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Apparel Exports Continue to Outpace Imports in April

US imports of all goods and services rose to $191 billion in April, a 5.9% increase over the same month last year, but slightly below March’s 6% increase. April’s increase was due primarily to a jump in imports of goods, with autos, capital goods and industrial supplies responsible for most of the gain. There was a slight decrease in consumer goods imports.
Total exports rose by 3% to $129 billion, led by increases in capital goods, automobiles and, to a lesser extent, consumer goods.
Apparel imports rose 4.7% in April from the same month last year, to $6.4 billion. The increase was higher than that of the prior two months. Imports from Cambodia and Vietnam enjoyed the biggest year-on-year growth in April, while imports from Pakistan fell the most during the month. The cost per unit (on a sq. meter equivalent basis) of apparel imports from China fell dramatically versus a year ago, due to the plunge in raw materials costs that has taken place within the past 12 months.

April Exports 1Though a much smaller number, apparel exports rose by 10.6%, to $453 million. There were big increases in the total value of exports to Canada, Japan, the UK and Australia. Exports to Caribbean countries dropped by double digits during the month as brands switched back to Asia for their sourcing compared to this time last year. April Exports 2
Textile imports increased 5.4% to $2 billion, with big gains in goods from India and China. Exports fell 6.5% to just over $1 billion. Textile exports to Mexico and Japan increased by double digits, while those to Honduras and the DR fell dramatically. April Exports 3 April Exports 4

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The gap between growth of apparel imports and exports (on a 12-month smoothed basis) continues to widen.

 

 

April Exports 5

(US IMPORTS AND EXPORTS)
In $ Millions
International Trade Statistics

% Chg

Apr

Mar

Apr

 

vs LY

2012

2012

2011

Total US Imports

5.9

191,264

199,491

180,530

Total US Exports

3.0

129,103

141,256

125,341

Total US Deficit

12.6

62,161

58,235

55,189

Apparel Imports

4.7

6,420

6,217

6,132

Apparel Exports

10.6

453

489

409

Apparel Deficit

4.3

5,967

5,728

5,723

Textile Imports

5.4

2,049

1,974

1,944

Textile Exports

-6.5

1,042

1,138

1,115

Textile Deficit

21.5

1,007

836

829

App & Text as % of Tot Def

11.2

11.3

11.9