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EU apparel imports decline for first time in decades
Jul '10
Imports of apparels in to EU fall in value by 3.8 percent to Euro 57.28 million (US $79.59 billion) in 2009. In over a decade, this had happened for the first time, which followed a delay in growth from 12.8 percent in 2006 to merely 2.5 percent in 2008.

More so, imports of apparels also dived in terms of volume, by 6.8 percent to 4.25 million tons, which is again the first time in over a decade.

Apparently the fall in imports is mainly attributable to recession in EU. This has adversely affected consumer spending and retailers and other purchasers have reduced their foreign orders, to avoid being left with unsold products.

However, despite recession, the aggregate price of apparel imports surged in 2009 for the first time in three years as at Euro 13.48 a kg, the aggregate import price was the highest since 2002.

Eight of EU's key apparel supplying nations surged their prices namely, China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam and Tunisia.

As per data of the first two months of 2010, imports are expected to fall even more in the year per say, as buyers are still placing smaller orders. Mostly, imports could remain stable.

In the first few months of 2010, EU market continued to remain unresponsive, owing to the Greek debt crisis. Also there were signs that, probably other nations within the euro zone were being threatened from the rising debt. Mirroring this, Euro depreciated against US dollar by 18 percent between November 2009 and May 2010, which might have made the imports more expensive for EU buyers.

India's third and fifth biggest textile and apparel markets, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, respectively, received higher imports, almost 20.6 percent and 17.1 percent, respectively, in the year ending March 30, 2009.

Indonesian industry, which is otherwise extremely dependent on EU and US markets, turned to its local market balance out its fall in its exports. The overall retail sales of apparels in Indonesia surged by 37.2 percent during 2009.

As exports to EU and US fell steeply, Thailand-based industry managed to raise its textile and apparel exports to several other markets across ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nations during 2009, also China.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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