US apparel imports (in square metres) grew 3.4% in December 2016 over December 2015, though falls in the previous six months a 2016 annual fall of 1.1%.
US apparel imports in September, measured in square metres of apparel, grew 4.8%, bringing growth in the moving annual total (MAT) to September to 6.1%. As in most Septembers, China’s share was around 50%.
The heads of state of the five East African Community members agreed in late February to work out by their next meeting how to promote their textile industries and stop the imported used clothing industry.
With the US still not renewing AGOA, access to Western markets for Kenya’s emerging garment industry was threatened further by a deadline for ratifying its Economic Partnership deal with the EU by October 1. This is the day after Kenya loses its duty-free access to the US, unless the US Congress passes renewal legislation that has not yet even been tabled.
Rich country imports from Bangladesh continue slide in November as Vietnam looks 2014’s big success story
Rich country garment imports from Bangladesh fell year on year in November for the third time in four months, as Bangladesh’s sales to the EU continued to fall – though far less than its rate of sales decline to the US. Rich country apparel imports, measured in square metres of fabric, grew 3% on November 2013, bringing import growth for the 11 months to 6.7%
A Kenyan garment strike reported locally as being about low pay appears to have been halted on January 14 after workers complained to a Mombasa court on January 12 that their employer had unlawfully chosen to lock them out of work for being members of a union.
Police fired teargas at protesting Mombasa garment workers on January 8 after a January 6 sit-down protest escalated into a strike involving at least 7,000 workers at several companies in the Mombasa Export Processing Zone.
At a forum organised by Hamburg-based Cotton Made in Africa on December 17, Kenyan textile managers discussed with Germans the reasons why there is almost no integrated local garment and textiles industry.
Kenya’s textile and garment industry “will create employment for Kenyans with over 200,000 jobs in the next 24 months” said Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, on November 10.
America’s apparel imports in September – maybe distorted by worries about congestion and labour troubles in US ports – showed their fastest year on year growth for over a year, as China’s share jumped to 51% – its highest-ever monthly level. Bangladesh had the fastest decline on September 2012.
Three trade blocs covering East and Southern Africa agreed on October 25 to a common free trade area, probably called the Grand Free Trade Area, to be officially announced in mid-December. It will include 26 states in Eastern and Southern Africa
Kenya has lost its EU duty-free access, after the EU rejected a last-minute proposal from it and its neighbours for Kenya’s access to continue.
The local story says “The Export-Import Bank of India is to provide [Sh 7.9 bn, or $89 mn] funding for the planned expansion” of the Moi Textile Company. Which is almost exactly the same story the same paper ran a year ago – only then India was going to lend Sh 9 bn ($101 mn).
Subsidy costing $0.09 per kilowatt hour “is the same strategy that has worked for Uganda and Ethiopia,” says Minster for Industrialisation, who’s clearlynot looked at his neighbours’ garment export success lately. The announcement came as the country revealed ambitious three-year targets for apparel exports, almost entirely to the US.