US Apparel Imports in March-April 2006 Monthly Report

Source: Emerging Textiles | Date: 2006-05-18

US Apparel imports from China again declined in March although the decrease is not as great as the 25 per cent fall seen in February. China is still leading US supplier thanks to rises in categories outside of quotas. Shipments from countries in South East Asia were higher than one year ago while Central American suppliers again struggled.

US apparel imports from China in March fell 13.45 per cent compared to the same month last year latest data confirm.

This is an improvement on imports in February when the figures showed China was 25 per cent down from one year earlier.

However, preliminary data just released by the US Department of Commerce for April reveal continuing weakness in those categories under quota although there are rises in other categories.

The value of US apparel imports from China at US$906.4 million in March was nearly double that of Mexico's in second.

Shipments from Mexico have however dropped sharply in the first three months of 2006 by 12.7 per cent compared with the same three month period last year.

Higher imports from South East Asia

March data also confirmed that countries from the South East Asian region have been performing well while competitors from the Central American area have struggled.

The biggest gainers in March included Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam while imports from Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala had fallen.

Shipments arriving into the US from El Salvador were noticeably weaker at 56.2 per cent lower than March 2005.

Prices have risen by just 1.82 per cent from one year ago and averaged at US$3.19 per square metre.

Bangladesh and Honduras were cheapest of the leading suppliers at $2.12/$2.14 per square metre while Chinese prices rose highest by 9.44 per cent too $3.09 per square metre.

India was most expensive of the top exporters charging US importers a little under $4 per square metre.

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