Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Chinese apparel exports hit hard as Eurozone and Japanese apparel imports tumble

The US dollar value of Chinese apparel exports continued to fall in June. But, with exports to the UK and US remaining healthy, the fall seems mostly the result of the collapsing euro and yen.

Chinese apparel exports, measured in US dollars, were 6%  lower in January-June 2015 than a year earlier, though the pace of decline slowed in June, when exports were just 4.1% below June 2014. The decline began in March

China apparel exports H1 15Exports to Hong Kong (-28% in the first half), Japan (-13%) and Germany (-13%) were especially hard hit, while exports to the US grew 6% and to the UK grew 12%.

By June 2015, the Japanese yen and euro were both 17% down against the US dollar, and the euro had been even weaker earlier in 2015: the British pound had fallen just 8%.

Rich country appaerl imports May 15The volume (measured in sq m of fabric) of Japan’s  apparel imports has been lower than the previous year since early 2014, though most EU countries saw apparel imports overall begin to fall only in April this year.  EU apparel imports for the first five months were 0.5% up on 2014, while Japanese imports were down 7.8%.

With US imports up 5.2% in the five months, total rich-country imports were up just 1.7%. China, overall, saw the fastest fall in market share of any major exporter, while Bangladesh and Vietnam saw the fastest share growth.

Five months to May market shareOther major exporters seeing a growing share over the five months were India, Cambodia,Honduras, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Turkey, Indonesia, El Salvador, Morocco, Egypt and Nicaragua saw continuing share loss.

Imports from Africa fell 6.7% (with imports from Ethiopia down 30%), while imports from Europe’s immediate neighbours fell 6.7%. Imports from the Central American neighbours of the US grew simply as fast as imports overall.

There is so far no evidence of a downturn in apparel retail sales in the Eurozone, though most countries have yet to release data for sales later than March.