The EU is expected to push for progress in resolving the issue of Chinese textile and garment exports this week, as European retailers fear a severe shortage of goods in the coming seasons.

UK high-street stores at the weekend warned that, unless the dispute over limits on Chna's exports was resolved soon, they will be faced with empty shelves during autumn and winter trading.

Masses of pullovers, trousers and blouses have already become stuck in transit after China reached its exports limits on those goods. Shirts, bras, flax yarn and dress are all expected to fill their quotas shortly.

European retailers and imports say that the situation is unfair, as when they made their orders for this year it was in the belief that trade would be free of quotas as the World Trade Organization quota-governing system expired in January.
 
Alisdair Gray, director of the British Retail Consortium, said that the situation "has the potential to wreak havoc".

He continued: "In terms of trading with China, it's the worst crisis ever. It is having a crippling effect and will be a major disruption to autumn collections across the board."