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Falloff in US Jeans Imports Slows in October, But Still Down 27%

While the rate of decline has slowed slightly, U.S. brand and retailers imported 27.42 percent less denim apparel–the vast majority of which are jeans–in the year to date through October for a value of $2.31 billion compared to $3.18 billion in the same period in 2019.

This follows a 29.93 percent decrease in the year to date through September and a 32.19 percent drop in the first nine months of the year, according the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA).

Among the Top 10 suppliers, Vietnam and Cambodia were again the only ones to post increases in shipments as merchants work off inventories and deal with lower demand from the Covid economy, although most countries were able to trim their losses.

Jeans imports from top-supplier Bangladesh were down 3.85 percent to $467.97 million in the 10-month period compared to a 5.57 percent decline through September. No. 2 Mexico’s falloff was just slightly better, down 46.29 percent to $373.97 million from a 48.58 percent decline in the nine months.

Third-place Vietnam actually fell back a bit, with a 1.08 percent year-to-date increase to $309.07 million, after posting a 1.77 percent gain in the nine months through September. Then there’s China, which saw its shipments to the U.S. nosedive 55 percent year to date to $276.68 million. Dealing with longer-term sourcing shifts that resulted mainly from importers looking to reduce risk and costs from tariffs derived from the trade war with the U.S., jeans imports from China improved a bit from the 57.5 percent year-to-date fall through September.

Cambodia’s 10-month gains were basically flat at 16.18 percent to $101.38 million. Rounding out the rest of the Top 10, Asian suppliers Pakistan and Sri Lanka saw their shipments down 4.86 percent to $205. 86 million and 20.18 percent to $40.84 million, respectively.

Import losses from Egypt grew to 40.07 percent in the period to $89.39 million, as Lesotho’s shipments saw a 10.57 percent falloff to $42.54 million, improving over a 19.38 percent decline in prior month, and imports from Nicaragua were flat at a 27.74 percent year-to-date decrease to $79.32 million.

The only other suppliers to post an increase in the 10-month period were Turkey, up 0.47 percent to $35 million; Madagascar, up 6.12 percent to 26.53 million; Ethiopia, increasing 22.23 percent to $18.8 million, Tanzania, rising 21.97 percent to $13.23 million, and Japan, gaining 3.13 percent to $12.61 million.