Taiwan's textile exports totalled US$11.8bn in 2005, with a net foreign exchange income of $9.20bn, China Economic News Service cited industry sources as saying.

Both reported figures are the lowest for more than ten years, with exports dropping 5.8% from last year and net foreign exchange income falling 6.58%. Yarn, cloth and garment exports are all said to have taken a tumble last year.

Industry commentators blame China's growing domination over the world textile market. In addition, Taiwanese mid- and lower-market cloth and garment makers are increasingly moving production to lower-cost countries.

Hsu Wen-cheng, deputy secretary general of Taiwan Textile Federation, said the trend of falling textile exports looks set to stay. He said textile makers should concentrate on making higher-end goods and should reduce the production ratio of garments to 60% from 80%, but increase the production of household and industrial textiles by 10%-20%.