Imports of apparel from China by US companies rose by 0.91 per cent in the January to November period. US companies are looking to source apparel from countries other than China. During the same time, apparel shipments from Vietnam—the number two supplier to the US—rose 5.83 per cent. Cambodia posted the largest increase, gaining 12.37 per cent. Similarly apparel shipments from Bangladesh rose by six per cent, shipments from Pakistan rose 5.93 per cent and India’s shipments rose 2.8 per cent.
The trend is likely to continue at least until the trade war between the US and China is resolved. There is a March 1 deadline that threatens a 25 per cent tariffs on goods expected to include apparel and footwear.
Among the suppliers to the US in the western hemisphere, imports from Honduras were up 1.83 per cent. Mexico’s shipments fell 5.33 per cent and imports from El Salvador dipped 0.64 per cent.
In November, US imports of apparel were down 2.7 per cent in square meter equivalents compared to the same month a year earlier. This included declines from every major supplier except China, which ticked up 0.1 per cent. For the year to date, apparel imports were up 2.2 per cent in square meter equivalents and up 2.9 per cent in value.