Facebook Pinterest Search Icon SourcingJournal_horiz Tumbler Twitter Shape photo-camera graph-trend Shape latest-news icon / user

Total Imports Reach Record Level in May, but Apparel Drops

Missed Sourcing Journal’s Virtual Sourcing Summit? It's not too late to view all keynotes and panels from the two days. Watch on demand now.

US imports of all goods and services rose to over $200 billion in May, a 6.7% increase over the same month last year, and well above April’s 5.9% jump. The increase was due primarily to a surge in imports of autos and capital goods. There was a significant decrease in imports of industrial supplies. Total exports rose by 6.4%, double last month’s rate of increase, to $133 billion, led by increases in exports of food and capital goods.
Apparel Imports
Apparel imports dropped by 3% in May from the same month last year, to $6.4 billion. Shipments from Vietnam enjoyed the biggest year-to-date growth through May, while imports from India fell the most. The unit cost (per square meter equivalent) of apparel imports from China have stabilized and remain virtually flat versus the same period last year.
 
Total year-to-date apparel imports rose to $29 billion for the first five months of 2012, a .6% increase over the same period in 2011. However, unit volume fell by over 4%, indicating slowing demand amid rising prices. The dollar cost per square meter equivalent of apparel has risen 5% over the first five months of last year.

China’s share of U.S. imported apparel has increased by half of a percentage point, to 33% of the total on a year-to-date basis, driven by significant year-to-date increases in the amount of women’s man-made fiber dresses, blouses and tops. These were partially offset by drops in women’s cotton apparel.
Vietnam has gained .6 percentage points of share, increasing to 9.4% of total year-to-date apparel imports, making it the second largest trading partner in the category. Shipments increased from Vietnam of women’s man-made fiber dresses and tops. There have been steep drops in imports of cotton apparel from Vietnam as well.
India and Pakistan have both lost share, resulting in South Asia’s steep drop in share of U.S. imported apparel.
Apparel Imports: YTD 2012

 

MM Dollars and Units

 

Dollars
SME
% Chg
% Chg
% Chg

Millions
Millions
Dollars
SME
$/SME
World
29,004
9,015
0.6
-4.1
4.9
China
9,604
3,290
2.1
1.7
0.5
Vietnam
2,730
869
7.1
3.5
3.5
Bangladesh
1,956
672
-0.8
-8.6
8.5
Indonesia
2,096
554
-2.1
-9.3
8.0
Cambodia
1,033
417
3.2
0.2
2.9
India
1,479
402
-8.8
-14.1
6.2
Honduras
943
416
-6.6
-15.1
10.0
Mexico
1,522
382
2.8
-4.0
7.1
Pakistan
537
228
-18.9
-16.8
-2.5
El Salvador
707
320
5.7
-1.8
7.7
Rest of world
6,397
1,465
1.0
-8.9
10.9
CBI
3,259
1,233
0.1
-8.8
9.8
CAFTA – DR
2,987
1,134
-0.1
-8.5
9.2
South Asia
4,628
1,448
-4.4
-11.0
7.4
ASEAN
6,959
2,167
1.0
-4.1
5.3
OECD
1,077
98
6.7
4.3
2.4

Apparel Exports
Though a much smaller number, apparel exports rose by 11.8%, to $464 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. Honduras saw the biggest drop in shipments from the US.

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

Textiles
Textile imports surged 6.7% to $2.3 billion, with big gains in goods from India. Exports fell 3.6% to just over $1 billion. Textile exports to Mexico and Canada increased the most, while those to Honduras and the DR fell dramatically.

 

(US IMPORTS AND EXPORTS)

 

In $ Millions

 

International Trade Statistics
% Chg
May
Apr
May

vs LY
2012
2012
2011
Total US Imports
6.7
200,595
191,636
187,948
Total US Exports
6.4
132,857
129,133
124,910
Total US Deficit
7.5
67,738
62,503
63,038

 

 

Apparel Imports
-2.9
6,475
6,420
6,669
Apparel Exports
11.8
454
453
406
Apparel Deficit
-3.9
6,022
5,967
6,263

 

 

Textile Imports
6.7
2,277
2,049
2,135
Textile Exports
-3.6
1,093
1,042
1,134
Textile Deficit
18.3
1,184
1,007
1,001

 

 

App & Text as % of Tot Def

10.6
11.2
11.5

 

Tags

Related Articles

More from our brands

Access exclusive content Become a Member Today!