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Trends in US textile and clothing imports, August 2009
published in Issue 140, August 2009
US imports of textiles and clothing fell for the first time in seven years in 2008—by 5.2% to 50.4 bn sme (square metres equivalent)—after growing by an average of 8.4% per annum between 2001 and 2007. Within the 2008 total, imports of apparel fell by 2.7%, imports of made-up textiles by 5.4%, fabric imports by 9.3% and yarn imports by 11.1%. Of these four categories, apparel continued to account for the highest share of total imports. Furthermore, at 45.1%, this share was up from 43.9% a year earlier. By contrast, the share of made-up textiles fell for the first time in 11 years although, at 33.6%, it was still double the share held by these items in 1997. Meanwhile, the share of fabric imports fell for the sixth consecutive year and that of yarn imports for the fourth consecutive year. In terms of fibre type, cotton dominated US apparel imports in 2008 with a share of 60.4%. But man-made fibres dominated imports of textile and apparel products as a whole with a 54.6% share.
US import prices rose for a third successive year in 2008, following several years of decline. The rise in 2008 was led by China. By contrast, there were falls in the average prices of imports from Vietnam and India—the USA’s second and third largest suppliers of textiles and apparel respectively.
China strengthened its lead as the USA’s biggest supplier in 2008, in both value and volume terms. However, growth in imports from China slowed to just 1.1% in value terms—and in volume terms imports from China actually fell by 3.6%. Despite these developments, China’s share of the US import market grew slightly in 2008—from 33.5% to 35.1% in value terms and from 40.3% to 40.9% in volume. The fastest growing supplier, however, was Vietnam, and the country became the USA’s second largest supplier in terms of value. By contrast, exporters in Indonesia and Cambodia, two other members of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), struggled to maintain their shares of the market. Similarly, in South Asia, US imports from India and Pakistan fell in value terms, although imports from Bangladesh increased by 11.1%. Imports from Mexico fell in both value and volume in 2008. The drop in value was the seventh in succession, while the volume fall was the fourth in a row. Countries which are signatories to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) also supplied less in 2008, at least in value terms. However, imports from Honduras—the largest supplier in CAFTA-DR—fared well, having increased by 3.7% in value and 9.4% in volume.
Table of Contents
Trends in US Textile and Clothing Imports
US Imports of Textiles and Clothing by Main Category: Yarns, Fabrics, Apparel and Made-Up Textiles
US Imports of Textiles and Clothing by Fibre Type
Major Suppliers of US Textile and Clothing Imports
US Textile and Clothing Import Prices
Outlook for US Textile and Clothing Imports
US Imports of Men’s and Boys’ Cotton Coats
US Imports of Women’s and Girls’ Cotton Coats
US Imports of Women’s and Girls’ Wool Coats
US Imports of Cotton Dresses
US Imports of Men’s and Boys’ Cotton Knitted Shirts
US Imports of Women’s and Girls’ Cotton Knitted Shirts
US Imports of Men’s and Boys’ Cotton Non-Knitted (Woven) Shirts
US Imports of Women’s and Girls’ Cotton Non-Knitted (Woven) Shirts
US Imports of Cotton Skirts
US Imports of Man-Made Fibre Skirts
US Imports of Men’s and Boys’ Cotton Trousers
US Imports of Women’s and Girls’ Cotton Trousers
US Imports of Cotton and Man-Made Fibre Baby Garments
US Imports of Cotton Pile Towels
US Imports of Other Cotton Apparel
Appendix: Exchange Rates and the Phasing-Out of Quotas
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