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19th November 2009, Wilmslow

Electronic flat machine shipments buck the trend

According to a new report from Textiles Intelligence called ‘World Markets for Textile Machinery, 2009: Part 3 - Knitted Fabric Manufacture’, 2008 was a poor year for the international knitting machinery market as a whole. Global deliveries of single jersey and double jersey circular knitting machinery to the world’s mills declined, as did shipments of hand knitting and semi-automatic knitting machinery and shipments of electronic flatbed knitting machinery. However, according to the report, global shipments of electronic flatbed machinery were still the second highest on record, following two consecutive years of strong growth.

Deliveries of circular knitting machinery fell at double digit rates. Within the overall total, shipments of single jersey circular knitting machinery fell by 11.3% while double jersey machinery deliveries declined by as much as 31.3%. In both cases, falls were witnessed in almost all regions. In fact, the only rise in acquisitions was in Africa, where purchases of single jersey and double jersey machinery increased at double digit rates. Elsewhere, shipments fell, and in most cases the falls were at double digit rates. In terms of individual countries, shipments of single jersey and double jersey machinery to the industries in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico and the USA all fell at double digit rates. There was even a 33% fall in deliveries of double jersey machinery to the industry in China, while deliveries of single jersey circular knitting machinery to the Chinese industry declined by 5.4%.

In the flat knitting sector, global shipments of hand knitting and semiautomatic knitting machinery declined by 21.4%, while electronic flatbed machinery deliveries fell by a lesser 6.7%. In the case of hand knitting and semi-automatic flat knitting machinery, the drop was due almost entirely to a 67% plunge in shipments to mills in China, although there were also steep falls in shipments to the industries in Hong Kong, India, South Korea and Thailand. By contrast, deliveries to Bangladeshi mills increased by 4.3% and their share of the global total rose to over 77%.

In the electronic flatbed knitting machinery market, deliveries to the industry in China fell by 3,245 machines, which far exceeded the 1,463 drop in global deliveries. Offsetting the fall in shipments to mills in China, however, were increases in deliveries to the industries in Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, among others. As a result, global shipments of electronic flatbed machinery in 2008 were still the second highest on record, following two consecutive years of strong growth.

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