Korean textile industry is the textile machinery sector, which employed 9,130 people, or 1.3 percent of the total machinery industry. More than 110 companies have contributed to growth their economy by manufacturing textile machinery.

South Korea ships 45.5 percent of its machinery to Asia, 28.4 percent to North America and 11.3 percent to Europe, followed by Central and South America, 7.4 percent; Middle Asia, 4.7 percent; and other countries, 2.7 percent. Korean main export market is china and then Vietnam, Indonesia etc.  South Korea ranked seventh worldwide in textile machinery exports in 2004, with $1.1 billion in exports, according to KOTMA. In preceding year they exported about 2.0 billion US dollar.

South Korea is aiming to become the fourth-largest textile exporter and seventh-largest apparel exporter globally by 2015.


The textile machinery industry is strongly coupled to U.S. consumer demand for textile products, including clothing and home furnishing fabrics. Because the financial system was in a downturn in the late years of the first decade of the 2000s, U.S. textile and textile machinery production slowed, as did most other manufacturing sectors. Although a recovery was projected during 2011-2016, which would result in increased profitability and efficiency, challenges such as the rising price of harden and competition from foreign imports continued to be significant concerns for the industry into the early 2010s. The textile machinery industry is eventually motivated by the retail buying habits of U.S. shoppers. The dramatic political and financial changes in Europe and the former Soviet Union also shaped new markets for textile machinery. While many machinery suppliers exist within Europe, their technology is inferior to that of the West and Japan. Consequently, textile producers in Europe may look to U.S. manufacturers to help modernize their amenities.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 290 establishments made products in this classification in 2007. Of this number, less than one third manufactured parts rather than entire machines. Although a number of textile machinery manufacturers made assorted products, original-equipment manufacturers tended to deliberate production on one or two types of machines. The companies in this industry shipped more than $1.15 billion worth of merchandise in 2007. Revenues derived from the sale of parts and accessories accounted for approximately $100 million of the industry’s annual sales that year. Other product groups in this industry including embroidery machinery had sales of more than $75 million; silk screening machinery generated approximately $ 50 million. Shipments decreased to $1 billion in 2008. According to figures from Dun and Bradstreet, 751 establishments engaged in manufacturing machinery for the textile industries in 2010. Together these firms generated $691.4 million in revenues and employed 8,018 workers.


The British textile machinery sector is strongly
export orientated, with more than 90% of production typically sold overseas in Asia and UK has traditionally enjoyed a special relationship with Indian textile manufacturers. The British Textile Machinery Association (BTMA), as the representative body for the industry, includes among its 50 member organizations, the great majority of UK based firms in the textile equipment and engineering segments. UK textile machinery manufacturing industry like James H. Heal, SDL Atlas, Verivide etc has undergone a notable transformation in recent years, and the sector’s chief characteristic now is, emphasis on quality related technology, systems and services. While UK may no longer be home to makers of mainstream machinery for yarn spinning and weaving, international textile mills in these segments and others are well served by an endless amount of UK knowledge, expertise and a broad range of auxiliary equipment and accessories – most of which fits in with the new “Quality” profile of the British equipment manufacturers.


Taiwan’s textile and garment industry prolonged rapidly through the appropriation of scale economies from cotton-yarn weaving. The industry’s continuous growth led to a significant increase in weaving shuttles and open-ended weaving machines, and spindles. Consequently the textile and machinery equipment sectors in Taiwan received the maximum foreign direct investment (FDI) made by overseas Taiwanese companies during the first eight months of 2012. The overseas Taiwanese firms invested US $ 0.8599 billion in Taiwan’s manufacturing sector during the eight-month period.

The general harmony feels to be that most textile machinery makers in Taiwan have invested in product improvement to build a sound global reputation, as well as contribute to the growth of the industry over the past decades. Driven by global economic recovery, the sector exported US$562 million in products in 2010, up 52.2% from US$381 million recorded a year earlier and contributing 3.4% to Taiwan’s total machinery exports of US$17.214 billion, The textile machinery sector continued to grow that year, with aggregate exports in the first fourth months totaling US$218 million for a 26.1% increase from US$173 million posted during the same period of last year. Aside from sewing machines, buyers are also sourcing dyeing machines, knitting machines, yarn machines and auxiliary equipment. Taiwan’s makers of textile machinery now are better poised to compete, a scenario made more promising by rising economies in southeastern and southwestern Asia, where demand for such machinery should also increase.

Product range (Sector) wise export market analysis:

Spinning Machineries:


Chart 1 is generated from the latest data available at ITC market access map as tabulated in table 3 that shows Japan and Germany as leading machinery exporters in this segment. This group of products include all types of fiber preparation and spinning machinery fall under HS code 8445. Japan crossed all having an export of USD 1.26 billion in 2011, which was the highest in last five years. Japanese spinning machinery export eventually declined in 2012 but remained strong enough. After great decline in 2009 german spinning machinery was growing tremendously and exported more than 1.0 billion USD in consequent years 2011 & 2012. Italy is the 3rd player in this segment while Switzerland and China are following. Total export of spinning machinery from leading 14 textile manufacturing countries shown in table 3 was largest in the year 2011 of 4.14 billion USD after having a declining trend of 2009 & 2010. By the year 2012 their cumulative export of these countries were 3.19 billion USD which indicates strong investment in the sector.



