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European imports of home textile - SIPPO
22
Sep '12
As can be derived from the data presented above, all Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) countries witnessed a decline in supplies to the EU during 2008 and 2009. This can be explained mostly by the global economic crisis. 

Home textiles are, unlike food products, mostly luxury products to EU consumers. During the crisis, of which the effects are still visible in this market, consumers cut back their spending on decorative items. 
 
However, the first small signs of recovery were witnessed at the major trade fair in this sector, Heimtextil, held at the beginning of this year. 
 
Since 2008, global cotton prices soared, which leads to higher prices of home textiles that are made of cotton. During the second quarter of 2011, at least the increase came to a halt, but prices are still very high. 
 
This can partly explain the increase in the import value by the EU in 2010. 
 
Outsourcing is still a major trend in this sector, with EU manufacturers outsourcing (part of) their production to low-cost countries, mainly China and India. Since this sector is highly labour-intensive, it saves the manufacturers major costs. 
 
This results in EU production being increasingly replaced by imports from DCs. At the same time, EU manufacturers focus on the high-end of the market, with more technically advanced and design-oriented products, leading to a relatively high export value by those countries. 
 
Laos is a small but emerging supplier to the EU. The country’s total worldwide home textile exports show a similar development.

Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO)

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