Turkey's ready-to-wear garment sector whose main trade partner is the EU, lost 1.2 billion US dollars in export losses year-on-year in the first half of this year due to a weakening euro. T-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, socks, suits, blouses, men's shirts and pants remained the top export items.
In a press release by the Istanbul Apparel Exporters Association (IHKIB) published on Monday, president Hikmet Tanrıverdi confirmed that the sector's total export volume fell by 13.3 percent from 9.4 billion US dollars in 2014 to 8.2 billion US dollars in 2015.
Tanrıverdi highlighted the fact that the losses stemmed mainly from fluctuations in the euro-dollar parity and warned that yearly losses would drop to as low as 1.8 percent when compared using a parity-adjusted calculation.
“We sold 6.4 billion US dollars worth of clothing to the EU countries ranked among the top 10 [export partners of the industry] in the January-June period of last year. The same amount stood at 5.3 billion US dollars this year. While only our Romania-bound exports showed an increase, there is a decline in exports going to Germany, the UK, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Denmark and Belgium,” Tanrıverdi said.
Germany is Turkey's leading trade partner for garments and though exports woth 1.6 billion US dollars were recorded in the first half of 2015, this corresponds to a 23.6 percent loss in export volume. For France, Denmark and Belgium, this loss amounted to 28.2 percent, 28.5 percent and 25.7 percent, respectively, when compared to the same time period last year.
For Russia, another important trade partner, exports dropped from 190.2 million US dollars to 107.8 million US dollars in the same period. “Exports to one of the most crucial markets, Russia, declined by 43.3 percent in the first six months [of 2015] due to the Ukrainian crisis and the depreciation of the ruble,” said Tanrıverdi.
On the upside, Lithuania and Iran were the two countries with the highest jump in export volume - by 1005 percent and 224.5 percent, respectively. The volume of Lithuanian-bound exports increased tenfold from 7.2 million US dollars to 72.4 million US dollars, and the volume of the Iranian ones more than doubled from 25.3 million US dollars to 56.8 million US dollars.