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Industry Talk

7th ITMF Corona-Survey shows light at end of tunnel

The International Textiles Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) has conducted its 7th ITMF Corona-Survey on the impact the coronavirus pandemic has on the global textile value chain.

7th April 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Zürich, Switzerland

Knitted Outerwear

Between 25 January snd 10 March 2021, ITMF conducted the 7th ITMF Corona-Survey among ITMF members and affiliated companies and associations about the impact the Corona-pandemic has on the global textile value chain. In total, 196 companies from around the world participated. The 1st ITMF Corona-Survey was conducted in March 2020 when the first lockdowns were announced in Europe.

The 7th survey revealed that actual turnover in 2020 was 9% lower compared to 2019 (see Graph 1). While this decrease is significantly better than the expected drop of 33% in the 3rd survey at the height of the first Coronavirus wave in April 2020, the year 2020 will go down into history as one of the worst years for the global textile and apparel industry, ITMF says.

Source: 1st ‘til 7th ITMF Corona-Surveys (March 13, 2020 until March 10, 2021). © ITMF.

In comparison to the expectations expressed in the 6th ITMF Corona-Survey (November 20 – 14 December 2020), actual turnover for 2020 compared to 2019 has improved by 3 percentage points from minus 12% to minus 9% now (Graph 1).

As could be expected, the entire textile value chain was hit hard by the pandemic including textile machinery producers. Practically all segments under review were impacted negatively to different degrees in 2020 (see Graph 2). The two segments standing out positively are the producers of nonwovens (+/-0%) and of fibres (+10%). It can be assumed that those two segments have benefitted from the extraordinary demand for masks during 2020, which compensated to a significant extent for the loss in other areas like automotive or apparel.


For 2021 and the following years up to 2024, turnover expectations are positive (see Graph 3) and have overall not changed compared to previous surveys. On a global level, turnover expectations are especially strong for 2021 and 2022, an indication that companies are expecting a strong recovery. For 2023 and 2024 companies’ growth expectations are weaker. Looking at the various regions the most striking result is the positive expectations of companies in Africa (+31% by 2024), compared to the other regions that range between +12 and +21%.


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