China has emerged as the biggest threat for many exporting countries as its domination of the world's textile market is heading towards an unassailable height with the abolition of export quotas next January. At the current growth rate China is expected to claim 75 percent market share in the US, a key market of the world's textile and apparel arena, in the quota-free regime, according to a study of a US-based coalition of trade bodies.

While quotas are still in effect, Chinese market share in the US has increased by 794 percent over the past 27 months, says the study report titled 'The China Threat to World Textile and Apparel Trade' of the National Council of Trade Organisations (NCTO). China had only nine percent share in the expanding US textile market in 2001, which rose to 65 percent in March this year, the NCTO report says, threatening the other major apparel exporters including Bangladesh and India.

NCTO presented the paper at the World Summit on Fair Trade in Clothing and Textiles in Brussels last month. Textile and clothing associations from 47 countries attended the summit to find out ways to face the post-2004 challenges. China is constantly capturing significant amounts of market share from every major competitor such as Bangladesh, Mexico, the Caribbean nations, Turkey, the Philippines and Pakistan. India however managed to maintain a three percent market share.

According to NCTO statistics for 2001 to March 2004, a total of 31 countries suffered 75 to 100 percent loss of market share, 40 countries suffered 50-74 percent decline and 17 others suffered 25-49 percent loss of market share. Exporting countries are also lagging behind China in offering prices for most of the categories as China's prices declined by 48 percent after quotas were removed on those items. China's export prices fell from an average of USD6.23 per square metre in 2001 to USD3.12 at the end of March 2004, according to NCTO.


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