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Editorial: Tougher times ahead for textile and clothing suppliers to eurozone countries?
published in Issue 175, July 2015
EU textile and clothing imports grew in value and volume to record highs in 2014 – despite slow economic growth. The buoyancy in value terms also continued in the first four months of 2015, but in volume terms imports were down. The rise in value reflected a sharp jump in the average import price – and this is likely to have been a major cause of the drop in volume as importers responded by cutting back on their purchases. In fact, the main cause of the jump in the average import price was a sharp depreciation of the euro against the US dollar, which made textiles and clothing traded in US dollars much more expensive in terms of euros. In this report, Robin Anson discusses the key reasons behind the increase in the average import price and comments on the effects of cotton prices, currency exchange rates and higher manufacturing costs as suppliers to the EU are forced to comply with increasingly stringent environmental legislation and building safety measures. In addition, he comments on possible changes in currency exchange rates in the future and, as a result, the potential for a revival of nearby sourcing from Mediterranean Rim countries, including Turkey.
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