US Apparel Imports in US$ and Square Meters - Annual and Quarterly Volume, Value and Unit Value per Origin - % Change and Share

US Apparel Imports in 1st Quarter 2016: Origins Statistical Report

US apparel imports have fallen in value terms in the first quarter 2016, for the first time since the third quarter of 2013, reflecting a serious drop in Chinese shipments and a slowing down growth for other origins. Our quarterly report details shipments to US market per origin, with volume and value changes, market shares, and unit value variations since 2010. Quarterly, year-to-date and annual data covering the 2010-2015 period are available for download.

US apparel imports have stagnated in volume terms in the first quarter 2016, even dropping 2.1% in value terms.

It is the first quarterly decline since the third quarter of 2012.

Retreating China

Chinese shipments have nearly lost 6% in value terms in the first quarter 2016 from their level a year earlier, being down 1.6% in volume terms.

Imports from other leading suppliers have increased by contrast, however at a lower pace than experienced in the preceding quarters.

For instance, Vietnamese shipments only gained 7.6%, their first single-digit growth since the third quarter of 2012.

Imports from Bangladesh have risen 8.4% in the January-March period, after surging 25% in the last quarter of 2015.

Shipments from Honduras and Cambodia have even declined 9.5% in volume terms from a year earlier.

Only Nicaragua has benefited from a stronger growth at 11.3% in first quarter.

Chasing lower prices

Unit price of US apparel imports have declined whatever the origin, except for a few sources where they have only increased 1%.

This is reflecting a shift of US buyers to cheaper products, rather than a fall of export prices in low-cost countries.

The largest decline of unit values has been experienced with China, down 4.4% in the first quarter, from a year earlier.

From the same quarter five years earlier, China's unit price has declined 12% whereas other major origins were experiencing a rise of 2% to 8%.

In the meantime, Chinese shipments have risen 22%, whereas imports from Vietnam were surging 63%, still in volume terms.

Imports from other countries have not as strongly increased as Chinese shipments, over the same 5-year period.

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