Dynamic growth is expected to come from markets in Asia and Latin America

Dynamic growth is expected to come from markets in Asia and Latin America

The world market for jeanswear is forecast to grow by US$10bn in the next six years, fuelled by growing demand in emerging markets and resurgent western economies, according to a new research report published today (9 November) by just-style.

The 'Global Market Review of Denim and Jeanswear – Forecasts to 2018' suggests that the most dynamic growth will come from markets in Asia and Latin America, while Europe and North America will continue to recover from the economic downturn.

Although the sector will continue to be affected by volatile cotton pricing – in turn impacted by weather-affected harvests – demand should rise quickly enough to secure steady growth between 2012 and 2018.

Furthermore, premium jeanswear, the segment most severely hit by the downturn, should continue its recent recovery as the US and Western Europe return to economic growth and leave recession behind.

Mass retailers and big brand owners will continue to seek the cheapest manufacturing price for their products, but the regions involved are unlikely to change very much, thanks to the need for cotton to grow in a temperate climate.

While the “Asian hotspots” of China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are identified as key manufacturing countries, nations in Central and South America, as well as Southern Europe and Turkey, will continue their growth in significance, challenging the status quo.

The report also aims to identify the reasons behind the success of the denim and jeanswear sectors, highlighting their “essentially classless as well as timeless” qualities.

“Jeans can be manufactured cheaply and efficiently in emerging markets and easily adapted to suit changing tastes and the capricious dictates of the global fashion industry,” the report adds.

“Popular high street demand for skinny, slim fit, boot cut or flared jeans can be quickly and easily accommodated.”

Recovery mode
Assessing the value of the global denim jeans market in 2011 at $54bn, the report says it remains in recovery mode after suffering the impact of a dip in consumer spending over the last four years, the product of the economic downturn.

But the impact of the recession goes beyond consumer confidence, with Christian Schindler, director general of the International Textile Manufacturers Federation, saying: “In addition to weaker demand, retail prices only reluctantly increased in the US and the EU as a consequence of soaring cotton and other fibre prices.”

Cotton pricing remains a thorny issue for the sector, with leading jeanswear player Levi Strauss acknowledging the “unprecedented variability and uncertainty in 2010 and 2011” affecting pricing, which rose by 39% in 2011/12.

“The dependency on cotton crops is clearly the global denim industry’s Achilles heel and there is a marked interest in developing artificial fibre alternatives to eliminate this weakness, where manufacturers are powerless to counteract erratic weather sabotaging productivity at the base of the supply chain,” says the report.

Environmental and social pressures are also being brought to bear on the jeanswear industry, the report says, citing the likelihood of increasing pressure to produce 100% organic cotton jeans or invest in new production technologies following reports of toxic pollution leaking from plants and contaminating water supplies in China.

Further stories of workers suffering tuberculosis and silicosis linked to sandblasting  jeans are also having an impact and will only add momentum to this trend, the report concludes.

Click here for more information on the report: Global Market Review of Denim and Jeanswear – Forecasts to 2018'.