In a time when the Covid-19 pandemic had already hit the economy, the Portuguese textile industry has managed to increase its sales in the Spanish market by 22.1%, reaching 90.6 million euro, according to Icex Spain Export and Investment. For this institution, the explanation lies in the need to find alternatives to face the closure of Asian markets.
The volatile demand of Spanish companies led to a rush for proximity markets, which ultimately benefitted the Portuguese industry, struck in a much softer way by confinement policies compared to their Spanish counterparts.
Overall, the purchase of clothing abroad by Spanish companies dropped 18.2% in March, with China, the main supplier of the country, suffering a 28% downfall. Turkey and Italy went down the same path with ruptures in the order of, respectively, 25% and 36.7%.
France, India and Morocco, traditionally meaningful clothing suppliers in Spain, were equally hit, with drops of, respectively, 25%, 21.1% and 19.2%.
While these countries have been severely hit by the pandemic, Portugal was the greatest beneficiary of this change of purchasing patterns by Spanish companies. However, it wasn’t the only one.
According to the same source, Bangladesh also increased its clothing exports to Spain by 4.6% in March, becoming the second biggest fashion supplier of the country. The same happened with Myanmar (former Burma), whose exports to Spain grew 38.3%, propping the country from 10th largest supplier to 5th, in terms of Spanish import ranking.