In 2021, China’s foreign trade hit an annual record of over USD 6 trillion with a 21.2% year-on-year growth of exports[1] that is expected to continue rising in the year ahead. The strong performance of home textiles exports also reflects the globally-high market demand in this sector. Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition 2022 will help domestic and overseas suppliers to take advantage of the market potential and capture the business opportunities that lie within. This edition will be held at the National Exhibition and Convention Center (Shanghai) from 15 – 17 August.

Based on recent numbers provided by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s export of home textile products between January and November 2021 was worth USD 43.574 billion, a year-on-year increase of 31.2%, and an increase of 20.8% over the same period in 2019[2]. The data shows that the current export scale of the country’s home textiles industry has now exceeded the 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

The credit for China’s steady growth in exports is the country’s zero-Covid approach, which has generally prevented disruptions to factory production as suggested by industry experts and Morgan Stanley[3]. Another outcome from the pandemic is that people’s way of life has changed as many spend more time at home. This is further driving the demand for more high quality home furnishing products.

An exhibitor from last year’s edition shared how positive their trading business was in 2021. “Ninety percent of our sales are from overseas and we have already matched our records from this time last year. From this, our business is still good and we are confident in the market prospects,” Mr John Wang from Suzhou Roufang Textile Technology Co Ltd pointed out during the October fair.

High demand for home textiles products to feature
In terms of popular export products, higher value-added home textile items such as bedding, blankets, carpets and curtains have led the way. In 2021, these four product categories accounted for 77.7% of total the home textiles exports, with increases of more than 26% from the previous year[4].

Bedding and curtains were two of the biggest product groups showcased at last year’s Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles, where bedding suppliers and curtains & curtain fabric manufacturers accounted for approximately 26% and 15% of the total exhibitors respectively. These companies introduced their trending products to a range of quality buyers at the fair.

Mr August Ji, Director of Business Development – Bedding from Nantong Heritage Home Textiles Ltd explained why the company exhibited their latest bedding products at the show: “The fair hold a great level of awareness and trustworthiness in the eyes of the market. Many of our long term customers came to our booth, as well as potential clients who are doing R&D on similar types of products that relate to ours.”

Apart from these popular exported goods, the show will also display a wide selection of other home textile products including towelling, carpet & rugs, table & kitchen linen, home textile technologies, textile design and more.

Big opportunities to discover in the Chinese home textiles market
Home textiles are not just welcomed by the international consumers, but they are also highly desired in the domestic market. According to Askci Consulting, one of China’s leading industry research institutes, the size of the country’s home textile market has grown from USD 31.9 billion (RMB 203.6 billion) in 2016 to USD 39.2 billion (RMB 250.2 billion) in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.1%. It is expected that market shares will further rise to USD 48.7 billion (RMB 310.2 billion) in 2022[5].

Several past exhibitors have also recognised this domestic market potential. Prestigious Textiles China’s Regional Manager, Mr Eason Cai expressed: “I believe the pandemic has caused challenges for all industries in the domestic market as there was a downturn in 2020. But from what we see in our sales figures over the past two years is that our company is now about 30% up on its 2020 results. This, at the very least, shows that the Chinese market is still dynamic and has huge potential.”

Likewise, Mr Michat Sliwinski, China Sales Manager of Animex believed that local buyers are now looking for good quality products and are even willing to spend more for finer raw materials. As a result, the company sees more opportunities in China and feels optimistic about the domestic market.

Ms Wendy Wen, Senior General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd also commented: “As income levels in China continue to raise, the demand for a quality of life is also increasing. With this, home textiles have gradually become an important means for people to improve their comfort levels and wellbeing. The fair offers a chance for overseas exhibitors to tap into the fast growing Chinese market. It can also help domestic companies to maintain connections and relationships with leading industry players, on top of keeping up to date with the ever-changing trends.”

The fair will once again offer a variety of value-added digital solutions to assist global participants gain access to the show’s resources. These include interactive webinars, live streaming product presentations, the Online Business Matching platform, to name a few. More details about the digital platform will be available later.

Intertextile Shanghai Home Textiles – Autumn Edition 2022 will return to its standard format; the show will be held from 15 – 17 August while Intertextile Shanghai Apparel Fabrics – Autumn Edition and Yarn Expo Autumn taking place a few days later. The fair is organised by Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd; the Sub-Council of Textile Industry, CCPIT; and the China Home Textile Association (CHTA).