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Trends in EU textile and clothing imports, September 2009
published in Issue 141, September 2009
This report examines trends in EU imports and import prices for textiles and clothing as a whole and for 12 major product categories, namely cotton yarn, fabrics woven from synthetic staple fibres, fabrics woven from synthetic filament yarn, T-shirts, pullovers, trousers, women’s blouses, men’s shirts, women’s overcoats, women’s dresses, women’s skirts, and women’s suits.
Overall, EU textile and clothing imports rose in value by just 0.2% in 2008, reaching Euro80.46 bn (US$117.65 bn). However, the overall figure conceals the fact that clothing imports alone were up by 2.4% in value while textile imports declined by 5.7%. In volume terms the trends were similar as textile and clothing imports as a whole fell by 2.9% but clothing imports rose by 2.8% while textile imports fell by 6.7%. In the first three months of 2009, reflecting the worsening economic situation, textile and clothing imports fell by 1.7% in value terms and by 11.9% in volume.
Prices rose in 2008, despite an increase in the availability of supplies following the removal of safeguard quotas against China at the end of the previous year. Some suppliers increased their prices in order to maintain revenues in the face of falling sales volumes as the global financial crisis took hold. However, many suppliers have been moving to higher value products.
Eight of the ten largest textile and clothing suppliers to the EU raised their prices in 2008. Among these, the average price of imports from Vietnam rose by a significant 49%. However, this was exceptional, and other increases were more moderate. In the first three months of 2009, all of the ten largest suppliers raised their prices at a time when volumes were declining.
EU imports of Chinese dresses, pullovers, trousers, T-shirts and women’s blouses—which had been subject to safeguard quotas from mid-2005 to the end of 2007—rose in volume at double and triple digit rates in 2008, while the average prices of these imports fell at double digit rates. In contrast, imports of these items from Vietnam all fell sharply in volume but surged in price.
Table of Contents
Trends in EU Textile and Clothing Imports
EU Import Trends
EU Imports of Textiles
EU Imports of Clothing
EU Imports of Cotton Yarn
EU Imports of Fabrics Woven from Synthetic Staple Fibres
EU Imports of Fabrics Woven from Synthetic Filament Yarn
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