The new Spring Report has been released by Euratex offering a detailed insight into trade figures for the European textile and apparel industry in 2021. The numbers are encouraging: Comparing with the corona year 2020, EU exports of textile and clothing articles increased by +10.6%, while imports dipped by -7.5%. As a result, the EU trade deficit improved, even if it remains significant (- €48 billion).
Furthermore, import prices went slightly down in apparel and dropped in textiles, following a strong decrease of Chinese import prices of face masks and protective medical supplies. The boost in exports was mainly due to strong performance on the Swiss, Chinese and US markets.
On the other hand, EU sales of textile and apparel to the UK fell sharply (-23%), due to new Brexit requirements, customs’ delays and shortage of truck drivers. Imports from the EU top supplier, China, plunged by -28%, corresponding to €13 billion. Similarly, textile and apparel imports from the UK recorded a sharp decrease over the period (-48%, equal to €-3 billion).
Looking at the impact of war in Ukraine, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), Brussels/Belgium, has strongly condemned the Russian aggression, and offered support to the Ukrainian textile industry. Ukraine offers valuable sourcing opportunities for European textile and apparel brands, as part of a broader nearshoring trend, which seems to emerge from the trade figures.