Garment imports into the European Union (EU) in the first seven months of 2013 totalled EUR35bn (US$48bn), down 2.3% on the same period last year, according to the latest data from Eurostat.
 
"What the figures show is that while imports continue to decrease, the rate of decline has slowed," Jean-François Limantour, president of the Cercle Euro-méditerranéen des Dirigeants Textile-Habillement (CEDITH) and a market analyst, told just-style.
 
He said the data also highlighted that major Asian suppliers, such as China and India, continue to see their sales diminish in contrast to Bangladesh, Pakistan
and, in particular, Cambodia.
 
While China remained by far the major country of origin for imports, sales were down 8.4% to EUR13.2bn. Indian shipments into the EU fell 0.9%.
 
Ranked second as country of origin for EU garment imports was Bangladesh, whose sales rose 6.3% to EUR5.2bn followed closely by Turkey (+3.9%).
 
Pakistan and Cambodia, achieved sales growth of 9.8% and 25.5% respectively, but imports from Vietnam were flat (-0.5%).
 
Limantour noted that North African suppliers experienced constrasting fortunes with the countries of the 'Arab Revolution,' Tunisia and Egypt, showing a decline
in sales of 5.3% and 4.3% respectively. But Morocco posted growth of 6.9%.
 
"For the first time, Morocco moved ahead of Tunisia," Limantour added.