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China's textile imports to EU slide in 2015
Jul '16
China's imports to the European Union in textiles and clothing have been witnessing a steady decline, over the last five years, especially in garments sector. Whereas in 2010, its market share of EU textiles and clothing imports stood at 40.8%, this had fallen to 35% by 2015, according to a European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex) bulletin.

The leading position of China has continued to be eroded by the increasingly vigorous entry of the other production zones such as SAARC (South Asian association for Regional co-operation) whose market share during the period rose from 19 % in 2010 to 24.6 % in 2015.

The tendency for China seemed to be more and more textile exports whose production was facilitated by more sophisticated and productive machinery, at the expense of garments which are much more labour intensive, the Euratex said in an overview of the bulletin released today.

The Mediterranean countries, which have long enjoyed the advantage of their proximity to the EU-28, have experienced the same scenario as China. Although this area continued to be a major supplier, its share had contracted from more than 20% in 2009 to 18% in 2015.

The textile and clothing imports share of ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) also grew to EU share from 6% in 2010 to 8.6% in 2015.

In 2015, these four zones accounted for 86% of total extra-EU textile and clothing imports. EU-28 imports originating from these groupings primarily related to clothing goods. Clothing products represented 80% of total imports, a +10.5% gain in value terms.

Among products, China prevailed as the main supplier of woven garments even though its share continued to shrink at 37.6% to the benefit of South Asian countries. Even in knitted garments category, china's share declined to 34 % much to the advantage of SAARC and ASEAN zones.

On the export front, demand for EU clothing weakened strongly in Russia and Ukraine during 2015. The 28-nation bloc struggled to make gains regardless of a few definite trading advantages, Euratex reported. In 2015, 57.5% of extra-EU exports went to four main defined groups: the Mediterranean countries with 13.7%, the group of autonomous countries with 11.8%, the EFTA group of countries with 14.2% and the NAFTA group with 17.8%.

Woven fabrics were the major textiles exported by the EU. These represented 24.4% of total textile and clothing exports. The NAFTA zone and the Mediterranean countries are the biggest purchasers of textile goods (yarns, fabrics, knitted fabrics and special textiles).

Among clothing, woven and knitted articles represented respectively 32% and 17% of total EU textile and clothing exports. These are of particular interest to developed countries. EFTA and NAFTA areas make up the two main buyers, both for woven items with 17% and 18.5% respectively and for knitted items, with 21% and 15.5%.

These market shares of clothing purchases were up sharply for the NAFTA area. For the zone of emerging countries in Asia, demand was steady with a total share of purchasing of made up garments of 24.8%. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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