US slashes garment imports by almost one-fourth

US retailers and brands this year have slashed import of readymade garments from various countries by almost one-fourth. As a result, readymade garment exports to this market from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia have dropped. Among these five countries, garment export from China, Vietnam and Indonesia has decreased the most.

This information appeared in the latest figures of the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA). It said that in the first four months (January-April) of the current year, the US has imported apparel worth USD 25.21 billion (USD 2521 crore) from various countries. This is around 22.15 per cent less than imported during the corresponding period last year. At that time the US retailers and brands imported apparel to the tune of USD 32.39 billion (USD 3239 crore).

According to the OTEXA data, in the first four months of this year, China exported garments of USD 4.52 billion (USD 452 crore) to the US market. In the corresponding period last year, the export from China was USD 6.69 billion (USD 669 crore). That means, in January to April this year, readymade garment export from China to the US dropped by 32.45 per cent. At the same time, readymade garment export from Vietnam to the US fell by 27.33 per cent. In the current year’s first four months it exported garments if USD 4.37 billion (USD 437 crore) to the US. This had been USD 6.01 billion (USD 601 crore) in the same span of time last year.

The US is the biggest market for Bangladesh’s apparel. Bangladesh’s entrepreneurs exported USD 9.72 billion in garments to the US last year. In the first four months of the current year, it has exported USD 2.70 billion (270 crore) worth of garments to the US. This is 17.88 per cent lower than exports in the corresponding period last year. In January to April last year it exported garments of USD 3.28 billion (USD 328 billion).

Meanwhile, in the first four months of this year, India exported garments of USD 1.75 billion (USD 175 crore) to the US. Its exports fell by 16.59 per cent. Indonesia’s apparel export to the US has fallen by 25.57 per cent. It has exported USD 1.51 billion (USD 151 crore) in garments to the US in the first four months of this year.

After the onset of the Russia-Ukraine was last year, inflation shot up in the US. In June last year, the country’s inflation stood at 9.1 per cent, the highest in 40 years. As a result, consumers cut down on buying commodities other than essentials and fuel.

Inflation has now decreased in the US. In April it went down to 4.9 per cent. As a result, Bangladesh apparel businessmen assume, this will send up garment orders from the coming summer season.

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