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:
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.