Turkish clothing factories can expect a jump in orders as Chinese production declines following the coronavirus outbreak, according to Turkey’s apparel trade body.

In an interview with the Daily Sabah, Mustafa Gultepe, the chairman of Istanbul Ready-Made Clothes and Textile Exporters Union (IHKIB), said buyers are looking at alternative markets to source from as city lockdowns have meant production in the country is halted.

He added Turkish manufacturers have already been contacted by buyers who usually source from China for information on the quality of their garments.

Factories throughout China remain closed after the government extended the national Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday break in Shanghai and at least 23 other municipalities and/or provinces until 10 February, as part of efforts to control the spread of the disease.

Several passenger airlines – including British Airways, United Airlines and Cathay Pacific – have also suspended flights to and from locations in China, meaning belly cargo capacity is reduced. IAG Cargo has temporarily suspended all air cargo services as well.

Going forward, this could have a knock-on effect on freight rates and cargo delays once operations are back up and running according to online international freight marketplace Freightos.

Gultepe said the effect on production could last a further three months and international buyers see Turkey as “preferable and profitable…due to its quality and fast production at affordable prices”.

“Expectations for an increase in demand is high. April and May orders will see a significant increase.”

In an email to just-style, a spokesperson for the General Secretariat of Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations (IKTIB) told just-style Turkish apparel exports increased by 5.8 % to US$1.5bn in January 2020. Apparel exports to the European Union increased by 7.7% to US$1.1bn in January 2020.

“We are expecting increase in our apparel exports to Europe and the USA this year,” he added.

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