Production Of Denim Jeans In The EU

Here is a summary of the production of denim jeans in the EU for the period 2003-2007. This report has been compiled by the CBI . It is interesting to see that till 2007 , the production of jeans in Italy is still the largest in the EU and followed closely by Romania and Spain. Italy is increasingly becoming an expensive place to produce the jeans – however, the production of jeans is still quite high. This production has actually seen a significant fall in the last 2 years as per industry estimates and the production is moving to low cost countries like Romania, Spain, Portugal etc. Italy is slowly expected to become more of a design centre than a production center.
Even countries like Romania and Spain are now producing which are middle to high end. The low end jeans are almost entirely being imported from third world countries. This is only to be expected.

Value and Units Of Denim Production In EU From 2003-2007

Place 2003
million units
2003
value in
million Euros
2005
million units
2005
value in
million Euros
2007
million units
2007
value in
mill. Euros
Italy 63.9 959 56.1 994 59.3 1276
Romania 14.2 42 20.2 76 14.2 151
Spain 15.9 278 9.4 152 11.7 196
Portugal 4.7 75 4.9 81 5.2 78
UK 6.7 96 2.5 35 3.2 30
France 0.9 32 0.6 18 0.5 17
Greece 0.5 8 0.6 13 0.5 11
Germany 0.8 12 0.5 7 0.3 7
Others 3.5 42 5.1 54 1.6 15
Total EU 111.1 1,544 99.9 1,430 96.5 1,781

It is interesting to note that in case of Romania, the average value of the jeans produced in 2003 was Euro 2.5 only. However, just within 4 years , the average value has increased to Euro 10.63 . This shows that the country has quickly migrated from being a producer of lowest end jeans to that of higher quality jeans in a very short period. This is perhaps the case in most of the EU countries as the wage structure there does not allow to produce low cost jeans which can be easily sourced from the less developed countries. In case of Romania, it is specially so since a large number of Italian jeans manufacturers have set up base there and having their designing base in Italy, they produce in Romania.

When we come to the average value of the jeans produced in EU in 2003 as compared to that in 2007, we again arrive at the same conclusion. In 2003, the average value per pair of jeans was Euro 13.90  . The same increased to Euro 18.45.  This has perhaps increased further in the last 2 years.

Average Value Of  Jeans Produced In EU 2003-2007

Place 2003
(Av. Value per jeans in Euros)
2005
(Av. Value per jeans in Euros)
2007
(Av. Value per jeans in Euros)
Italy 15 17.71 21.51
Romania 2.95 3.76 10.63
Spain 17.48 16.17 16.75
Portugal 15.95 16.53 15
France 35.55 30 34
Greece 16 21,66 22
Germany 15 21.66 23.33
Others 12 10.58 9.37
Total EU 13.90 14.31 18.45

It is also  interesting to note that almost 89% of total jeans manufacturing in EU is concentrated in Italy, Spain and Romania and out of which Italy and Spain can count as fairly developed countries. Though manufacturing in these countries will reduce in the coming years, it goes on to prove that low cost may not always be the reason for a region to develop a large manufacturing base. The supporting infrastructure, the systems, proximity to  market and the entire knowledge base is equally , if not more, important.  Similar  arguments could perhaps be used to justify the increase of jeans manufacturing in L.A in US.

Note : An unrelated but interesting comparison is the figure of production of jeans in the town of Xintang in China which is supposed to be close to 200 million pcs  per annum. Thus this single town in China produces more  than double the jeans produced in the entire EU  !!!!

eu jeans

The complete report on Jeans can be downloaded for free from CBI website. CBI is the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries.

  1. It will be interesting to see how the trend will looks like in the coming to 2-3 years. China is rapidly developing its infrastructure and huge growth in apparel industry in asia region will push the shift of production from EU to china. I would also think cost will be significantly lower in china. Not sure about the quality standards though.

  2. Hi Hari,
    As I mentioned in the post, there is a one town in China – Xintang- which manufactures more jeans than all of the production of EU .. So it has already happened.

  3. hello iam intrested to know the names of the romanian denim mills iam intrested to make enquiries with them

  4. hello Sandeep sir ,
    i just wanna ask u what is the cost of producing a pair of jeans in India? and the exact procedure of manufacturing jeans?

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