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World textile and apparel trade and production trends: the USA, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, October 2010
published in Issue 147, October 2010
US consumer expenditure on clothing and footwear rebounded during the first half of 2010, after declining in 2008 and 2009. Reflecting the rebound, there was a 19.8% rise in the volume of US textile and clothing imports in the first seven months of 2010. There was also an increase in exports as demand in foreign markets picked up. As a result of these trends, US textile and clothing output rose significantly in the first half of 2010. Employment, by contrast, continued to fall. However, the number of employees in the year to August 2010, at 245,100, was only 1,600 fewer than in the year to August 2009.
In Argentina, textile output declined by 3.9% in 2009 but increased by a sharp 24.0% in the first half of 2010. Foreign sales followed much the same pattern. In 2009 textile and clothing exports dropped by 20.9%, but in the first half of 2010 they rose by 55.4%.
The industry in Brazil enjoyed a similar recovery as textile and clothing exports grew by 7.9% in the first seven months of 2010 after dropping by 21.8% in 2009. Textile output alone rose by 12.3% in the first four months of 2010 after falling by 6.4% in 2009 while clothing production was up by 12.4% after a 7.9% decline.
In Colombia exports fell in 2009 for the first time in seven years. The fall was due largely to substantially lower sales to Venezuela, although exports to a number of other markets also fell sharply. Exports to Venezuela continued to plunge during the first half of 2010 due to a series of personal and political disagreements between the leaders of the two countries. However, there was a recovery in shipments to several other markets.
In Mexico the industry continued to struggle in 2009 as US importers shifted orders to China and other low cost Asian countries. In the first half of 2010, however, Mexican textile and clothing exports rebounded, and the country increased its share of the US market for imported denim trousers. Also, it remained the largest supplier of these items.
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