Spain’s ailing textiles industry lost 17,800 jobs in 2009 as production fell on the back of slumping consumpion, leading textiles research lobby Cityc has informed.

Total production fell 17.7%, more than the 13% decline in 2008 when 14,200 jobs were lost. Apparel production fell 20%.

Cityc added that 525 companies closed last year, up from 400 in 2008.

This year, textile experts forecast more bankruptcies will occur, especially in the cash-starved small and midsize enterprise sector which will continue to suffer form anaemic consumption.

According to Cityc manager Joan Canales, textile sales fell 15-30%, more than in 2005 when the industry suffered from the liberalisation of global textile commerce and the ensuing onslaught of Chinese textile imports.

Cityc hopes that 2010 will be a better year as European markets, which buy the bulk of Spanish exports, are expected to improve.

Canales added that Spanish consumption is unlikely likely to strengthen until 2011.