New Export Record in Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Industry in Turkey

Turkey is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to the ready-to-wear and apparel industry. The country has a long history of expertise in this field, and has been exporting its products for centuries. Today, the Turkish ready-to-wear industry is worth over $5 billion, with exports accounting for around $2 billion. Turkey exports to countries like the United States, China, Germany, and the United Kingdom. This makes Turkey one of the most successful countries in Europe when it comes to this field.

The reason for this success can be found in Turkey’s ability to produce high-quality clothing at an affordable price. Turkey produces high-quality clothing because of its skilled labor force, availability of commodities, and low production costs. 

Over the past few years, Turkey’s exports have been increasing steadily in the ready-to-wear industry and it keeps breaking new records. A new record has been broken according to the data of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM). The data shows that Turkey’s exports increased by 15.2 percent in May compared to the same month of the previous year. It amounted to $19 billion. This figure marks the highest May export value ever.

Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Industry Shines in Exports

In the January-May period this year, exports increased 20.4 percent year-on-year. It reached $102.5 billion compared to the previous year. The annualized export value rose to $242.6 billion. The ready-to-wear and apparel industry exported $1 billion 300 million in May 2021. It achieved exports of $1 billion 339 million in the same period this year, an increase of 3 percent.

The ready-to-wear and apparel industry achieved exports of $8.8 billion in January-May 2022. It is an increase of 15.8 percent compared to the same period last year. This was the highest January-May exports of all time. 906 million dollars of the sector’s exports were made from Istanbul last month. It was followed by Bursa with $112 million 128 thousand and İzmir with $94 million 278 thousand.

Most Exports Were to Germany

In the ready-to-wear and apparel industry, Germany was the country with the highest export sales last month, with $217 million. Germany was followed by Spain with $181 million and the United Kingdom with $135 million.

Looking at the groups of countries to which the most exports were made in this sector last month, the EU countries ranked first with $817 million. The other European countries came forward with $179 million, and the Middle East countries with $105 million.

According to the data from TIM, the ready-to-wear and apparel industry exported to 174 countries and regions last month. It accounted for 7.1 percent of the country’s total exports in the same period.

“The Ready-to-Wear Sector is Among the Strategically Important Sectors in Turkey”

Mustafa Gültepe, vice chairman and president of the Istanbul Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters Association (İHKİB) gave a statement. In his statement, he said that the ready-to-wear industry was among the strategically important sectors in Turkey with its value-added production, jobs, and exports.

Gültepe expressed that they had brought Turkey $18.5 billion in net foreign exchange by the end of 2021 with a record export of $20.3 billion. He stated that Turkey had started 2022 with a target of at least $23 billion. Gültepe claimed that the data from the first four months showed that Turkey was making great strides toward that goal. He also mentioned Turkey’s records continuing in 2022 as well. Last March, Turkey surpassed $2 billion in monthly exports for the first time. At $2 billion 42 million. 

The Sector Broke the Export Record of All Time

Gültepe also said, “we renewed our monthly export record in April and broke the export record of all time. We ended April with a 25.6 percent increase over the same month last year. We also set a record with our 4-month performance.” He explained that exports from January to April rose to $7.5 billion, an 18.5 percent increase over the same period last year. Turkey achieved a 22.2 percent increase in April. In the same period, Turkey also increased their exports to the United Kingdom by 25.3 percent and its exports to the United States by 29.4 percent.

Gülltepe pointed out that the negative impact of the war between Russia and Ukraine, which began on February 24, on exports was limited. He said that from January to April, exports to Russia fell by 7.1 percent and exports to Ukraine by only 5.1 percent. He said he expected exports to regain momentum. Gültepe also stated that while they were struggling to maintain prices for basic products due to the increased cost of raw materials, orders from abroad were still holding up. “Our capacity utilization reached 84.1 percent in April. I believe that we will be able to end 2022 with exports of over $23 billion, barring any extraordinary events” he stated.

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