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The 25th International Textile Federation survey: The business situation is improving slowly and the expected results have not yet appeared


In March 2024, the International Textile Federation conducted a detailed survey of the global textile industry and conducted an in-depth analysis of the business situation of the textile industry. The survey results show that although the business situation indicator has rebounded between November 2023 and January 2024, improving from a low of -46 percentage points in November 2023 to -29 percentage points in January 2024, it once appeared There are weak signs of recovery, but in March 2024, the overall situation remains grim, highlighting the ongoing difficulties faced by companies in the textile value chain. Weak demand remains a major problem plaguing the industry, and even small improvements in order volume and capacity utilization cannot conceal this core challenge.

Since November 2023, business expectations have fluctuated between +25 and +30 percentage points, indicating a cautiously optimistic trend. Still, weak demand remains a major concern among survey respondents. In March 2024, optimism in the field of weaving/knitting factories increased significantly. Whether this indicates a gradual improvement in the situation in other links of the value chain remains to be further observed.

In March 2024, the order volume of the global textile industry showed a slight improvement, especially in Southeast Asia and South Asia. Among market segments, fiber producers and weavers/knitting mills saw the strongest order growth. Since July 2023, the average order backlog across the global textile value chain has remained at approximately 2.0 months. In March 2024, this number dropped slightly to 1.9 months. Among them, the order backlog in Asia and Europe has shown a downward trend. Textile machinery manufacturers and apparel producers have relatively high order backlog levels.

Average capacity utilization increased from 67% in January 2024 to 70% in March. According to forecasts, this ratio is expected to remain stable and not change significantly over the next six months. Specifically, capacity utilization has increased in the three major regions of Asia, Africa and North America, but there has been a downward trend in South America and Europe. This reflects that the textile industry is slowly adapting to the current economic situation.

In March 2024, the main concern of survey participants is still "weak demand", which has become an important reason for the poor overall business situation and low order volume. At the same time, companies along the supply chain are also facing challenges from rising input prices driven by geopolitical factors. Inflation is becoming less important than in the past.

Although the textile industry has faced many challenges in the past 12 to 18 months, it is gratifying that order cancellations have not occurred as frequently as in the early days of the epidemic. Although order delays occasionally occur, the number of canceled orders has not increased during the current period of weak demand. This is a positive signal for stabilizing market sentiment and maintaining business continuity, and the industry's resilience is also certain. degree has been reflected.

Additionally, the majority of respondents (57%) believe their inventory levels are average. However, in the U.S. market, inventories of brands and retailers still remain at high levels, while wholesalers have successfully adjusted inventory levels to close to pre-epidemic levels.

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