Syria's state-run textile industry has reportedly lost US$32 million over the past few years, with the country's ruling Baath party describing the figure as "catastrophic".

According to a report published in the Al-Baath newspaper on Saturday, the industry had been hurt prior to end-2003 by high production and energy costs, as well as rising waste levels.

"The state textile industry has registered losses of 1.622 billion Syrian pounds, while some companies made a profit of only 78 million pounds (US$1.5m)," the daily said without citing a specific time period.

It added that some industry leaders "feared introducing reforms that could enhance its performance."

Despite the recent implementation of reforms to develop the country's private sector, the Syrian government maintains that state-run industries such as the textile sector will not be privatised.