U.S. apparel imports declined in the first quarter, according to the most recent data from OTEXA, the International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, with many retailers curtailing orders after disappointing holiday results that continue to cast a pall over the industry.
For the first three months of 2016, apparel imports fell by 2.1%, to $19.3 billion. Total unit volume on a square meter equivalent (SME) basis rose negligibly.
The decline was driven primarily by an almost 20 percent slowdown in March apparel imports to $4.6 billion, compared to almost $7 billion in March 2015. On an SME basis, imports plunged by over 21 percent in the month, as the continuing shift toward lower-cost goods impacted apparel imports.
Apparel imports from China dropped by an above-average 5.9% in the first three months of 2016. Although China remains the largest source of U.S. apparel, the country has seen its share drop by 130 basis points in the first quarter compared to the year-ago period, to 31.6% of total U.S. apparel imports.
Vietnam, on the other hand, gained 100 basis points of U.S. apparel import market share in the first quarter, to $2.58 billion. At 13.4% of the total, it is the number two source of U.S. apparel imports, as well as the fastest growing of any of the top 10 trading partners in the first quarter.
Imports from Bangladesh grew by 4.3% to $1.45 billion, or 7.5% of the year-to-date total, moving it ahead of Indonesia as the third largest source of U.S. apparel imports on both a dollar and SME basis for the third month in a row.
Indonesia’s apparel shipments to the U.S. slipped by 0.5% in the first quarter, to $1.25 billion, or 6.5% of total year-to-date imports.
Apparel imports from India have increased by 4.4% so far this year to just over a billion dollars, giving India a 5.6% share of total apparel imports.
Apparel imports from Mexico, Honduras, Cambodia and Pakistan all declined and lost share in the month.
Countries in the ASEAN region have gained 700 basis points of U.S. apparel market share so far this year.
Imports of cotton apparel have fallen by 5.7% to $9.6 billion so far in 2016, while manmade fiber apparel imports have grown by 1.8% to $8.7 billion.
Other countries enjoying rapid growth in apparel trade with the U.S. so far this year include Turkey, up 19 percent to $79 million, Madagascar, up 172 percent to 11 million, and Myanmar, up 95 percent to $7.7 million.
Retail giant Amazon rolls out a new way for shoppers to get instant gratification from their online orders and tangles with Trump over state sales taxes.Read more
Now that NAFTA negotiations have officially started, it looks like the trade deal may come far from the one we've known for the last 23 years.Read more
The seven variables that allow apparel businesses to balance performance and vulnerabilities by effectively identifying, assessing, mitigating and managing their supply chains.Read more
Consumers are starting to reward Target for its work to transform its product, customer experience and fulfillment offerings.Read more
Consumer interest in brick and mortar shopping seems to be picking up, or at least declining at a slower rate, according to the most recent store foot traffic data released by analytics firm Retail Next. It may be a glimmer of hope for physical retailers amid the……...Read more
Under Armour's CEO is leaving Trump's manufacturing council, plus Twisted X launched footwear made from recycled plastic bottles.Read more
Coach, Inc. identifies the ways it which it will strengthen the Kate Spade brand by undertaking some of the steps used to turn its namesake business around.Read more