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Vietnam’s Share of U.S. Apparel Imports Hits New High in January

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Vietnam gained 0.6 percentage points of U.S. apparel import share in January, reaching over 10% of all U.S. apparel imports for the month. Although still a distant number two to China’s 38% share, the Southeast Asian country is on track to become an even more significant trading partner in 2013.

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According to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, or OTEXA, Vietnam shipped $675 million worth of apparel into the U.S. in January or, in unit terms, 214 million SMEs (square meter equivalents).  Growth was driven by increases in cotton underwear, men’s woven shirts of cotton or manmade fiber, and women’s man-made coats, desses, and blouses. The cost per SME from Vietnam dropped 3.7%, less than the 4.9% cost decline for average apparel imports in the month.

Total apparel imports from China were $2.5 billion, a 2.3% decrease from January 2012 and a loss of 0.6 percentage points of share. The cost per SME of apparel imported from China fell by 6.4% in the month. There were significant increases in synthetic pants, wool sweaters, and men’s man-made fiber knit shirts, though these were more than offset by drops in women’s and girls cotton knit blouses and tops.

The US imported $6.6 billion worth of apparel in January on a CIF basis, down almost 1% from the same month last year. The total value of cotton apparel declined slightly, while that of man-made fiber apparel increased overall.

Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh also enjoyed year-over-year share gains, while India and Cambodia saw their shares decline by 0.5 and 0.3 precentage points, respectively.

Apparel Imports: YTD 2013      
MM Dollars and Units        
 

Dollars

SME

% Chg

% Chg

% Chg
 

Millions

Millions

Dollars

SME

$/SME
World

6,627

2,068

-0.9

4.3

-4.9

China

2,524

871

-2.3

4.4

-6.4

Vietnam

675

214

5.1

9.2

-3.7

Indonesia

500

130

7.3

13.0

-5.1

Bangladesh

464

162

2.7

7.3

-4.3

India

274

76

-11.3

-7.3

-4.3

Mexico

271

70

-2.2

2.9

-5.0

Cambodia

214

91

-10.1

1.1

-11.1

Pakistan

134

51

12.6

0.0

12.6

Honduras

130

55

-5.1

-11.3

7.0

El Salvador

106

44

-7.8

-13.7

6.8

Rest of world

1,335

304

-0.8

7.4

-7.7

  CBI

44

18

37.5

63.6

-16.0

  CAFTA – DR

456

164

-7.5

-7.9

0.4

  South Asia

1,016

324

-1.3

2.9

-4.0

  ASEAN

1,640

508

3.5

8.8

-4.8

  OECD

228

19

2.7

0.0

2.7

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