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US apparel imports from China fall as Bangladesh, Vietnam gain ground


US apparel and footwear imports from China declined to 37.9 per cent in 2019. It was 50.7 per cent in 2010. Similarly, the EU’s imports from China declined to 36.1 per cent in 2019, from 47.6 per cent in 2010.

Bangladesh and Vietnam have benefited the most due to the shift in apparel and footwear exports from China. In 2019, both countries’ combined share of apparel and footwear exports to the US and the European Union (EU) equaled half of China's share. Vietnam is more focused on the US, while Bangladesh focuses more on the EU for a number of reasons. Vietnam produces more value added items, which are received at comparatively higher prices. In contrast, Bangladesh exports large quantities but gets low prices.

Bangladesh's apparel and footwear exports share to the US increased to 4.3 per cent in 2019, which was 3.5 per cent in 2010. The country's export share to the EU stood at 13.2 per cent in 2019, up from 6.6 per cent in 2010. Vietnam's export share to the US and the EU rose to 14.9 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively in 2019. Vietnam's shares to these two traditional markets were 6.6 per cent and 4 per cent respectively in 2010.