28 May 2015
The European clothing imports are being dramatically affected by the fall of the euro with currency value trends having negatively depressed shipments from a series of origins. Latest trends are reflected by our comprehensive review of 1st quarter data per origin, from 2011-15. A large number of statistical tables are published, with volume, value and unit value changes released in both euro and US$ terms. The full table is also available for download.
European Union's clothing imports have been depressed by the sharp fall of the euro and a lack of demand at retail in the last year.
Total clothing imports have declined nearly 4% in volume terms in the first quarter of 2015, from the same period in the last year.
A year earlier, clothing imports had surged 13.7% in volume terms.
A series of low-cost countries have seen a radical change in the level of European orders in a single year.
Imports from China for instance fell 6.3% in volume terms in the first quarter, far from the surge of 10.6% observed in the first quarter 2014.
Shipments from Turkey have similarly dropped 8.2% whereas imports from India plunged by 10.9%, including a fall of 28.4% of Indian woven clothing.
By contrast, imports remained flat from Bangladesh, whatever the security concerns in this country, while they even rebounded 10.6% from Morocco, also rising 9% from Cambodia and Vietnam.
Average unit values in euro terms have been boosted by the surge of the US dollar. Annual increase of unit values reached 17.6% in first quarter whereas dropping 3.2% in US$ terms.
Such a fall in the euro may be expected depressing the market for a while, as clothing brands and chains will find it much more difficult to offer lower prices to European consumers.
The largest decline in US$ unit prices was observed in Turkey (-12%) thanks to a dramatic decline of the lira, and also in Morocco (-21.2%).
China's share of the EU's clothing import market remains predominant, although slightly declining.
Bangladesh got no less than 22% of the market in volume terms and 17% in value terms.
All other origins did not exceed 4% in volume terms, Turkey (8.4%) and India (6.4%) excepted.
More detailed data are now available for key clothing products and categories import database, with import volumes, values and unit values per origin:
E.U. Imports: Knit Clothing Categories
E.U. Imports: Woven Clothing Categories
E.U. Imports: Knit Clothing Products
E.U. Imports: Woven Clothing Products