A series of low-cost countries have gained shares of the EU clothing import market in the first half, as their were able to offer lower unit prices. India and China benefited from such opportunities, whereas Morocco suffered from a rise in its clothing prices.
The level in prices remains a very sensitive factor for sourcing decisions of European clothing buyers, with any change of currency trends or labour costs potentially affecting the level in orders.
First half data for EU clothing imports are indicating a shift from traditional origins to other low-cost countries, depending on unit price variations.
EU imports of woven clothing from India have for instance surged 33.9% in the first half in volume terms, after unit prices in euro terms plunged by 22.2%, thanks to a sharp decline of the Indian rupee.
In key HS 4-digit categories 6203 and 6204 (woven trousers and suits), shipments from India respectively rose 33.2% and 68.3% from the same period a year earlier, as unit prices were dropping by 37.1% and 21.8%.
At the same time, Morocco has lost significant shares of the European import market, after unit prices rose 9.5% and 3.2% in euro terms, in HS 61 (knit clothing) and 62 (woven clothing), respectively.
China has been able to offer lower prices, through a continuous shift from 100% cotton to polyester-cotton in textile materials, therefore boosting shipments to Europe.
Source : Eurostat