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

Cambodia Clothing Exports Taking Market Shares Country Report

Cambodia is becoming more and more the country of choice for low-cost apparel assembly work, undercutting not only China but also Indonesia, Vietnam and others. This trend has been accentuated with the global slowdown of apparel exports, yet it shows some signs of deceleration. Our statistical tables provide a comprehensive view of latest export trends with detailed EU and US import data per category of products and per source of origin. Our statistical tables provide a comprehensive view of latest export trends with detailed EU and US import data per category of products.

Cambodia’s apparel and textile exports have further increased to US$453 million for the month of July 2012, this is its highest value ever .

Gains in US Market Share

US apparel imports from Cambodia grew in US$ terms to 1.45 billion $ or a gain of 2.84% for the first seven months of 2012, compared to the same period a year before. Apparel imports from Cambodia fell also less in volume terms than total shipments with only 0.9% decline compared to a loss of 2.9% for the world.

The fastest growing segments was Man-Made-Fibers (MMF) with 27.82% increase in value terms over the January-July period from a year before. In MMF world imports to the US, 1 out of 6 MMF nightwear pyjamas is made in Cambodia.

The is one of the fastest growing categories with a 16.2% yearly growth rate.

Further market share gains in the EU

Cambodia along with Bangladesh has benefited from the rising production costs in China and the shift of lower value added manufacturing to other Asian countries.

Although its market share of exports to the EU is still low, it has been making gains. In the first quarter of 2012, its value share gained 1.59%. The unit value has climbed 2.75% but Cambodia still remains competitive.

Cambodia actually benefited from the change in EU's rules of origin, effective from January 1st, 2011.

Cambodian clothing was already granted duty-free access for many years, but new rules of origin allowed importing textile materials and still retain tax-free entry.

Cambodia's garment industry

Cambodia’s emerging garment industry is the country's biggest employer (with more than 300,000 people) and key export earner.

Three out of four dollars that come into Cambodia are originated from garment factories. The impoverished country has become attractive for suppliers and investors for its low wages.

Labor unrest

The minimum wage guarantee has attracted investment and has been a boosted Cambodia's rising success in the garment industry.

It currently stands at $61 per month, though standard allowances raise that to more than $70 for all employees. Workers are leaving the sector complaining that wages are not enough to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

Cambodia has been enormously attractive to buyers from big-name companies as it has pushed its image as an ethically sound production base. However many factories have again been plagued by labor unrest.

Recently garment factories have been hit by strikes and protests about working conditions and pay.

Ethical worries

Cambodia’s apparel industry face a difficult balancing act. Buyers want a factories to have fair working conditions but they still put pressure on the exporters to keep their prices low.

Cambodia’s apparel factories know that they also face competition from other countries offering cheaper options.

Ideally for Cambodia, big name buyers will work with Cambodian apparel factories to reach an agreement and accept that the price they pay may have to rise as wages climb.

This also depends on whether consumers around the world would be willing to pay more for their clothes.



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