The August 2023 ‘Apparel Trade Scenario in Key Global Markets and India’ report by Wazir Advisors, spanning June and July 2023 shows no significant change in trade scenario. Comparing the report issued at the end of July 2023 to the soon-to-be-published one, there are no newsworthy changes but more affirmation that RMG imports are currently low in Western markets and in stagnation in Japan this month, having experienced a rise last month. Indian exports continue to lose ground, making exporters around the country nervous about 2024.
Indian exporters continue losing orders
In July 2023, India’s RMG exports were estimated at $1.1 billion, 21 per cent lower than in July 2022 exports. On a year-to-date basis that reads 15 per cent lower than exports achieved in 2022. However, in some relief, from January to July, India’s RMG exports have not lost further ground after losing 6 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021. On the other side, India had gained 5 per cent extra share in 2022 in the US market compared to 2021 but lost 2 per cent this year between January and June 2023.
A new angle is developing in India’s RMG export basket – India is steadily growing a diversified market as its ‘other’ markets are steadily growing, with the ‘others’ standing at 42 per cent between January and June 2023 compared to 37 per cent in 2021.
Japan’s RMG import stagnate in June
The latest Wazir report also indicates import stagnation instead of growth setting in Japan. The country imported RMG worth $1.6 billion in June this year, which is exactly the same amount it imported in last June, indicating no change year-to-date. Between January and June this year, China lost 4 per cent of Japanese market share, with Bangladesh gaining 1 per cent and other sourcing destinations gaining 3 per cent. Vietnam and Cambodia experienced no growth in their respective market shares.
EU arrests its downward slide by 12 per cent in June
The EU’s apparel imports in May 2023 decreased 22 per cent compared to May 2022 but come June, the decrease gap was 12 per cent less at 10 per cent, compared to June 2022. The value of RMG imports within the EU in June 2023 was $7 billion and on a year-to-date basis overall RMG imports are down by 4 per cent.
UK sees positive growth all around in June
In June 2023, the UK imported RMG worth $1.9 billion, which was 5 per cent higher than in June 2022. Moreover, in July 2023, UK’s monthly apparel store sales were £3.7 billion, 3 per cent higher than July 2022 and its Q2 2023 online sale of RMG registered a 10 per cent increase compared to Q2 of 2022.
US retail growth remains positive as imports drop
In July 2023, US monthly apparel store sales were estimated at $18.2 billion, 5 per cent more than in July 2022. On year-to-date, RMG sales in 2023 are 5 per cent higher than in 2022. In Q2 2023, online sales of RMG and accessories registered negligible 1 per cent growth over Q2 2022. In home furnishing category though it is negative growth – store sales were down in July 2023 by 10 per cent compared to July 2022. This July, total sales value was at $ 4.7 billion.
However, the story is different in RMG import front – the US imported $6.6 billion worth RMG in June 2023, 23 per cent lower than June 2022. On a year-to-date basis, the figure is 22 per cent lower than in 2022. Thanks to the Xinjiang issue, China lost a 5 per cent market share since 2021.