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Vietnam Benefits from January Apparel Import Jump

U.S. apparel imports picked up in January, though cost of goods continued to trend downward, according to data released last week by OTEXA, the International Trade Administration’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.

Total apparel imports rose by 5.3% on an MFA basis in the month, to $6.98 billion.

On a square meter equivalent (SME) basis, imports surged by 10.7% compared to the same month in 2016, indicating a shift toward cheaper goods compared to last year. The average cost per unit of an imported garment fell by 4.9%.

Vietnam was the only trading partner among the top 10 to grow its share of U.S. apparel imports, gaining 1.7 percentage points, to 15.7% of total U.S. apparel imports. Shipments from Vietnam grew by 23.4% in the month, to more than $1 billion.

Bangladesh, El Salvador and China lost the most share in the period.

Apparel imports from China increased by 4.6% in January to $2.5 billion.