Apparel manufacturers in South Korea should concentrate on producing adult clothes rather than children's and infants' due to a continued slide in birth rates, industry chiefs suggested on Wednesday.

Officials from the Korea Federation of Textile Industries (KOFTI) said the clothing market for infants and babies under three was worth 333.3 billion won in 2002, down 1.9 per cent year-on-year.

Children and teenage clothing sales slumped 1.1 per cent last year to 1.46 trillion won which followed a seven per cent slump from 2000.

"The steady reduction is mainly attributable to the falling birth rate. Many local babywear’s producers went bankrupt after the financial crisis, causing the shrinkage of the market," KOFTI said.

It added clothing for people aged between 30-39 years and 40-49 years accounted for 25.9 per cent and 24.3 per cent of the entire clothing market in 2002, up 1.8 per cent and three 3 per cent, respectively, from 2001.