The EU hopes to decide by next week whether or not it will launch an investigation into options to curb the flow of textile imports from China.

EU Commission spokeswoman Claude Veron-Reville said that Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson hoped to have enough data on imports since the start of 2005 to make a decision by next week.

Veron-Reville said that the European Commission was "currently studying the demands for safeguard measures" which have been made by European textile producers to prevent Chinese export figures from rising any further, since the international trade quotas system ended in January.

She added that the ability to make a decision would be affected by the quality of data accumulated.

The EC has been criticised for not doing enough to prevent China's growing monopoly of the market, with trade bodies including Eurotex calling for an immediate introduction of textiles safeguard quotas.