13 January 2010
US apparel imports from China surged in 2009 in just liberalized categories while also gaining market shares in most other categories. There were however exceptions, especially in cotton categories, as reflected by our statistical tables built from official data.
China lost market shares in volume terms in 2009, in several cotton categories while increasing its domination in man-made fiber categories.
Imports from China evidently surged in categories where US limits have been removed, effective from January 1st, 2009.
In 347 and 348 (cotton trousers), Chinese shipments nearly doubled in volume terms.
In 338 and 339 (men's/boys' and women's/girls' cotton knit shirts), they respectively rose 69% and 82%.
In cotton categories where quotas had been lifted in 2002 and 2005, by contrast, US imports from China were far from systematically gaining ground, especially if compared with the rest of world (RoW).
In 342 (cotton skirts), Chinese shipments were down 15% while imports from other sources were rising 17%.
In 350 (cotton dressing gowns), imports from China fell 14% while only losing 6% from RoW.
China however got strong results with its cotton sweaters (+51%), compared with a decline of 68% for other countries.
Imports of man-made fiber sweaters from China similarly surged in 2009 while sharply dropping from other origins.
China got better results in man-made fiber categories, reflecting its stronger advantage due to a lack of available raw materials in South Asia.
Over the last two years, China lost market shares in a series of cotton categories, in volume terms.
In 336 (cotton dresses) for instance, China's share fell from 53% to 48%, while also dropping in 342 (cotton skirts).
This remains an exception, nevertheless, with China further raising its market shares in most categories.
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