Texfact of the week: Brazil

Just in time for the World Cup, we turn our attention to Brazil as a clothing and textile manufacturing nation. After all, the sector is growing in the world’s six-biggest economy. The reasons: increasing domestic demand for home and household textiles for apartments, offices and hotels and a rising need for technical textiles, especially for cars, the building sector and the infrastructure because, in addition to the World Cup facilities, Brazil is investing heavily in the 2016 Olympic Games, which are also to be held there. High-priced clothing is also benefiting from an expanding middle class. But where does the South American nation rank exactly in the global textile market?

The Brazilian textile and clothing industry at a glance. Source: ABIT

The Brazilian textile and clothing industry at a glance. Source: ABIT

Brazil has been World Soccer Champion five times to date – and, according to ABIT, the country’s textile association, Brazil holds fifth place in the ranking of worldwide textile producing countries after China, India the USA and Pakistan. When it comes to clothing, it holds fourth place, immediately after China, India and Pakistan and ahead of Turkey. Also very interesting: Brazil is the leading nation for the production of denim and No. 3 for knitted fabrics. At the same time, the country wants to expand its technical-textiles industry and concluded a cooperation agreement with Portugal’s textile associations in March, this year.

Some more figures from ABIT: Brazil imported textiles and clothing worth around US $ 6.8 billion in 2013. Simultaneously, it exported products valued at $ 1.3 billion, primarily to neighbouring countries. These imports covered 13.6 percent of domestic consumption. Since 2006, the balance of trade for the textile and clothing sector has developed negatively with the trade deficit amounting to $ 5.5 billion in 2013, the biggest ever. Today, Brazil’s industry is still hampered by the high duties imposed on textiles (5.2 times higher than the world average) and clothing (3.5 times higher). Moreover, the level of investment in the whole textile value chain is insufficient despite increasing domestic demand. Barriers to trade are also an obstacle to growth. At present, the Mercosur states and the EU are negotiating a free-trade agreement. However, the outcome is uncertain.

Marc Chalupsky

Marc Chalupsky

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