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Innerwear sourcing from China still high

China continues to be a major supplier of innerwear like cotton and manmade fiber underwear as well as bras. This is attributable to the combination of specialty manufacturing and materials needed to produce these items compared to more basic apparel. Underwear imports from China increased 16.47 per cent for the year to date through May compared to the same period in 2018. This gave China a market share of 23.01 per cent, a 6.53 per cent gain for the 12 months through May.

On the other hand, in cotton and synthetic styles, like pajamas and robes, imports from China have fallen off and sourcing has diversified. The category has similar production machinery and fabrics, which lends itself to a broader array of suppliers. China has lost much market share in tops and bottoms this year to other Asian countries and the western hemisphere.

While much of apparel sourcing has been put into turmoil during the US-China trade war, sourcing in the innerwear sector has generally held true to form so far this year. The nightwear category was friendly to leading suppliers Vietnam, India and Indonesia, each posting double-digit percentage increases so far this year. Imports from China in the category fell 3.54 per cent. China still holds a dominant 54.83 per cent market share in the category.