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Industry Talk

EU trade in textile and clothing goods goes up in 2015

According to CITH, the EU textile and clothing exporters succeeded in gaining further market shares in Third countries.

25th February 2016

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Brussels


According to CITH, the Textile and Clothing Information Centre, the EU textile and clothing exporters succeeded in gaining further market shares in Third countries, showing a 3.6% increase in 2015, compared to the previous year.

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, including Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia, achieved a modest growth or even decreased over the period.

This 2015 evolution impacted the overall trade balance of the EU-28, which deficit deteriorated further in value, by 14% (29% for textiles and 13% for clothing), CITH reports.

EU exports

Textiles’ sales to the US, EU’s top market, recorded a noticeable growth rate of 16%, thanks to a favorable exchange rate. Moreover, among the EU top 10 customers, moderate expansion was recorded by Hong Kong and China, with respectively 7% and 6% growth.

EU-28 T&C exports, €. © Euratex

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 US, Hong Kong, South Korea, Canada and China, with rates between 19% and 22%, which made the US the second largest EU customer and China the sixth. 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.

EU imports

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.

EU-28 T&C imports, €. © Euratex

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.


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.

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