Cablegate: New Zealand's Textile and Apparel Sector
DE RUEHWL #0687 2630344
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200344Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4716
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4961
RUEHNZ/AMCONSUL AUCKLAND PRIORITY 1470
RUEHBN/AMCONSUL MELBOURNE PRIORITY 0117
RUEHDN/AMCONSUL SYDNEY PRIORITY 0580
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY 0178
UNCLAS WELLINGTON 000687
STATE FOR EAP/ANP, EB/TPP/ABT GARY CLEMENTS, COMMERCE FOR
ITA/OTEXA MARIA D'ANDREA, USTR FOR CAROLYN MILLER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KTEX NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND'S TEXTILE AND APPAREL SECTOR
REF: STATE 114799
1. New Zealand (NZ) is recognized as a global leader in the
production of sheep's wool. With the exception of wool, this
country's textile/apparel requirements are dominated by
imports. New Zealand sheep's wool is the variety that is used
mainly in interior textiles such as carpets, upholstery,
furnishings, beddings and rugs. It is also used for
hand-knitting yarn and in knitwear and blankets. The industry
has estimated that in the domestic market, 34% of new Zealand
wool is used in machine-made carpets, 12% in hand-knotted and
hand-tufted carpets, 44% in apparel and 10% in other uses,
primarily upholstery and bedding.
2. The United States ranks as New Zealand's fifth most
significant textile/apparel import source. China is
the leading source of New Zealand's textile/apparel imports.
Chinese textile/apparel imports represent approx
74% of total textile/apparel imports into the NZ market.
Australia is New Zealand's next most significant
import source. In response to reftel, Statistics New Zealand
reports for 2006 the following:
- The value (i.e., operating income) of total manufacturing
was approx. 52 billion USD in 2006.
- The value (i.e., operating income) of total textile/apparel
production was approx. 2 billion USD in 2006.
- Textiles/Apparel comprise 0.6% of all NZ exports with raw
wool amounting to an additional 2.73% of total exports.
- Textiles/Apparel comprise approx 5% of all NZ imports.
- New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product for 2006 was approx.
90 billion USD.
- The value of textile and apparel imports to NZ in 2006 is
apparel 864,962,900 USD and textiles 360,979,100 USD
totaling 1,225,942,200 USD.
- Chinese apparel imports were 639,491,000 USD and textiles
imports were 45,660,990 USD
for a total of 685,151,990 USD in 2006.
- U.S. apparel imports were 16,069,790 USD and textile
imports imports were 27,438,460 USD
for a total of 43,508,250 USD in 2006.
- The value of NZ apparel exports to the U.S. were 17,375,910
USD and textiles were 33,086,650 USD
for a total of 50,462,560 USD in 2006.
- Of a total employed workforce of 1,723,800 in 2006 there
were 234,700 employed in the manufacturing sector of the
3. Even with the currently high market penetration by China
in the textile/apparel sector, negotiations are
currently underway by GNZ to conclude a free trade agreement
(FTA) with China which will spell even greater
market penetration. The parties have to date concluded
fourteen rounds of negotiations with the ambitious
goal of concluding an FTA by April 2008. Despite the GNZ's
optomestic forecast of the anticipated benefits of
increased trade with China, New Zealand's powerful
Manufacturers' Union has threatened to push back on any threat
to local manufacturers from cheap Chinese imports but the
battle for the textile/apparel sector may have already
be a forgone conclusion based on the current import