Major apparel exporting nations Bangladesh, China, and India all posted gains in shipments to the European Union (EU) in 2009 despite the global slump, but others such as Turkey and Tunisia registered drops, industry data shows.

Bangladesh ranked the third biggest supplier to the EU-27 nations, exporting apparel worth EUR5.1bn, up from EUR4.7bn in 2008.

Similarly, the biggest supplier China registered a small increase to EUR25.8bn, up from EUR25.3bn the year before. And India, the fourth biggest, also reported an increase to EUR4.1bn, up from EUR3.8bn notched in 2008.

The analysis by the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), an umbrella group that represents 128,000 companies, also reveals that Turkey - the second biggest traditional supplier of apparel - witnessed a contraction in shipments to EUR6.9bn, sharply down from the 2008 level of EUR7.8bn.

However, the data also shows that EU apparel exports to the top five foreign markets -Switzerland, Russia, US, Japan, and Norway - were all down.

Exports to the top market Switzerland were down 6.9% to EUR2.7bn, and shipments destined for Russia fell 32.3% to EUR2.1bn.

Moreover, exports to the lucrative US market were down 23.5% to EUR1.3bn, and dropped 6.3% to Japan at EUR936.7m.

On the textile front, Euratex notes that the top three suppliers China, Turkey and India all experienced sharp falls export shipments to the EU.

Textile imports from China fell 12% to EUR5.1bn, while supplies from Turkey contracted 14.7% to EUR2.9bn, and from India slipped 18.2% to EUR1.8bn.