EU trade in textiles and clothing up in 2015

EU trade in textiles and clothing up in 2015

According to CITH, the Textile and Clothing Information Centre, the EU textile and clothing exporters succeeded in gaining further market shares in Third countries (+3.6 %)

 On the imports side, the EU imports picked up by +9.6 % in value terms, due to sharp increases from Asian countries. On the contrary, imports from the Mediterranean area (Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia) achieved a modest growth or even decreased over the period. This 2015 evolution had an impact on the overall trade balance of the EU-28 which deficit deteriorated further in value, by + 14% (+29% for textiles and +13% for clothing).

Textiles’ sales to the U.S., EU’s top market, recorded a noticeable growth rate (+16 %), thanks to a favourable exchange rate. Moreover, among the EU top 10 customers, moderate expansion was recorded by Hong Kong and China (with respectively +7 % and +6%). On the contrary, exports to Russia (-27 %) and Ukraine (-1 %) slipped back again, as economy remains depressed in these markets. Clothing exports to its main consumers indicated a higher growth rates than for textiles. Data shows a noticeable growth in the U.S., Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada and China (with rates between +19% and +22%), which made the US the 2nd largest EU customer and China the 6th. Exports to the Saudi Arabian and Mexican markets also experienced a significant expansion (with respectively +17 % and +15 %). Russia and Ukraine on the other hand declined, following the political turmoil.

Euratex Tab 1

Textile imports coming from EU top 20 suppliers were all up, except from Egypt, Thailand and Australia. Among the main suppliers, the US witnessed the highest growth with +16 %, followed by China, Pakistan and Vietnam (with +11 %). At the bottom of the ranking, Morocco and New Zealand records respectively a +17 % and +39 % increase. Clothing imports coming from most Asian countries recorded double digit growth rates. The top supplier, China, recorded a +6 % increase, with 30 billion of clothing articles sold to the EU market. In second place, Bangladesh recorded a +24 % increase. Strong imports’ upturns were also observed from: Cambodia (+31 %), Vietnam (+26 %), Hong Kong (+25 %) and the US (+26%). With a +79 % increase, Myanmar is now ranking 17th in the top-20 EU’s clothing suppliers.


Euratex Tab 2


CITH, the Textile and Clothing Information Centre, provides statistical information on trade in textile and clothing since 1981. The basic data are collected by Eurostat from national customs and subsequently treated by the CITH. It can provide tailor-made reports on customers’ request, which can be updated on a regular basis, or adapted to a specific format. Statistical information covers EU goods’ flows (by products or CN/HS codes), trade balance, export and import average unit prices, and major EU exporters and importers.

EURATEX – the European Apparel and Textile Confederation, is representing the interests of the industry at the level of the EU institutions. As the voice of the European industry, Euratex aims to create a favourable environment within the European Union for manufacturing of textile and clothing products.



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