The world's biggest apparel exporter China, along with Turkey and Bangladesh, registered major hikes in shipments to the European Union (EU) in 2010 according to new industry data.

China, the biggest apparel supplier to the EU market, posted a hefty 9.8% increase to EUR28.1bn (US$40bn) from EUR25.6bn the year before. While Turkey, the second biggest, saw its shipments rise 11.6% to EUR7.7bn, up from EUR6.9bn in 2009.

Similarly Bangladesh, the third biggest exporter to the EU-27 countries, witnessed an 11.8% increase in the value of shipments to EUR5.7bn, up from EUR5.1bn in 2009.

The analysis by the European Apparel and Textile Confederation (Euratex), an umbrella group that represents 127,000 companies, also shows that India - the fourth biggest supplier - notched a slight increase in shipments to EUR4.19bn from EUR4.10bn.

The Euratex data also reveals that EU apparel exports to the top foreign markets - Switzerland, Russia, the US and Japan - were all up in 2010.

Exports to Switzerland were valued at EUR2.8bn, up from EUR2.7bn a year earlier, and shipments destined for Russia edged upwards to EUR2.2bn from EUR2.1bn.

Moreover, EU apparel exports to the US were also up to EUR1.5bn from EUR1.3bn the year before, and to Japan also inched upwards to EUR979m from EUR933m in 2009, Euratex said.