EU Clothing Imports: First Quarter Market Review Statistical

Source: Emerging Textile | Date: 2006-06-07

After strongly rising in 2005, EU's import market did not really grow in the first quarter this year, as a clear impact of quotas placed on China's exports. The four largest European markets continue attracting three quarters of all shipments from outside the Union. The German market gained new shares of total EU's imports while France demonstrated more weakness. A massive fall in volume entering the Netherlands was also reported.

Overall imports into the 25-member EU have not risen in first quarter as much as they did in 2005, according to trade statistics from Eurostats.

The data, which does not include Denmark, also show that clothing imports into the European Union were again concentrated on four main markets in both 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.

Germany, United kingdom, Italy and France accounted for over two-thirds of the imports of knitted clothing (HS chapter 61) and woven clothing (HS chapter 62).

German import market increases

Germany was the largest of these markets with an increased share of 24.5 per cent of knitted clothing imports, in addition, up from 18.57 per cent in the first quarter 2005.

Volume share also rose in woven clothing - up to 23.5 per cent from 21.9 per cent one year earlier.

Both the UK and Italy have at the same time also increased while the French import market has not managed to expand from one year ago.

The volume of knitted imports into Germany and the UK have clearly been rising in the first quarter, up 28.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively from the same time last year.

However, the growth of woven clothing imports (respectively up 8.4 per cent and 6.2 per cent) into these countries have weakened compared to the increases in 2005 as a whole.

No increases for France

Among the leading four EU markets, imports into Italy have risen the greatest, up 11 per cent in the first quarter while volumes into France have not managed to make any sizable gains.

Both Spain and Belgium have slightly increased their intake of both knitted and woven clothing.

Smaller economies, such as Poland increased imports by 26.52 per cent while those into the Czech Republic went up 74.65 per cent in woven clothing and 62 per cent in knitted clothing.

One of the biggest falls in volume occurred in the Netherlands where knitted clothing imports fell 61 per cent reducing its share from 16 per cent to 6.3 per cent.

Prices go up

This big fall in the Netherlands was due mainly to a big price increase of 203 per cent to an average 15.89 euros per kg paid by Dutch importers in the first quarter.

EU importers on the whole in the first quarter also saw an increase in prices of 21.1 per cent in knitted clothing and 12.7 per cent in woven clothing.

The average cost for knitted clothing was 13.56 euros per kg and 17.21 euros per kg in woven clothing.

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