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Report | July 2017

Rise in imports of circular knitting machine

About 87% of all new circular knitting machines were shipped to Asia in 2016.

Deliveries of new long-staple spindles and open-end rotors soared by nearly 111 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively from 2015 to 2016. The number of shipped short-staple spindles decreased in 2016 by 12 per cent compared to the previous year. The number of shipped draw-texturing spindles fell by 14 per cent and shipments for new circular knitting machines by 3 per cent year-on-year. In contrast, deliveries of electronic flat knitting machines soared by 99 per cent in 2016. In the segment of finishing machines (fabrics continuous), the number of stenters increased in 2016 year-on-year by 22 per cent.

These are the main results of the 39th annual International Textile Machinery Shipment Statistics (ITMSS) released by the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF). The report covers six segments of textile machinery, namely spinning, draw-texturing, weaving, large circular knitting, flat knitting and finishing. The survey has been compiled in cooperation with more than 140 textile machinery manufacturers, representing a comprehensive measure of world production. This number does not include the numerous Chinese companies that are represented by the so called “District”. Therefore, the amount of participating companies is likely to be around 200.

Circular and flat knitting machinery

Global shipments of large circular knitting machines fell slightly by 3 per cent to a level of around 26,200 units in 2016. Also for this category Asia is the world’s leading investor. About 87 per cent of all new circular knitting machines were shipped to Asia in 2016. With 43 per cent of worldwide deliveries China was the single largest investor. India and Bangladesh rank second and third with 4,200 and 2,200 units, respectively.

In 2016, the segment of electronic flat knitting machines soared by 99 per cent to around 1,39,600 machines, the highest level ever. Not surprisingly, Asia received the highest share of shipments (94 per cent). China remained by far the world’s largest investor for flat knitting machines in 2016. Thereby, Chinese investments increased from 35,500 units to 1,01,550, a global share of 73 per cent.

Weaving machinery

In 2016, worldwide shipments of shuttleless looms increased by 4 per cent to 84,700 units. Thereby, shipments of airjet and waterjet shuttleless looms increased by 15 per cent (to 22,900) and by 6 per cent (to 31,800). In contrast, rapier/projectile shuttleless looms decreased by 6 per cent to around 30,000 units.

Not surprisingly, the main destination of shipments of all shuttleless looms (airjet, waterjet and rapier/projectile) in 2016 was Asia with 91 per cent of worldwide deliveries, of which 41 per cent were waterjet looms and 32 per cent rapier/projectile looms. In Europe and North America, 73 per cent and 56 per cent of shipments were for rapier/projectile looms, while the share of waterjet looms was only 2 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.

Spinning machinery

Shipments of new short-staple spindles fell by nearly 12 per cent year-on-year in 2016, the third decrease in a row. The level of short staple spindles declined to about 7.9 million spindles, the lowest level since 2009. Most of the new short staple spindles (92 per cent) were shipped to Asia, whereby shipments fell by 12 per cent year-on-year. Thereby China, the world’s largest investor of short-staple spindles, experienced an increase of 9 per cent, whereas deliveries to Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam rose by 97 per cent, 4 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively. The six largest investors in short-staple spindles in 2016 where China followed by India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Turkey and Pakistan.

Global shipments of long-staple (wool) spindles soared by 111 per cent from around 54,000 in 2015 to nearly 1,14,000 in 2016. Deliveries to Turkey, one of the main investors in long-staple spindles in the last few years, jumped by 153 per cent from just around 11,000 in 2015 to around 27,800 spindles in 2016. The majority of long-staple spindles (60 per cent) were shipped to Europe (including Turkey). Nearly 39 per cent of long-staple spindles had Asia as destination.

Shipments of open-end rotors rose by 66 per cent to a level over 6,34,000 rotors in 2016. About 92 per cent of worldwide shipments of open-end rotors were destined for Asia. Thereby, deliveries to Asia increased strongly by over 87 per cent to nearly 5,83,000 rotors. Shipments to China, the world’s largest investor in open-end rotors, increased its investments significantly by around 92 per cent in 2016. In contrast, regions such as North America and South America recorded annual percentage declines of 72 per cent and 53 per cent, respectively. The world’s second and third largest investors in 2016 were India and Turkey.

Texturing machinery

Global shipments of single heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyamide filaments) jumped by 608 per cent from over 1,200 in 2015 to nearly 8,500 in 2016. With a share of 57 per cent Asia is the region where most of the single heater draw-texturing spindles were shipped to, followed by Western Europe with a share of 24 per cent and South America with a share of 19 per cent.

In the segment of double heater draw-texturing spindles (mainly used for polyester filaments) the downward trend continued and global shipments fell by 17 per cent on an annual basis to over 2,68,000 spindles. Asia’s share of worldwide shipments amounted to close to 84 per cent. Thereby, China remained the largest investor accounting for 58 per cent of global shipments.

Finishing machinery

The 2016 edition of ITMF’s International Textile Machinery Shipments Statistics included for the 11th time also data on finishing machinery. However, the categories were revised in 2015. In the segment fabrics continuous shipments of some machine types increased in 2016 like dyeing-lines (CPB), sanforising/compacting machines or stenters.

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