EU Imports per HS-4 Digit Categories - US Imports per Quota Category

Cambodia Apparel Exports in 1st Half 2015 Country Report

Cambodian apparel exporters are confronted with a new rise of minimum wages as of January 1st which could make it more difficult to compete with other low-cost countries. After declining for a long period of time, exports to the United States have however rebounded in the second quarter, whereas shipments to the European market continued surging. Our statistical tables provide a comprehensive view of EU and US import data per category of products. Percentage changes and indexes are provided for volume, value and unit prices.

Cambodia's apparel exporters could find it difficult to resist surging competition from other low-cost countries in the coming period.

After long negotiations between trade unions, employers and officials, the government has announced that the minium wage will be raised by 9.4% from January 1st at 140$ per month.

The same minimum wage has already surged 28% in the last year.

New labor law in sight

International buyers have also expressed worries over a draft law aimed at easing the creation of new trade unions in Cambodian apparel factories.

A minimum of 10 workers could be enough for funding a new trade union, vs 20% of total employees until now.

Cambodia's apparel industry has been confronted with strikes and demonstrations for a large number of years.

At the same time, Cambodia has been the first country in experimenting the "Better work" program of the ILO (International Labor Organisation), effective from 2001 and aimed at improving working conditions within apparel plants.

Demand falling from US...

For a very long period of time, Cambodia has also benefited from a surge in demand from large retailers and brands on the US market.

In the past years however, US demand has favored neighbouring Vietnam.

This is mostly due to larger availability of textile materials in Vietnam whereas social stability and improved infrastructure also played a role.

With the US on the verge of offering a duty-free access to Vietnamese apparel as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Cambodian exporters could experience a new decline of their shares on the US market.

...and surging from EU

Over the past years, the lack of demand from US buyers has been however offset by a surge in European orders.

Rules of origin have been relaxed for getting a duty-free access to the European market, therefore easing the use of foreign materials by Cambodian exporters.

Whereas US apparel imports from Cambodia have stagnated in the first half in volume terms, EU imports from the same origin have surged 11.8%.

After declining 6.5% over the first quarter from a year earlier, Cambodian shipments to the US market have surprisingly surged 8% in the second quarter, however.

Up 39% in euro terms

On the EU market, Cambodia has got the best result of all origins with a 12.1% increase in the second quarter in volume terms and a rise of 7.7% in US$ terms.

In euro terms, imports from Cambodia surged 39.1% in second quarter, due to the sharp fall of the euro from a year earlier.



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