China's exports of textile machines reached a record $290m in 2000, rising 80 per cent on a year-on-year basis, according to the Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textile Products.

The previous peak was $170m, achieved in 1998.

China exported textile machines to 116 countries and regions in 2000, 16 more than in the previous year. Asia was the biggest market for China's exports, with a 70 per cent share, followed by North America with 17 per cent, Europe with 6.61 per cent; Africa with 4.35 per cent, South America with 0.99 per cent and Oceania with 0.89 per cent.

The main exports were spinning equipment, which made up 32 per cent of the total; followed by parts and fittings for textile machinery and appliances, 20 per cent; after-treatment equipment for printing and dyeing, 25 per cent; knitting equipment, 14 per cent; weaving equipment, four per cent; and chemical fibre equipment, three per cent;

State-owned enterprises were leading exporters, take up 61 per cent of the total; wholly foreign-owned firms exported 22.35 per cent; Sino-foreign joint ventures made up 9.14 per cent; Sino-foreign cooperation ventures, five per cent; collective enterprises, 1.92 per cent, and private companies, 0.38 per cent.

The top seven exporters were Shanghai, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, Shandong, Fujian and Zhejian, whose export made up more than 90 per cent of the total.

At the same time, the import of textile machinery went up 60 per cent to $1.913bn in 2000. The main imports were spinning equipment, after-treatment equipment for printing and dyeing and knitting equipment.

The biggest import was jet looms, which was 5,681 units, valued at $181m, soaring 307 per cent. This is attributed to the high market demand and low output of home enterprises. The output of jet looms was only 711 units, far from demand. The prices of homemade jet looms maintained high.

The main importers were state-owed enterprises, accounting for 36 per cent of the total; followed by Sino-foreign joint ventures, 26 per cent; wholly foreign-owned companies, 23 per cent; collective enterprises, 10 per cent; private enterprises, 10 per cent; and other sectors; less than one per cent.

The top five importers were Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Shandong and Shanghai.

The market situation turned better for textile machine builders in the second half of last year. Statistics from 186 enterprises under the survey of the China Association of Textile Machinery Industry show that they generated 13.584bn yuan in sale revenue in 2000, and 566m yuan in profits.