Сotton Fabric Market - The EU Became a Net Importer of Cotton Fabrics

Textiles August 16, 2016
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

Cotton fabric

Photo: © Photography Firm / Bigstockphoto

Total imports on the cotton fabric market in the EU Member States flattened over the last three years, after a weak attempt for a post-crisis recovery. Meanwhile, exports declined steadily over the same period. As a result, the EU became a net importer of cotton fabrics for the first time over the last 10 years. Moreover, extra-EU imports became almost equal to the intra-EU imports over the recent years, driving the supply of imported cotton fabrics, particularly from Pakistan, Turkey, and China, to dominate the European market.

Total imports of cotton fabrics by the EU Member States stood stable over the last four years, amounting to 3,850 million EUR in 2015. Data on the EU trade with non-EU countries shows that the EU remained a net exporter of cotton fabrics, with the trade surplus shrinking from 563 million EUR in 2007 to 50 million EUR in 2014. In the last year, however, that surplus not only disappeared, but also turned into a trade deficit of 100 million EUR, driven by a consistent decline of exports.


Total EU Imports Of Cotton Fabrics

Italy (18%), Germany (15%), Romania (9%), and Spain (8%) were the largest importers of cotton fabrics among the Member States, together comprising about 50% of total EU imports. Germany's (+2 percentage points) share increased from 2007 to 2015, while the shares of the other leading importing countries remained relatively stable.

From 2007 to 2008, intra-EU trade accounted for the major share of imports. However, the share of extra-EU imports became almost equal to the intra-EU imports in the recent years, accounting for about 47% of total import value in 2015. That year, extra-EU imports of cotton fabrics reached 1,818 million EUR, which was 2% higher than the year before.

EU Cotton Fabric Market Structure – Domestic Supply Vs. Extra-EU Imports

By 2010, the share of extra-EU imports in the apparent consumption increased steadily to nearly 72%. Over the next five years, it seesawed near that level, amounting to 69% in 2015. Deliveries of imported cotton fabrics, particularly from Pakistan, Turkey, and China, continue to firmly dominate the European market. This trend is expected to continue in the next few years.

Extra-EU Cotton Fabric Imports, By Type

Cotton fabrics weighing less than 200 g/sq.m held the largest share of the extra-EU imports, amounting to 917 million EUR (50%) in 2015. Imports of that product remained relatively stable from 2007 to 2015. Cotton fabrics, density over 200 g/sq.m (excluding colored yarns) ranked second, with a 27% share of the extra-EU imports, followed by cotton fabrics of yarns of different colors (excluding denim), which accounted for a 12% share. Most product categories showed a decrease in the value of imports from 2007 to 2015, with the exception of cotton fabrics, density over 200 g/sq.m (excluding colored yarns), which was the only growing category with rates of approximately +1.6% per year.

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

  • cotton fabric market share
  • cotton fabric prices
  • cotton fabric industry
  • cotton fabric sales
  • cotton fabric market forecast
  • cotton fabric price forecast
  • key cotton fabric producers

Source: EU: Woven Fabrics Of Cotton - Market Report - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020