Germany, Italy and the Netherlands Constitute Major Hat Exporters

Wearing Apparel May 07, 2018
Author: Anna Sergeeva
Market Analyst

IndexBox has just published a new report "EU: Hats And Other Headgear - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

EU Hat Market Slightly Softened Its Growth  

In 2016, the market of hats and other headgear  grew to €1.1B in wholesale prices. This figure reflects the total revenue of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). It fluctuated notably over the period under review: after a sharp growth from 2010-2011, it flattened over the next two years; then, however, it soared again from 2014-2016, with a growth pace softening in 2016. Overall, the market size indicated a positive dynamic, growing at an average annual growth rate of +4.3% from 2007 to 2016 (IndexBox estimates). 

The U.K., Germany, France and Italy Constitute the Main Consumers of Hats in the EU

The countries with the highest consumption were the U.K. (16%), Germany (16%), France (14%) and Italy (13%). They were followed by Spain (6%), Belgium (5%) and Austria (5%). The highest annual growth rates of hats and other headgear consumption from 2007 to 2016 were recorded in the U.K., with +13.5% growth, Belgium and France with +11.5% and +8.5% growth, respectively. Consequently, the U.K. significantly strengthened its share in terms of the total consumption from 8% in 2007 to 16% in 2016; France (+4 percentage points) also increased its share. By contrast, shares of Italy (-10 percentage points) and Spain (-5 percentage points) declined over the period under review.

Amongst the leading consuming countries, high levels of per capita consumption were recorded in Austria (€6.1 per year) and Belgium (€4.6 per year), which were significantly higher than the EU average of €2.1 per year. In these countries, per capita consumption grew significantly by +10.8% and +6.3%, respectively. However, the annual growth of per capita consumption from 2007 to 2016 was the most notable in the U.K., with +12.8% growth.

EU Hat Market Is Expected to Reach €1.23B by 2025

Hats and other headgear market is a part of accessories market, as opposed to everyday clothing such as t-shirts, socks or underwear. Generally, demand for headgear largely depends not only on fashion trends but more likely on the climatic conditions of a particular region. At the same time, overall demand, especially on the part of the younger generation and women, is influenced by such factors as the situation in the fashion front, marketing campaigns in the film, music and sports industry, etc. 

Measured population growth, along with gradual economic recovery and rising consumer spending, will be the main drivers behind a moderate consumption growth in the medium term. The market is projected to grow by +1.3% for the nine-year period from 2016 to 2025, which is expected to bring the market value to €1.23B by 2025.

Production of Hats in EU Slightly Contracted in the Last Two Years 

Production of hats and other headgear resulted at €365M in 2016, with mixed trend pattern over the last few years. After a deep plunge in 2009, it stood relatively flat through to 2014, when it soared to its maximum level; afterwars, however, it started to reduce mildly through to 2016. 

Hats and Other Headgear, Knitted or Crocheted or Made-up from Lace Accounted for 41% of Total EU Hat Production

Hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted or made-up from lace, felt or other textile fabric in the piece (but not in strips) accounted for the highest share (41% in 2016) of European hat and other headgear manufacturing, followed by hats and other headgear, plaited or made by assembling strips of any material (12%), felt hats and other felt headgear, made from hat bodies or hoods and plateaux (11%). 

Other headgear (except headgear of rubber or of plastics, safety headgear and asbestos headgear); headbands, linings, covers, hat foundations, hat frames, peaks and chinstraps, for headgear (+5.4%), hats and other headgear, plaited or made by assembling strips of any material (+4.5%) and hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted or made-up from lace, felt or other textile fabric in the piece (+1.9%) had a positive dynamics from 2007 to 2016, while felt hats and other felt headgear, made from hat bodies or hoods and plateaux illustrated an average decline by -10.5%.

Near 90% of the Market Are Buoyed by Imports from Asia and the U.S. 

The share of imports from outside the EU in terms of total EU hats and other headgear consumption increased from 74% to 89% from 2007 to 2016. Import supplies are on a rise from Asian countries (China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka), as well as from the USA. These imports, however, comprise both inexpensive products made in Asian countries and hats made by European companies at production facilities in Asian countries, with their lower labor costs. Therefore, the growth of imports can reflect not only the competitiveness of low-cost products from Asia, but also the growth of production of European companies abroad.

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands Constituted Major Hat Exporters

Total EU exports of hats and other headgear amounted to €1,166M in 2016, rising by +5.4% per year from 2007-2016. Hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted or made-up from lace, felt or other textile fabric in the piece (but not in strips) and hair-nets of any material remains the largest product category in terms of exports, accounting for the largest share of exports (79% of total EU exports) in 2016.  

In 2016, Germany (€184M), Italy (€176M) and the Netherlands (€167M) were the main suppliers of hats and other headgear amongst the EU members, with a combined share of 45% of total exports in 2016. Average annual growth rates of headgear exports from Germany stood at +12.8% from 2007 to 2016. It was followed by Italy (+7.0%) and the Netherlands (+4.2%). Outside these countries, Belgium, the UK, France and Spain together made up a 34% share of total EU exports. Amongst these exporters, Spain had the highest growth rates over the period under review (+17.8%); followed by Belgium (+3.6%) and France (+3.0%). At the same time, the UK indicated downward trend, fell by -1.4% per year.

Therefore, the shares of the Netherlands (+7 percentage points), Spain (+4 percentage points) and Germany (+2 percentage points) in terms of the total exports increased from 2007 to 2016. Meanwhile, the share the other countries decreased. 

More than 20% of exports were sent outside the Union. In 2016, the value of extra-EU exports for hats and other headgear stood at €239M, 7% more than the year before. The U.S., Switzerland and Russia constituted the key markets for European hat exports in 2016.

Germany, the U.K., France and the Netherlands Emerged as the Major Hat and Other Headgear Importers

In 2016, the value of total imports for hats and other headgear stood at €1,854M. Overall, this figure indicated an annual increase of +6.3% from 2007 to 2016.

Hats and other headgear, knitted or crocheted or made-up from lace, felt or other textile fabric in the piece (but not in strips) and hair-nets of any material also held the largest share of total imports, stood at €1,522M (or 82%) in 2016, increased from 2007 to 2016 with a CAGR of +5.7%.

In 2016, the main destinations of hat and other headgear imports among the EU members were Germany (€323M), the UK (€240M), France (€228M) and the Netherlands (€213M). These countries together made up 54% of the total imports. 

Amongst these countries, the Netherlands had the highest growth rates of imports, which increased by +11.1% per year. It was followed by Germany (+6.9%), France (+6.3%) and the UK (+5.7%).

The Netherlands significantly strengthened its position in terms of the EU imports from 8% in 2007 to 11% in 2016. Meanwhile, the shares of the other countries remained relatively stable over the period under review.

Approx. 50% of imports came from outside the Union. In 2016, the value of extra-EU imports for hats and other headgear was €972M, 5% more than the year before. China was the main supplier of hats and other headgear to the EU, comprising more than 79% of the total value of the extra-EU imports.

Do you want to know more about the European hat market? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • hat market share
  • hat prices
  • hat industry
  • hat sales
  • hat import
  • hat export
  • hat market forecast
  • hat price forecast
  • key hat producers

Source: EU: Hats And Other Headgear - Market Report. Analysis and Forecast to 2025