Apparel and fabric imports by Germany, a key state in the EU, are expected to decrease in the coming months as COVID-19 cases are surging again and lockdown has been imposed in some parts of the country. The intra-trade within the EU region has also got affected as most nations in the EU such as France and Italy have also come under lockdown restrictions.
In 2019, Germany imported apparel and fabric worth $40.69 billion at a monthly average of $3.39 billion. Last year, the import value decreased by 4.36 per cent, mainly due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, to $38.92 billion. During January to June 2021, the monthly average import value is expected to decline by 1.95 per cent to $3.18 billion compared to monthly average of $3.24 billion in 2020. This is mainly because most of the countries in EU including Germany were put under lockdown in the first half of 2021, along with the closure of apparels and fabric stores. Last year, Germany’s apparel and fabrics imports started rising from September 2020. China and Turkey were the major exporters of apparels and home textiles to Germany, respectively, in 2nd half of 2020. Subsequently, German retail sales were significantly affected due to lockdown on account of second and third COVID waves. Many retail stores have been closed since December 16, 2020. A top Swedish retailer kept 20 per cent of its stores closed in lockdowns throughout Europe in the first quarter of 2021. In addition, Myanmar, one of the major apparel exporters to Germany, failed to fulfil the orders due to turbulent situation in the country. Across Europe, lockdown restrictions are still continuing in many countries, including Germany. The reopening dates for retail stores in Germany are yet to be announced.