China's cotton spinning industry is just beginning to reap the rewards of the huge machinery upgrade that took place between 1997 and 1999, Asia Pulse reported today, but more modernisation is needed.

By the end of 1999, China's cotton spinning industry had discarded 9.06 million spindles, just meeting the target set at the end of 1997. The move has brought about tremendous changes to the structure of the textile industry and helped improve the quality of economic operations of this sector.

Several competitive and brand name enterprise groups have been set up, such as Wuxi Qingfeng, Anhui Huamao, Shandong Demian and Shanghai Zhongda.

The technical equipment level of the cotton spinning industry as a whole has been raised, with machinery made in the 1990s making up a third of the total equipment used in the sector. The proportion of blowing-carding units has risen from 7.1 per cent to 14 per cent; the proportion of automatic winders has risen from 13 per cent to 22 per cent; and the proportion of shuttleless looms has risen from 5.4 per cent to 9.7 per cent.

With the improvement of the equipment, the proportion of the knotless yarn increased from 16 per cent in 1995 to 26 per cent currently. Shuttleless cloth increased from 15.3 per cent to 24.4 per cent.

At present the cotton textile production capacity of Xinjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu and Hebei accounts for 55 per cent of the country's total. But over 80 per cent of the cotton spinning enterprises are state-owned or state controlled and most of them have not yet set up true modern enterprise systems. Production scale is small and some enterprises are still in the red, Asia Pulse said.