Clothesource Tradetrak measures the square metreage of apparel shipped into the EU (including the UK), US and Japan. In 2016, that volume fell 2.4% overall: the decline in EU imports was 4.7%, in US imports 1.1%, while Japanese imports increased very marginally at 0.04%.
Imports from China fell 3.7%, but grew 2.9% from the EU’s neighbours and 0.3% from America’s neighbours. From sub-Saharan Africa they fell 2.9%, while they also fell 4% from South Asia and 1.7% from South-East Asia.
The top 20 supplying countries provided 95% of all apparel imports. Burma (+20%) and Turkey (+16%) showed the strongest growth – though Burma’s string percentage growth merely brought its exports up to 5% of low-price dominator Bangladesh.
The biggest shock was probably the fall in India’s exports by 13.4%, as its much-touted “New Textile Strategy” and “Make in India” programmes failed to make any headway outside its own propaganda.