Recent trade data from the HS Code reveals COVID-19’s impact and signs of recovery in the sector, says a USDA report. According to this report, China’s recovery has been fastest among all countries. However, the speed of recovery in consumer demand is uncertain, and the impact of working remotely is not known. In April and May, global apparel imports dropped dramatically with US imports dropping 55 per cent in May. Imports by EU and UK dropped over 40 per cent while imports by Japan declined 30 per cent during the same period.
This decline in textile and garment exports was noticed across all major markets, Exports by Bangladesh and India fell by 85 and 90 per cent respectively, while shipments from Pakistan, Turkey, and the European Union declined by 60 per cent.
The impact of COVID-19 hit both demand and supply at the same time. Lockdown restrictions slowed consumer spending while also halting cotton-related processing. Spinning mills’ operating rates in India, Pakistan, and the United States fell over 90 percent, while declines were slightly lower in China. Similar to the export data, Vietnam’s operating rate declined by only 30 percent.