Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Chinese apparel export decline continues into April

The US dollar value of China’s apparel exports reportedly fell 10.6% in April over April 2014. This is the first substantial year on rear decline for several years in a single month’s Chinese apparel exports, outside the January-March period when changing holiday dates makes annual comparisons misleading.

At first sight, this appears to indicate rich-country apparel imports may finally be moving away from China: few other countries have yet reported April export data, but Bangladesh’s slight (-0.55%) annual decline in April suggests the global market might not be falling as fast as China’s exports.

China’s productivity improvements have helped its garment exporters overcome its rapid wage growth since about 2010. This miracle can hardly be expected to continue indefinitely, and it would not be surprising if April’s reported exports marked the point at which the miracle ran out of steam.

There may be other explanations, however – and no further details are yet available