Top 20 clothing exporters remain unchanged as world clothing trade falls

The volume of the $255 bn worth of clothing (measured in numbers of garments) imported in 2017 into the key developed countries (Japan, the US and EU – JUSEU) fell 3.1%, according to the 2017 edition of Clothesource Tradetrak.

Though the price received for them by exporters grew 1.3%: essentially the result of a sharp (-4.1% ) fall in the EU, though all three territories saw volume fall faster than price.

But the share held by each of the top 20 clothing exporters remained practically unchanged:

 

Share 2017 2016
China 34.1% 34.0%
Bangladesh 10.5% 10.7%
Vietnam 6.7% 6.1%
Turkey 4.0% 4.3%
India 3.8% 3.8%
Germany 3.4% 3.2%
Cambodia 2.8% 2.7%
Indonesia 2.8% 2.9%
Pakistan 2.3% 2.3%
Honduras 2.1% 2.0%
Sri Lanka 1.9% 1.9%
Italy 1.6% 1.5%
El Salvador 1.4% 1.4%
Spain 1.3% 1.3%
Nicaragua 1.2% 1.1%
Mexico 1.2% 1.3%
Thailand 1.1% 1.1%
France 1.0% 1.1%
Poland 1.0% 0.9%
Haiti 0.7% 0.8%
Guatemala 0.7% 0.7%
Morocco 0.7% 0.7%

Three emerging countries showed noticeable growth:

  • Burma  grew 39% to make it into the top 30
  • Ethiopia finally showed some growth, moving from 0.06% of the world market to 0.8%. But at just $39 million worth of clothing, it is at least a billion dollars a year short of the forecasts its government was making at the beginning of the  decade.
  • Rwanda’s tiny exports grew ninefold to $1.3 million – essentially trousers, tracksuits and jeans. This may be the first shoot of a new initiative – first promised by a Chinese entrepreneuse four years ago. But the likelihood of the 30,000 jobs  promised by 2019 seems zero.