Trade commissioner Peter Mandelson said today that the EU will be unable to give its final decision on whether to impose emergency textiles quotas on China until it has conclusive statistics next week.

Europe's industry group for the textiles sector yesterday pleaded with Mandelson to restrict 12 categories of textiles.

Mandelson has been criticised for delaying guidelines which decree the levels of import rises the EU sees as concerning, and beyond which it will impose quotas.

International textile producers fear that China will increase its monopoly over the world markets now that World Trade Organistion quotas have expired, and trade has become more liberalised.

According to WTO estimates, China could provide clothing for half the world by 2007.

Data showing export licenses and imports of Chinese textiles are expected next week.