Local textile manufacturers expect to sign US$85 million of new orders at the annual Taipei Innovative Textile Show from Oct. 16 to 18, as demand grows for higher-priced functional textiles used mostly in sports and outdoor apparel, organizers said yesterday.
That would represent about 21 percent annual growth from US$70 million in orders last year, an initial estimate by the Taiwan Textile Federation (TTF) showed.
Robust growth was already reflected in the 2 percent annual growth in textile exports to US$5.89 billion from January to July this year, and the full-year increase could be larger, as the traditional peak season falls in the second half, the federation said.
Last year, textile exports grew by an anemic 0.8 percent to US$10 billion, it said.
“Taiwanese textile manufacturers are becoming the top choice for global [apparel and shoe] brands and retailers whenever they want to experiment with new textiles,” TTF president Justin Huang (???) told reporters on the sidelines of a news conference in Taipei. “Such new products usually carry higher price tags.”
The company earlier this year landed an order to supply 60 million units of smart medical clothes equipped with sensors that measure blood pressure and heartbeat, the federation said.
Smart medical apparel and army clothing are the two biggest markets for new functional textiles, Huang said.
Sports apparel, outdoor wear and sports shoes have been the main sources of revenue for local textile makers.
Together, Taiwanese textile manufacturers supply 40 percent of materials used in Nike Inc-branded shoes, and 20 percent of materials for Adidas AG shoes, TTF data showed.
Commenting on the consequences of the escalating US-China trade war, Huang said that local textile makers would benefit from the trade disputes in the long run as major global retailers seek to relocate their Chinese plants to Southeast Asian and African nations or India to circumvent new import tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump.
Trump last month imposed a 10 percent tariff on US$200 billion of Chinese goods that include textiles and clothing, and the tariffs could go up to 25 percent in January next year.
“Taiwanese textile suppliers might benefit from such supply-chain shifts. They will not face a higher tax burden, as they could ship their products to the US from their factories in Vietnam or in Taiwan,” Huang said.
This year’s show at Nangang Exhibition Hall in Taipei is to see a record number of participants, he said, adding that about 456 companies are to showcase new products during the show, up from 380 last year.