Export Data per destination and product category - US and EU Import statistics per product category

Vietnam Apparel Exports in 1st Half 2016 Quarterly Report

Apparel exports from Vietnam could now stagnate, after surging for years. A slowing down US market and higher labor costs are now threatening the long-term growth of Vietnam's apparel industry. The free trade agreement TPP could however boost sales, if passed by US Congress after presidential elections. Our report includes Vietnam's latest clothing export data per month and destination and provides comprehensive data for US imports per quota category and EU imports per HS 4-digit categories over the 2011-2016 period. Quarterly unit prices and trends are calculated over the last five years.

Vietnam's apparel exports have continued slowing down in the second quarter of the year, confronted with higher labor costs and a lower growth of the U.S. import market.

Total textile and clothing exports have only risen 5.6% in April in US$ terms, from a year earlier, before increasing by 3.6% in May and 4.7% in June.

Over the first half, exports only gained 4.7%, compared with a rise of 8.3% in the same period last year.

Very dependent on US market

Being excessively dependent on the US market, Vietnamese exporters have suffered from the stagnation in its apparel imports.

Exports to the United States have only risen 4.6% in the first half, from a jump of 12.9% in the same period of 2015.

Shipments to the UK have increased by a ridiculous 2% compared with the 18.9% surge of first half 2015.

Exports to Germany have rebounded by contrast whereas shipments to South Korea have climbed 14.2%.

Korea is now the third largest market of Vietnamese apparel exporters (with 8% of total sales) after the United States (50% of total sales) and Japan (11.8%).

Still strong on US market

After enjoying a double-digit growth in the past year, US apparel imports from Vietnam have risen 7.6% in first quarter, and only 2.3% in second quarter.

This is however still the best performance amid supplying countries of the US apparel market.

Vietnam's share of the import market has further risen in both volume (12.7% in second quarter) and value terms (13.55%), although still far below China's share (37.7% and 31.4%, respectively).

The low-cost country is clearly confronted with an excessive rise of its labour costs, after minimum wages have been repeatedly raised in the past years.

A new increase of 7.3% far above inflation rate has been now planned for next year which could negatively affect exports.

Shifting to Europe

Vietnamese exporters have partly shifted to the European market, which is now rebounding by contrast with the US market.

EU's clothing imports from Vietnam have therefore surged 16.3% over the first half in volume terms, or the largest growth rate of leading origins.

The share of Vietnam remains however negligible at 2.7% with the country only ranking seventh among EU's apparel suppliers.

On the US market, sales of man-made fiber apparel have been very strong from Vietnam in the first half, meaning that domestic exporters have a very strong position.

Exporters are also expecting the Trade Pacific Partnership will boost demand from the United States after import tariffs will have been erased.

The TPP has not yet been passed by the US Congress however, with only a very small political window remaining after the presidential elections and before a new Congress will be sworn in, which will inevitably oppose any new free trade agreement.



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US Apparel Imports per Category (csv file)



























EU Clothing Imports: Vietnam v. China per Category (.csv file)




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