ITMF Surveys Impact of Coronavirus Pandemic on Global Textile Industry

Between March 13th and 25th, 2020, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) conducted a survey among its members in regard to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global textile value chain, especially on current orders and expected turnover in 2020.
Thirty-four companies from around the world participated in addition to two national textile associations with several hundred participants.

Current Orders Down 8% Worldwide
The survey results show that on average companies in all regions of the world suffered significant numbers of cancellations and/or postponements. On world average, current orders dropped 8.0%. The decrease in orders ranges from 4.0% in South America to 13.3% in Africa.

Expected Turnover 2020 vs. 2019 Down 10.5% Worldwide
The results show that on average companies in all regions expect their turnovers in 2020 to be significantly lower than in 2019. On world average, the turnover in 2020 is expected to be 10.5% lower than in 2019. While the plunge is expected to be 7.5% on average in North America, companies in Europe expect a drop of 17.5%.
It is important to note that geography and time are two factors that play an important role in the survey, and are also interconnected with each other. Companies and national organizations that had replied early (between March 13th and 16th) and reported about additional orders were not (yet) directly or indirectly effected by the coronavirus pandemic. These companies and organizations were neither affected by the coronavirus epidemic in their own country, nor were their customers (mainly in Europe and North America).
The later replies were received (from March 17th onwards), the more negative were the answers across all regions. It can be assumed that the after March 16th, more governments in Europe and North America introduced almost daily new regulations that restrict public and business life (e.g., the closing of kindergartens, schools, universities, shops, bars, cinemas, museums, sport facilities, ski resorts, borders, etc.), and this prone to be crucial. With all these restrictions in place, ‘offline’ consumption of textiles and apparel in retail shops, departments stores, outlets stores, etc. dropped dramatically. This seems to have led brands and retailers across the board to cancel and/or postpone orders significantly.

Challenges: Safety, Lack of Supply or Demand & Liquidity; Opportunities: Medical Textile Products
In regard to the major challenges companies are facing, companies around the world highlighted the following:

• The safety and health of workers and staff; disrupted supply chains, especially in connection with supplies from China
• Lack or delay in supply in the apparel industry
• Lack of demand or the fear that demand will drop significantly
• Lack of liquidity

As for opportunities, companies mentioned:
• Streamlining their internal processes during the crisis will make them emerge stronger.
• Companies producing fibers, yarns, fabrics and end-products with healthcare and protection function will see new opportunities.