Jun 30, 2016
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EU’s technical textiles and clothing goods exports soar

Jun 30, 2016

European Union exporters achieved their best performance for technical textiles and womenswear in 2015, Euratex, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation has said.


Exports of man-made fibres outside of the EU have regained their rate of growth these past years and rose 4.5 per cent in value during 2015, Euratex said in a press release.

There were some changes in the ranking of the EU’s main customers, although the US remained its leading customer. Despite the downward trend in the production volume of thread and yarn, in 2015, the volume of exports outside the EU was unchanged. The value increment noticed (4.8 per cent) stemmed above all from the price of the raw material imports which became more expensive with a weak euro.

Woven fabrics’ exports went down for the first time in several years (-0.4 per cent). Morocco held onto top place as the main buyer of European fabrics with an increase of 2.1 per cent in value, thanks to its purchasing of discontinuous synthetic fibre fabrics (13.6 per cent). But 2015 was a somewhat difficult year for the knitted fabric representing 5.7 per cent of the EU’s textile exports. These exports remained almost stable in value terms. Morocco and Tunisia were still the main buyers of these articles even if trends were different.

Exports of carpets recovered in value (2.6 per cent), with slightly higher unit prices (2.1 per cent). This sector accounted for a little over 4 per cent of textile exports. Customer wise, the US and Switzerland were the main buyers. In 2015, exports outside the EU of home textiles recorded growth (4.7 per cent on average). Of all the products in this category, the main one-bed linen (with a share of 38 per cent) - saw its exports climb by 9.2 per cent. Switzerland and the US were still the two major buyers of home textiles.

Technical Textiles continued to represent a very large share of textile product exports outside the EU. This change was reflected in a 5.3 per cent increase. The US was the main customer in this category by a broad margin - buying 19 per cent of goods, an increment of 13.4 per cent, the release said.

The EU’s menswear exports still accounted for 23 per cent of total exports in the clothing sector thanks to 3.8 per cent growth in value terms. Mirroring the situation of menswear, womenswear exports outside the EU increased 6.3 per cent. This sector accounted for more than 40 per cent of all clothing exports outside the EU.

The 2015 evolution of imports indicates a growth in all products of the value chain, with the largest increase in technical textiles and womenswear.
With production of textile products in the EU on a downward trend, foreign demand for man-made fibres edged up slightly by 6.3 per cent in value terms. With a 28 per cent market share in terms of volume, South Korea was still the main supplier. Owing to the continued shrinkage of activity in the downstream, the volume of imports of yarn and thread from outside the EU slightly increased (2.4 per cent), and they also felt the backlash of the euro’s fall. As was the case for all other imported textiles, the euro’s decline brought about an 8.1 per cent increase in the value of imports of all types of woven fabrics. Imports of cotton fabrics represented the lion’s share in value (31 per cent) and rose by 2.4 per cent. Eighty seven percent of the value of EU knitted fabrics’ imports were divided up among three countries: Turkey, China and South Korea.

Four main players continued to share the EU’s carpet import market: Turkey, India, China and Egypt. With a 26 per cent increase, Turkey remained the leading supplier, while Egypt was again ranked fourth albeit with some ground lost to its main competitors. Of the EU’s home textile imports, 58 per cent of the value and 65 per cent were divided between China, the leading supplier with a 33.5 per cent share, and Pakistan, expanding steadily to a 24.2 per cent share and increasing by almost 15 per cent in value. Almost all imports of technical textiles from the various suppliers exhibited double digit growth (14.3 per cent on average) . With a 13.8 per cent increase, China remained the leading supplier.

Menswear imports in 2015 climbed to 20 billion euros (25 per cent of all clothing imports), meaning a 10.7 per cent gain in value terms but a 4.5 per cent drop in volume. Consequently, the unit prices of made up articles rose in their entirety (by an average of 15.9 per cent). Womenswear imports in 2015 climbed to 29 billion euros (36 per cent of all clothing imports), a gain of 11.3 per cent. China continued to be the main supplier. In 2015, imports of Chinese origin grew 7.7 per cent in value. (SH)

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