China saw its textile industry steadily grow during the first quarter after the end of global trade quotas, according to Sun Huaibin, director of the Press Center of the China National Textile and Apparel Council (CNTAC).

Sun said that the sector as a whole saw steady growth throughout the period, with sales revenue rising 27.55 per cent. The categories of yarn, fabric and garment all saw increases of between 20 and 22 per cent compared with the first quarter of last year, with the exception of chemical fibre, which saw growth of 3.43 per cent.

Big textile businesses reported growth of 28.04 per cent in terms of domestic sales, which was 6.14 per cent above the growth of export sales. Large-scale enterprises also saw CNY10.53 billion worth of profits, which represents a 20.18 per cent year-on-year increase.

Throughout the quarter, efficiency rapidly improved, but overall investment continued to fall. Spending on technical modernisation for the cotton textile business, however, grew 63.38 per cent.

Total exports did increase, although the rate of growth has slowed down. To the US, exports of garments and textiles totalled $22.91bn during the first quarter, which was an 18.99 per cent rise from last year, but represented a growth rate 5.95 per cent slower than in 2004.

Export to countries and areas previously restricted by trade quotas rose 56.07 per cent, which was 31.16 per cent higher than last year and represented a proportional increase to 35.8 per cent compared to last year's 26.5 per cent.

Exports to places not previously affected by quotas saw growth of just 5.06 per  cent, which was 20 per cent lower than last year.

Sun said that the state needs to continue to fortify and boost macro regulation, for example by improving restructuring of production structure and growth mode of export, and deciding andexport market order of textile products.