Denim Imports In Germany : 2010-2014

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germany denim imports Germany is the biggest market of jeans in Europe constituting about 30% of the total imports of jeans. It consumes a large quantity of value jeans and a decent quantity of premium jeans as well.

The German economy is powered by exports. Its current-account balance (the difference between the money it receives from the outside world and what it spends abroad) is one of the world’s largest, at 7% of GDP. It is an open economy: its ratio of exports to GDP is double China’s. About 6% of German exports go to China, especially what are  "capital" goods such as heavy machinery. Germany has also been hit by slow growth in the 17 other euro-zone countries, where it sends 40% of its exports. Also issues with Russia are affecting its capital goods export to that country . Though the unemployment level is still low at about 5% , the country needs to worry about its other aspects as its costs of manufacturing are increasing. The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 resulted in focus being shifted away from the nuclear energy – due to which its energy prices are increasing – and causing shifting of some manufacturing away from Germany.

But still Germany is the country that powers the Eurozone. Its performance is an indicator of how the zone performs. We will , in this report, see how the country is performing in terms of imports of jeans over the last 5 years from 2010 to 2014. We will see:


1. The quantity of jeans imported from the world during this period .

2. The value and prices of such jeans imported.

3. Breakup of these imports in terms of men’s and women’s jeans. Import market size in terms of men’s and women’s jeans component.

3. The imports compared from within and outside EU in terms of quantities , prices , shares etc.

4. The main gainers and losers from 2010 to  2014 for exports of jeans to Germany. Top exporting countries and their share

5. Eight tables showing the supporting  figures and their analysis.


1.Import of Jeans into Germany from outside EU since 2010

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 92 94 84 82 82
Women’s Jeans 43 40 31 32 32
Total 135 134 115 114 114

(all figures in million pcs)

2.Share of Men’s and Women’s Jeans in total imports into Germany from outside EU

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 68% 70% 73% 72% 72%
Women’s Jeans 32% 30% 27% 28% 28%

3.Imports from within EU28 into Germany : 2010-2014

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 18 20 18 21 23
Women’s Jeans 16 18 21 24 24
Total 34 38 39 45 47

(all figures in million pcs)

4.Share of Men’s and Women’s Jeans in total imports into Germany from within EU28

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 53% 53% 46% 47% 49%
Women’s Jeans 47% 47% 54% 53% 51%


5. Share of imports of jeans from outside and within EU : 2010 and 2014

  2010 % share 2014 % share
Total Jeans from outside EU 135 80% 114 70%
Total Jeans from within EU 34 20% 47 30%
Total imports 169   161  

The above 4 tables are quite interesting. Table 1 shows the imports of jeans into Germany from outside EU since 2010. We will notice that the year 2010 was the year with highest imports into Germany from outside EU. With about 135 million pcs imported into Germany in 2010 , the imports in 2014 were 15% lesser at about 114 million pcs. The major fall in imports happened in 2012 when the European economies suffered a setback and since then the recovery has been poor or hardly any. We also note that the ratio of imports of jeans is highly in favor of Men’s jeans with about 70% of jeans being men’s . It clearly shows that Germany is male dominated market when it comes to jeans imports.

But Germany does not only import jeans coming from outside EU. A good quantity is also imported into Germany from within the EU countries. Some of these countries like Italy, Portugal , Spain, Bulgaria and others are also manufacturers of jeans while other countries are importers themselves. We see from tables 3 and 4 that the imports from within EU countries has been increasing for Germany. From about 34 million pcs imported in 2010 , the imports are about 47 million pcs in 2014. This is quite a jump of about 33% . This is also indicative of influence of fast fashion and near sourcing getting more important. Also this is corroborated by the fact that about 50% of such jeans imported are women’s as against 30% in case of those imported from outside EU.

The total imports of jeans , when we consider both outside and within EU imports, we find that the figures of 2010 and 2014 and not quite apart besides a small decrease. In 2010 about 169 million pcs were imported and in 2014 about 161 million pcs were imported. But the major change has been in the % of share of within EU imports which have gone up from 20% of total imports to 30% of total imports. This is a significant direction from the country with the largest consumption in Europe. And it looks that this direction may continue for some time .

Now lets look at the prices of imports below:

6.Prices of imports from outside EU (euro/pc)

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 7.56 8.12 8.73 8.93 8.84
Women’s Jeans 6.61 6.56 7.79 8.03 7.97

7.Prices of imports from within EU (euro/pc)

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Men’s Jeans 18.2 17.7 18.2 18.3 17.7
Women’s Jeans 16.7 15.7 14.6 14.9 14.8

The prices of imports of jeans from outside EU is hovering around Euro 8.5-9.0 per pc for men’s jeans and about 8 Euro for women’s jeans. While the prices from within EU are significantly higher at about 18 Euro and 15 Euro respectively. The prices from within EU are almost double that of the imports from outside. And the fact that still the imports are increasing from EU is again and indication of changing consumer preferences .


8.Countrywise share in Outside EU Imports


(mill. pcs)
% share in 2010 % share in 2014
Bangladesh 29 36 21% 32%
China 68 26 50% 23%
Pakistan 11 20 8% 18%
Turkey 11 12 8% 11%
Tunisia 4 4 3% 4%
Indonesia 2 2 1% 2%
Others 9 14 7% 12%
Total ( in million pcs) 135 114    

Now we come to the major exporters of denim jeans to Germany since 2010 . When we look at 2010 we find that China had almost 50% share of the entire market and it was a huge number with about 68 million pcs. However, year 2014 saw its share drop to 23% and that too at reduced import quantities. Thus its quantities of exports fell to about 26 million pcs which is a significant drop of over 60% !!. The loss in China’s share was the gain for other major exporting countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan. Bangladesh increased its volume by about 25% to 36 million pcs and Pakistan almost doubled its volume to 20 million pcs. Other countries like Turkey , Tunisia, Indonesia etc were almost at similar levels of absolute exports but increased their relative shares of a reduced market. Thus it is clear that China’s loss has been the benefit for most other exporting countries.


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