China’s textile sales hit $407b

Beijing, February 1:

China’s textile sales reached $407 billion in 2005, surging by 115.7 per cent from 2001, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Apparel exports reached $116 billion in 2005, up by 118.9 per cent from five years ago, Xinhua reported, citing China’s key economic planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The report did not provide year-on-year comparative figures. China’s textile exports surged after the abolition of a global quota system on January 1. The US and EU have blamed China for flooding their markets with low-cost goods and have imposed curbs on clothing and fabric imports from China.

In September, the EU had to renegotiate the terms of a deal with Beijing to limit Chinese textile imports after quotas originally agreed by the two sides in June rapidly filled, leaving millions of Chinese-made garments stranded at EU customs po-ints. The US and China hammered out a deal which provides for a progressive increase in Chinese imports until 2008 but still caps their growth at far less than that in 2005. Some imports, such as cotton trousers, had surged by more than 1,000 per cent.

China had over 19 million textile workers in 2005 and over 70 per cent of them had migrated from the countryside, the report.

Oil, gas output up

SHANGHAI: Increasingly reliant on imports for its energy needs, China’s domestic output of oil increased to 183 million tonnes last year, an increase of 18 milli-on tonnes since 2000. In 2005, oil made up 22.7 per cent of China’s total energy needs compar-ed with 16.6 per cent five years ago. Although the nation’s net imports of crude and refined oil dropped by 5.3 per cent year-on -year in 2005, China imported 130 million tonnes of crude. — AFP