Facebook Pinterest Search Icon SourcingJournal_horiz Tumbler Twitter Shape photo-camera graph-trend Shape latest-news icon / user

U.S. Denim Imports Report

Join Theory, Google, H&M, McKinsey, Foot Locker, Lafayette 148, LL Bean, the Retail Prophet and more at Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit, R/Evolution: Overhauling Fashion’s Outmoded Supply Chain, Oct 14 & 15.

The decline in U.S. denim imports that was precipitous in 2014, but tempered in 2015, has intensified again in the first seven months of 2016, according to the most recent data from the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA). Total YTD imports in the category were $1.97 billion, down 4.4% from the same period in 2015.

Unit imports of denim dropped by 4.1%, with the average cost per garment edging down slightly to $7.77 per pair.

Although China held its share of total denim imports, Mexico lost 200 basis points of share, while Bangladesh and Vietnam gained 150 and 80 basis points, respectively. Pakistan and Nicaragua also gained share, while Egypt lost.

More than 98 percent of total denim apparel imports are jeans. Men’s and boys’ represent the largest segment, at 52 percent of the total on a dollar basis, down 100 basis points from the prior year, while women’s and girls’ rose to more than 46 percent of the total. Denim jackets, skirts, dresses and other garments represent less than 2 percent of the total.

Both men’s and women’s jean imports declined in the period. Men’s and boy’s jeans suffered a more than 6 percent drop, with units and average price down by about 3 percent each. Imports of women’s and girls’ jeans dropped by 3.5%, primarily due to a slip in units. The average cost of a pair of women’s and girls’ imported jeans increased by 3 percent.

China has maintained its 26.5% share of U.S. denim imports; a year-to-date total of $522 million, down 4.4% from last year. Unit imports from China dropped by 8 percent, but the average cost per garment rose by 4 percent. The 7 percent increase in men’s jean imports from China was more than offset by a 9 percent drop in women’s jeans imports.

U.S. brands imported $470 million worth of jeanswear from Mexico between January and July, or 11.7% less than in 2015. Total units from Mexico fell by 6.4%, with the average cost per pair down by almost 6 percent to $8.13. Men’s jeans comprised almost 90 percent of U.S. denim imports from Mexico and were responsible for most of the decline from that country as well.

Imports from Bangladesh, the U.S.’s third-largest source of denim apparel, increased by 8 percent, with units up 11.7% and average cost down by more than 3 percent, with women’s seeing most of the gains. Bangladesh is a major supplier of jeanswear to many of the fast fashion retailers.

Vietnam experienced the biggest increase, whose denim exports to the U.S. rose by 16.1% so far this year, to $78.7 billion. Women’s jean imports from Vietnam rose by almost 17 percent, to $86.6 million.

Denim Apparel Imports By Country
YTD July 2016
Dollar Volume

U.S. Denim Apparel Imports
FY 2012 to 2015
YTD 2015 and 2016

U.S Denim Apparel Import Share Shifts By Country
YTD July 2016 VS. 2015


Denim Apparel Imports By Country Of Origin
YTD July 2016
(Millions of Dollars, Thousands of Units, $ Per Unit)


Denim Apparel Imports By Category
YTD July 2016
(Millions of Dollars, Thousands of Units, $ Per Unit)


Related Articles

More from our brands

Access exclusive content Become a Member Today!