Japanese thobe fabric exports to the Middle East were in an extremely vigorous condition in 2015 and 2016, but are slowing down at a fast rate this year.
The economic turndown in this market as oil prices remain at a low level has put the brakes on exports.
According to a Japanese thobe fabric manufacturer, processing instructions for thobe fabrics for sales for Ramadan in June were received by the end of last year. Although the delivery deadline was the end of March, shipments actually continued up to June due to a shortage of processing space and the fact that some customers allowed shipments up to June.
The processing instructions usually decrease at the beginning of the year, but the decrease is sharper this year. The instructions that arrive at the beginning of year are intended for fabrics for Hadj in August and September, but it is said that this year, Middle East merchants are moving more toward selling fabrics that are in stock rather than having fabrics newly produced. Some thobe fabric manufacturers have received orders from the Middle East for deliveries in November and December, but because of the decrease in processing instructions, the manufacturers have no choice but to fill their processing space with other products.