Ready-wear apparel exporters enjoy strong demand
Turkey’s ready wear and confection exporters are working at nearly full capacity to meet strong demand stemming from recovery in the industry’s export markets.
From January to July, the sector’s shipments to foreign markets grew by a robust 27 percent on an annual basis to climb more than $11.1 billion.
Germany was the largest export market for local ready wear and confection companies at $1.9 billion, followed by Spain at $1.5 billion and the U.K. at $1.2 billion.
In the first seven months of the year, the sector managed to boost exports to the Czech Republic by more than 200 percent to $148 million and by 250 percent to Tunisia to $63.5 million.
The industry’s exports could hit $20 billion at the end of this year, said Burak Sertbaş, the chair of the Aegean Ready Wear and Confection Exporters’ Union.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies are still being felt but the pandemic’s adverse effects are waning. There are signs that economies are returning to normal.”
Sertbaş noted that at the start of the pandemic, local companies shifted to export more of medical textile products but in recent months the shipment of those products declined fast.
“Exporters are now producing mainly traditional outfits, such as suits, shirts, trousers,” he added.
According to Sertbaş, local companies are presently working at full capacity and cannot take orders to be delivered in a short period of time.
He, however, complained that companies are having problems finding blue-collar workers.
“We cannot find a young employee to replace the retired staff. Production is likely to move to the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey where workforce seem to be rather abundant,” Sertbaş said.