Lithuania increased its imports of ready-made garments from Turkey by 800 percent, as imports increased from $5.8 million to $52.1 million for January through April 2015 when compared to 2014. While part of this giant leap was due to foreign exchange rates, Lithuania, which succeeded in surviving the damage of the 2009 economic crisis through strict savings, switched to the euro and increased its GDP in the medium and long term, firmly putting it on the radar of the Turkish textile sector.
According to the Ready-Made Garment and Apparel Sector April report issued by the Istanbul Ready-Made Garment and Apparel Exporters' Association (İHKİB), between January and April, $5.4 billion worth of garments and apparel were exported from Turkey to 192 countries. The sector's exports decreased by 8 percent when compared to the first six months of 2014. While ready-made garment and apparel exports from Turkey were around $1.4 billion in April, when compared to April 2014, there was a 9.9 percent decrease and the real figures were slightly above the monthly average exports calculated for the first four months of 2015.
EU countries, Germany, the U.K. and Spain, continued to be the top countries importing ready-made garments and apparel from Turkey between January and April 2015. In the first four months of this year, textile exports to Germany decreased by 22.9 percent to $1 billion. The decrease was around 4 percent in exports to the U.K., dropping to $664 million, while Spain's imports from Turkey decreased by 6.8 percent to $482 million.
France, with total imports of $286 million, and the Netherlands, at $261 million, were ranked fourth and fifth in countries with the highest number of textile imports from Turkey, followed by Iraq, Italy, Poland, the U.S. and Romania. In total, goods worth $3.6 billion were exported to the top 10 countries with the highest ready-made garment and apparel import figures between January and April 2015, and total exports to these countries accounted for 67 percent of the total sector exports, at $5.4 billion.
Lithuania, which switched to the euro on Jan. 1, 2015, increased its imports from Turkey more than from any other country when compared to the same period in 2014. While, Iran, one of the leading markets in the Middle East, followed Lithuania with an increase of 7 percent in imports from Turkey to $39.3 million, and Kyrgyzstan increased its imports by 36 percent to $34.2 million, ranking third for most new imports from Turkey.
The decrease observed in ready-made garment and apparel exports between January and April was observed due to changes in parity. While the real decrease in exports was around 2 percent in these first months due to changes in the dollar, it was calculated to be around $13.6 million.
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