Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

US 2016 apparel imports fall in spite of year-end spurt. Price falls accelerated

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%.

Average prices per square metre imported fell 7.7% year on year in December, though over the whole of 2016 they fell 4.3%. In 2015, they fell 3.2%

Over the year, imports from China fell 1.9% (though prices fell 8.7%), while imports from the rest of Asia fell 0.7%. From US neighbours they rose 0.2%, and from sub-Saharan Africa they rose 2.7%.

Among the top 15 supplying countries, imports fell especially quickly from Cambodia, Pakistan and Honduras. They rose from Vietnam, India, Nicaragua and Guatemala – though in most cases, local manufacturers still saw  falling incomes.

Of the fast-growing minor suppliers, imports from Burma grew 68%, from Ethiopia 89% and from Madagascar 94% – though none of these three had shares over 0.1% of US apparel imports. From Africa’s largest supplier, Kenya, they fell 8%.

Extraordinarily, average prices for apparel from China remain lower than from any other major exporter except for Cambodia, Pakistan and El Salvador.