Chinese import to the EU market

Chinese import to the EU market under the double –checking system 2008.

Statistics January – April 2008 (Eurostat data)

2008 levels which trigger consultations with China in view of possible safeguard clause are already clearly in excess (over the yearly level) by actual imports data just available for the first four months in two clear cases – Cat. 26 (dresses) and Cat. 6 (trousers).. Based on the first four months of actual imports data (source : Eurostat), 77, 9% and 69, 6 % of 2008 consultation levels set respectively for cat. 26 and cat. 6 were already achieved, to which one could add Cat. 7 when actual imports at the end of August will most probably be also in excess over its 2008 consultation level (the consultation levels – early warning system – set for 2008 in the Guidelines for the China textiles specific safeguard clause,  OEJC C 101/8 on 27.04.05).

For the two above mentioned categories for which the basic condition of the China textile specific safeguard clause calls for an immediate action, the other main early warning criteria to be examined are the following:

  • Imports have risen in the first 4 months 2008 compared to 2007 by respectively +55 % (dresses) and + 14% (trousers), but referring to 2006, Chinese imports increased by +536% for dresses and by +279% for trousers, which show that quotas still in place up to the end of 2007 did not avoid rapid imports surge and that such quotas were filled well before the end of 2007.
  • Average unit price (Euro by piece) decreased by -22% for dresses and by -6% for trousers between 2007 and 2008, however the 2008 Chinese average export price for dresses (7,42 €/piece) is double of  the rest of world’s average export price for that product (3,35 €/piece), while for trousers the 2008 Chinese average export price (5,10 €/piece) is 77% of the rest of world’s average export price (6,63 €/piece) and thus clearly undercutting not only the EU domestic prices, but also most of the other extra-EU suppliers export prices to the EU.

In 2008, China has achieved by far the biggest market share for trousers in the EU compared to its market shares gained in total imports of other product categories under the double checking system.

To conclude, taking into consideration all above main criteria, the strongest case for an immediate EU action would be on category 6 (men trousers), which is furthermore a very sensitive product for EU weavers and spinners as still completely manufactured in the EU and the preferential Pan Euro Med Area.

SIGL DATA – state of licensing, July 2008

The state of the double checking system’s statistics in July concerning the export licenses  given by China and the import licenses authorized by the EU –SIGL- is clearly more alarming  than the situation as regards actual import statistics on 31 April 2008.

According to the state of SIGL statistics one can claim that all categories of products concerned by the double check would exceed the guidelines consultations’ thresholds  for the implementation of a safeguard.

In three cases (dresses, trousers and blouses), annual thresholds  are already very much exceeded and it is clear that well before the end of the year, all other categories  of imported products will have exceeded  the respective consultation threshold  (even if for flax yarns, it will be within the limits).



On June 25th, NCTO President Cass Johnson briefed more than one dozen embassies from major exporting countries on the threat from China regarding the expiration of safeguards and asked for their assistance in letting Congress and the Administration know that action must be taken to safeguard their export markets.  Johnson distributed information to each embassy showing how vulnerable their export markets were and detailing China’s behavior during the 2005 quota removal.

Ex Source: NCTO press materials, 30 June 2008

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