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 Fourth Quarter and Full 2011: Origins Statistical Report

US apparel imports dramatically fell in fourth quarter last year in volume terms while unit prices were still strongly increasing, as reflected by our series of statistical tables. Our quarterly report details shipments to US market per origin, with volume and value changes, market shares, unit value variation, over the four quarters of 2011 and the 2009-2011 period.

The new global apparel market is now more clearly emerging from just released US official import data.

For a large number of years, US apparel import prices continuously fell, thanks to a search for lower costs in emerging countries, through low material and labor costs but also due to productivity gains.

This world of permanent deflation now looks over, after prices dramatically rose in the last year.

Average unit price of US apparel imports was up 12.78% in 2011, after falling 2.53% in 2010.

A surge in cotton and polyester prices and a sharp increase in labor costs are behind the radically new situation.

Unit prices in US$ rose the most in China (+12%), Bangladesh (+19.7%), India (+15%) and Pakistan (+23.6%).

They remained below the double-digit increase in Vietnam (+8%), Mexico (+8%), Cambodia (+6.5%) or Sri Lanka (+ 9.75%).

As a result of the strong jump in prices, US imports remained relatively healthy in value terms, still rising 8.77% over the full year.

In volume terms, however, shipments were down 3.6%, with a constant deterioration from the first to the last quarter.

In fourth quarter last year, US apparel imports declined no less than 14% from the same period a year earlier, after dropping 5.1% in second quarter.

Chinese shipments even plunged by 13% in volume terms (-2.4% in US$ terms), while imports from Bangladesh were even losing 28.4%.

India and Pakistan also suffered a lot in fourth quarter with declines of respectively 25% and 27%, in volume terms.



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