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US Apparel Imports Dip in August, India Gains Share

The United States imported less textiles and apparel in August and the decline has grown steeper.

In August, the U.S. imported 2.73 billion square meter equivalents (SMEs), a 4.3% decrease over the same time last year, higher than July’s 3.5% and June’s 1.3% decline.

Textile imports seemed to have picked back up in August, declining only 1 percent in the month to 3.34 billion SMEs compared to July’s much bigger 6.1% fall.

In dollar terms, textile and apparel imports overall were down 5.53% to $70.61 billion this August over last

India saw the biggest share gain of the top 10 exporters to the U.S. with its textile and apparel output increasing 17.8% to 426 million SMEs, as the country works to expand its offering in the garment sector and more companies look to India for solid sourcing as they diversify their sourcing matrices and pull back on China.

China’s share, as such, fell another 7.5% (after a 4.1% slide in July) to 3.44 billion SMEs—still a more than seven-fold lead over the second largest apparel exporter to the U.S., Vietnam.

Vietnam’s share increased 10.7% to 447.5 million SMEs, possibly as the second largest apparel and textiles exporter to the U.S. after China ramps up its production on the heels of greater investment from companies looking to capitalize on the potentially upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Bangladesh exported 8 percent less apparel and textile to the U.S. in August and Pakistan’s contribution fell 3 percent.