We analyze trends, current status, rankings and shares of the textile industry. It explains the past trends in the size of the textile industry, graphs of annual sales of chemical fibers, trends in 2021-2022, and strategies of textile manufacturers.
Textile Industry (2021-2022)
Looking at past changes in the size of the textile industry, there are variations from year to year, but in 2021 it will turn to an increase.
Textile Industry Trends and Current Situation (2021-2022)
7.4% increase in synthetic fibers in 2021 driven by automobiles and sportswear
According to the current production statistics of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the sales volume of chemical fibers in 2021 was 597,000 tons, up 7.4% from the previous year. Sales of synthetic fibers increased by 10.9% to 454,000 tons, while sales of recycled and semi-synthetic fibers decreased by 2.4% to 143,000 tons.
Looking at the trends in the sales volume of chemical fibers in recent years, there was a gradual downward trend, but in 2021, it will turn to an increase.
Next, we will look at trends in the textile industry in the most recent 2021-2022 period.
The graph above shows changes in the production index of the textile industry. The latest textile industry production index in October 2022 was 80.2, down 1.6% from the previous year.
Looking at the trends in the production index of the textile industry, it has continued to increase moderately since July 2020, and has been flat recently.
In 2021, the textile industry turned positive for department stores and mass retailers due to the economic reopening from Corona. In 2022, demand for automobiles, which had been stagnant due to the shortage of semiconductors, will recover, and this will also turn positive. In apparel, sports and outdoor applications performed well.
On the other hand, from 2021 to 2022 onwards, raw material prices will continue to rise, raising concerns about a decline in profitability. In the future, the key will be whether manufacturers can smoothly pass on prices.
Textile Industry Top Sales (2021-2022)
indicates sales of textile-related divisions. Looking at the sales ranking of the textile industry in 2021-2022, Mitsubishi Chemical is at the top, followed by Toray, Asahi Kasei, Teijin, and Toyobo.
In 2021-2022, 3 of the 5 major textile companies increased, 1 remained flat, and 1 decreased. Overall, it increased compared to the previous year.
Japanese Textile Manufacturers Accelerate Overseas Expansion with High Value-Added Strategy
In recent years, Chinese textile manufacturers have shown rapid growth in the world, and have grown to hold over 50% of the world’s textile production. Most of the production of polyester and nylon, the two largest synthetic fibers, is in China.
In this environment, Japanese textile manufacturers are facing a disadvantage in the general-purpose product field, which is disadvantageous in terms of price, and have been reviewing the traditional apparel textile business. As a result, we are shifting our focus to cost-competitive, high-value-added products such as carbon fiber, aramid fiber, and high-performance polyethylene fiber.
In addition, an increasing number of manufacturers are shifting their core business from traditional textile businesses such as resins and optical films to “non-textile businesses” where they can make use of their know-how in the textile business, such as electronics-related fields. Environment-friendly plant-derived fibers are also being developed for clothing.
Furthermore, in recent years, the overseas expansion of Japanese textile manufacturers has been accelerating. Toray announced that it will receive more than 1 trillion yen in carbon fiber orders from Boeing in the United States for more than 10 years. Joint development of next-generation aircraft with Boeing is also included, which will be a major source of revenue for the company.
The textile industry used to drive Japan’s industry as a textile for clothing. China has now lost that position, and the map of the world’s textile industry has been completely repainted. On the other hand, Japanese textile technology and its quality are highly evaluated overseas. The future trend of the industry will be a focus of attention as to how Japan can leverage these strengths to gain an advantage in a harsh environment.