Total denim imports were $3.7 billion in 2014, down 9.5% from 2013 imports of almost $4.2 billion, due to the fashion cycle shift away from jeans toward yoga pants and other athleisure bottoms. Total unit imports dropped by almost 9 percent, and the average cost per unit edged down slightly to $7.85 per pair.
More than 98 percent of total denim apparel imports were jeans. Men’s and boys’ represented the largest segment, at 55 percent of the total on a dollar basis, up 2.3 percentage points from the prior year, while women’s and girls’ declined to 45 percent of the total.
U.S. brands imported just over a billion dollars worth of jeanswear from Mexico in 2014, 4.5% less than in 2013. Total units from Mexico fell by 3.7%, with average cost per pair falling by almost one percent to $8.80.
Imports from China fell by a staggering 19 percent in the year, to $987 million. Units declined by almost 14 percent, resulting in a cost per pair decrease of 6.6% to $7.19. China remained the top sourcing country for women’s jeans in 2014, at $736 million, with Bangladesh a distant second at $157 million.
Total denim imports from Bangladesh fell by 7.3% to $426 million. The average cost per pair from Bangladesh rose by 3 percent in the year, to $6.18.
Sub-Saharan Africa gained almost a percentage point of U.S. denim apparel import share in the past year. Imports from Mauritius almost triped to $36 million, while shipments from Kenya grew by 25 percent to $28 million.
Imports from Guatemala plunged by 33 percent to $40 million.
ASEAN countries gained .6 percentage points of U.S. apparel import share due to gains by Vietnam and Cambodia.