Chinese sweaters tied up in European ports

22nd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 22 (AFP) - Around 50 million Chinese-made sweaters are currently blocked in European ports because the 2005 quota for such items has already been met, a French importer told AFP Monday.

PARIS, Aug 22 (AFP) - Around 50 million Chinese-made sweaters are currently blocked in European ports because the 2005 quota for such items has already been met, a French importer told AFP Monday.

"In light of decrees issued in July, we all thought we could pick up the merchandise until July 20, but in fact, everthing that arrived after July 12 was blocked because there was no more quota to buy," said a representative for the company which wished to remain anonymous.

"Most of the blocked goods correspond therefore to arrivals between July 12 and 20," the source added.

"We are hoping things will get unstuck this week by a Brussels decision to advance some of the quota for 2006, but it will probably only be a part of those quotas, or around 20 million sweaters."

The source said that European officials in the Belgian capital had defined a quota for 2005 by June 11, but that by July 12 it had been exceeded by almost two times.

The EU and China agreed to a broad textile trade agreement setting annual restrictions on 10 categories of Chinese imports, which had been surging since the beginning of the year following the end of an international quota system.

Hardest hit by the fresh stalemate were major retailers, such as the Swedish group HandM, or large dustributors such as Carrefour of France.

"Our group has EUR 850,000 (US $1 million) in blocked merchandise, equivalent to around EUR 3.5 million in final sales, which is enormous," the source said.

"For a large part, however, we have not paid our Chinese suppliers, because the goods have not been delivered. They are the ones who are suffering."

The French company and rivals have turned to other suppliers, particularly in Bangladesh.

"In this mess, all the companies are cooperating with each other, we are sharing information, which is exceptional."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, textile, EU trade agreement, China-EU

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