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Mexico and Bangladesh Led Stabilizing US Jeans Imports in Q1

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Global blue denim apparel imports to the United States in the first quarter surpassed the same period in 2020 by 0.61 percent to a value of $701.84 million, according to data from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA), as consumer demand returned and retailers and brands cleared out inventory.

The gains and losses were spread out over the Top 10 suppliers of jeans, which make up the vast majority of the imports. Mexico was the top sourcing spot in the first three months of the year, with shipments rising 4.75 percent to $145.48 million, according to OTEXA, while imports from Bangladesh increased 7.99 percent to $133.27 million.

Experts had seen Mexican jeans production growing once the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement was fully implemented and the economy stabilized.

Other winners among the major production countries were China, with imports up 5.96 percent to $71.95 million; Pakistan, with an increase of 8.86 percent to $68.4 million; Nicaragua, up 26.24 percent to $29.32 million, and Turkey, with a gain of 31.39 percent to $13.79 million.

Supplier countries losing ground in the first quarter were No. 3 producer for the U.S. Vietnam, which saw its imports fall 12.38 percent to $75.68 million; Cambodia, slipping 1 percent to $39 million; Egypt, down 30.38 percent to $23.94 million, and Sri Lanka, off 17.82 percent to $12.8 million.

The Western Hemisphere overall saw imports grow 4.73 percent to a value of $185.56 million in the period, which included a 14.08 percent from Central American Free Trade Agreement countries.

Shipments were also up from Sub-Saharan Africa countries, with an overall gain of 18.66 percent to 32.89 million, led by upticks from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

For the 12 months through March, Bangladesh held a 20.35 percent market share, followed by Mexico at 16.95 percent, Vietnam at 12.74 percent, China at 11,97 percent and Pakistan at 9.17 percent.

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