The Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) has released the latest data on United States' apparel imports for the period of January to July 2023. This report delves into the year-on-year progress of the USA's overall apparel imports from around the globe and highlights trends in imports from top sourcing countries.
Global Apparel Imports Dip
According to the published data, the USA's apparel imports from the world experienced a significant decline, plummeting by 22.28% to US$ 45.74 billion in the first seven months of 2023, compared to US$ 58.86 billion during the same period in 2022.
Measured in Square Meter Equivalent (SME), the volume of imports also saw a substantial decrease, falling by 27.99% to 14.03 billion SME.
Top Sourcing Countries' Impact
The report reveals that all major apparel suppliers to the USA witnessed a substantial decline in both value and volume during this period. Notably, imports from Bangladesh dropped by 19.82% in dollar value to US$ 4.56 billion and 29.03% in SME to 1.39 billion.
However, Bangladesh's share in USA's global apparel imports slightly increased to about 10%. In July 2023, USA's imports from Bangladesh experienced a positive trend, growing by 7.80% year-over-year, while imports from other major suppliers declined.
China and Vietnam Face Declines
The USA's imports from China, its largest source of apparel imports, declined by 28.75% in dollar terms and 28.57% in SME. Import share from China also decreased during this period. Vietnam, the second-largest source, witnessed negative growth of 24.76% in dollar values and 29.31% in quantity-wise imports.
Impact on Other Top Sourcing Countries
Other top sourcing countries, including Indonesia, India, Mexico, Cambodia, and Pakistan, also experienced value-wise negative growth ranging from 8.69% to 30.61%.
Unit Price Increase
Despite the overall decline in imports, the unit price per SME increased by 7.94% for USA's aggregate imports from the world in January to July 2023, with Bangladesh contributing a substantial 12.99% increase.
Challenges and Opportunities
Despite the positive growth in certain segments, the business outlook remains uncertain due to rising costs and inflation.
Advanced economies' measures to curb inflation are limiting consumer spending power, potentially causing further dips in imports. However, there are opportunities for growth in the USA market, particularly in diversified and higher-value-added items. Recent investments and a focus on innovation can position companies to excel in various product categories and maintain a strong presence in the challenging market landscape.