The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s November supply and demand forecast analysis stated that recent textile and apparel trade data reflect the global impact of the new crown epidemic and signs of recovery in textile and apparel exports.
The reduction in cotton consumption demand comes from many aspects, including changes in consumption habits, blockade measures and loss of income caused by massive unemployment. From April to May this year, global clothing imports fell sharply. The United States’ imports in May fell by 55% year-on-year, the EU and the United Kingdom’s imports also fell by more than 40%, and Japan’s decline reached 30%.
The decline in textile and apparel exports occurred in all major markets, but the distribution was uneven. The exports of Bangladesh and India fell by 85% and 90% respectively year-on-year, while the declines of Pakistan, Turkey and the European Union reached 60%, and Vietnam’s textile and clothing exports fell by approximately 30%.
During the global economic recession in 2008, the inventory of the global textile industry chain increased significantly. As demand recovered, the excessive inventory began to be slowly digested, and the real recovery of demand was delayed. However, the new crown epidemic has affected both demand and supply. The epidemic blockade has slowed down consumer spending and restricted the processing and manufacturing of cotton. The operating rate of spinning mills in India, background picture and the United States dropped by more than 90%. The decline in China was relatively small, and the decline in Vietnam was only about 30%.
The recovery of the textile industry after the epidemic is uneven. China, which was first hit, recovered faster than anywhere else. The operating rate of textile factories has returned to close to the epidemic level within 3-4 months. The level before the epidemic, while other countries are still lower than the level before the epidemic six months later. While factory shutdowns caused by the epidemic lockdown have limited the increase in gauze stocks, cotton stocks have risen rapidly.
When the COVID-19 epidemic occurred, most of the 2019/20 cotton harvest had been completed, and sowing this year had also begun. Therefore, global cotton production in 2020/21 has only declined slightly since February. However, global cotton consumption has not improved much. Compared with the February U.S. Agricultural Outlook Forum forecast, cotton consumption in 2019/20 fell by 17 million bales (a decrease of 14%), and the forecast for 2020/21 also dropped by 7 million bales (a decrease of 6%). As a result, global ending stocks for 2020/21 are 22 million bales (a 22% increase) higher than the February forecast.
The recovery speed of consumer demand is still uncertain, and recent clothing imports include delayed demand. Additionally, items such as school uniforms, summer and holiday clothing, hotel cotton sheets and towels, and seasonal clothing may never be made up. Remote working and learning brought about by the epidemic will have a long-term impact on clothing demand. </p