Wazir Advisors September 2023 report spanning June and July 2023 reveal not much has changed since August in terms of Western import of apparels and India’s exports. Comparing the stats in August and the soon-to-be-published report, shows no newsworthy changes but more affirmation that apparel imports are currently low in Western markets and a stagnation in Japan, having experienced a rise only in June – the stagnation started in July and continued into August 2023. Indian exports continue to lose ground, which may lead to speculation about 2024 being the year of a big comeback.
Indian apparel exporters continue underperforming
The report shows, the total value of Indian apparel export in 2022 was at $15 billion and between January and August 2023 only $10.2 billion has been achieved. In August 2023, India’s apparel exports were estimated at $1.1 billion, 22 per cent lower than in August 2022. On a year-to-date basis, that reads 14 per cent lower than exports achieved in 2022 but an improvement of 1 per cent based on August 2023 stats.
Overall, some interesting picture emerges. In 2022, India’s export to the US was at 35 per cent but between January and July this year, it stands at 33 per cent only. It is by the end of the year, it will be known if India managed to retain, gain or lose US orders. UK, UAE and France remain the same and Germany has dropped by 1 per cent in the months January to July 2023 compared to the entire year of 2022 and there is a possibility of recovery during upcoming winter festivities.
Readymade garment imports remain depressed in the West
In July 2023, US apparel imports were $7.7 billion, which is 17 per cent lower than July 2022. On year-to-date (YTD) basis, imports were 21 per cent lower than in 2022. It seems, Bangladesh was gaining China’s market share in the US but it too lost 3 per cent since 2021. The EU’s apparel imports in June 2023 were $7 billion which is 10 per cent lower than June 2022. On YTD basis, the imports were 4 per cent lower than in 2022 but there may be a spike during the upcoming festive season to shorten the deficit. The UK’s apparel imports in July 2023 were $1.5 billion, 21 per cent lower than in July 2022. On YTD basis, the imports were 15 per cent lower than in 2022. In July 2023, Japan’s apparel imports were $1.9 billion, similar to that in July 2022. On YTD basis also, the imports have not changed.
Domestic retail faring better than imports in UK, US
In the UK, Q2 2023 saw online sales of clothing registering a growth of 10 per cent over Q2 2022. In the same period, it was a different story in the US as it witnessed a negligible 1 per cent growth in Q2 2023 over Q2 2022. In July 2023, UK’s monthly apparel store sales were £3.7 billion which is 3 per cent higher than in July 2022. On YTD basis, sales were 9 per cent higher than in 2022. In the UK, e-commerce continues to grow more than purchases in physical retail outlets as a key factor being higher fuel costs hindering commuting.
In August 2023, US monthly apparel store sales were estimated at $19.2 billion, 8 per cent more than in August 2022. On YTD basis, sales in 2023 are 5 per cent higher than in 2022. In the US, surprisingly defying global trends, sales of home furnishing are dropping steadily. August 2023’s home furnishing store sales were estimated at $4.6 billion which is 16 per cent lower than in August 2022. On YTD basis, sales are 3 per cent lower than in 2022.