Weaving Machineries:


At this specific product range data tabulated from ITC market analysis tools shown in chart 2, which mainly are looms depicts that Japan is clearly leading the export market having their largest export in last year’s in 2011 of USD 658 million which has significantly dropped down in the year 2012 as shown in the table 4. Export of China has increased proportionally from USD 56 million to 206 million over last five years. On Average Germany and Italy holding the 2nd and 3rd export of this segment while China can be placed at 4th position and Switzerland is following.

Chart 2 shows that loom export from these countries was almost stable over the years with a sharp downturn in the year 2009. In 2012 total export from leading 14 countries accounted to USD 1.15 billion.

Auxiliary machinery for spinning & weaving industries:
Product range covered in chart 3 & table 5 includes machinery and parts needed in spinning frames, weaving and preparation machinery. Germany is leading in such precision machineries exporting USD 1.15 billion in the year 2012 which was a great recovery after a great shock of 2009 having export of only 425 million USD, though the country had export of USD 1.12 billion.


Switzerland is strong enough at this sector having almost stable export through last five years. China & Italy are following strongly while Japan also exporting significantly. France, USA, Belgium & Taiwan also have good enough market share.


Like other machineries market for products of table 5 also was the worst in 2009 and the best in 2011. 2012 shows good trend having a cumulative export of USD 4.06 million from leading 14 countries in the table.

Knitting Machineries:

This class of machineries as shown in chart 4 & table 6 includes knitting and allied industries. This segment as well lead by Germany having around 1.2 billion USD export sales in 2011 but it has gone down to 728 million in 2012 which is close to Chinese 2012 export of USD 569 million. China and Japan can be said to be at 2nd & 3rd position while Italy is following them well. Among other name of Taiwan & South Korea to be mentioned.


Table 6 shows that this machinery industry has got a great export shock in 2012 which is 2.53 billion USD

while in 2011 it was 3.35 billion USD from 14 leading countries in the table.


Machineries for Dyeing Industries:



Chart 5 & table 7 made from data collected from ITC market access shows global export picture for the machineries used in dyeing industries which fall under HS code 8452. All of the listed countries has significant export in these machinery without India. Germany is leading in this segment as well. South Korea is significantly in the 2nd position which is a very interesting phenomenon. Italy being placed at the 3rd position, USA comes just after them. The sector is passing a significant trend of investment over last five years that could easily be understood from the cumulative export of the leading countries shown in table 7. As always only 2009 was worst due to severe economic recession in the whole world.

Finishing Machineries:

Table shows mainly finishing machinery where Germany is clear leader in global export market. Italy is significantly following them while USA is holding the 3rd position with a significant market share.


Sewing & Garmenting Machineries:



ITC data summarized in chart 6 & table nine shows that China is clear leader in exporting sewing and allied machineries in the world. The country was exporting USD 1.62 billion in 2011 and USD 1.51 billion in 2012. Japan is way behind but following China in the 2nd position having even a lower export sale in 2012 to USD 547 million. Taiwan remarkably could be said to be in the 3rd position in exporting sewing machine with a strong export in last year of USD 419 million. Germany and USA follows them.


To conclude the article started in BTT March 2013 issue and being herewith, the machinery market fluctuations must be addresses. As buying capital machinery is an investment decision, the sector depends on so many variables and the market continues to be shifted. Textile machinery industry specially can be identified as one of the fast changing industry. In such a vivid business most professional and technologically reach countries make their success. Germany remarkably could be mentioned as the leading in precision maker and adoptable to the changes grabbing a big pie of export market in each class of textile machinery products. And Japan clearly could keep its business strong instead of its strong currency and high manufacturing cost. China is coming up quickly and absorbing technologies from other European manufacturers as they shifted their manufacturing in China for reducing cost. Being one of the costliest country in the world Switzerland, their manufacturers had to spread their manufacturing base throughout the world hence was not that strongly seen in the tables and charts here but they are believed to be in the upper positions. Italy significantly consistent enough in all classes of textile machinery and maintaining good export sales with their quality and strong promotion activities. ITC market access data analysis clearly shows the impact of global economic meltdown occurred in 2009. That’s why textile machinery investment and export sales were much less than other years in 2009. In 2012 it is still stable by in downward than the year 2011.

Hope this paper will help textile machinery buyers and sellers to analyze their options globally and behave smartly in this volatile market. BTT textile machinery fiesta will be continued anyway with more interesting articles in next issue.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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