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Trends in US textile and clothing imports, March-April 2007
published in Issue 128, March-April 2007
US imports of textiles and clothing grew by only 2.3% in 2006—to 52.2 bn sme (square metres equivalent)—following an increase of 8.3% in 2005 and double-digit growth in six of the seven years between 1997 and 2004. Within the 2006 total, imports of made-up textiles rose by 9.1% and their share of all imports increased for the ninth consecutive year, from 16.8% in 1997 to 32.8% in 2006. Apparel, however, continued to hold the highest share, at 43.2%, reflecting strong US demand for cheap clothing. Fabric imports, meanwhile, fell by 6.8%. Cotton dominates US imports of MFA (Multi-Fibre Arrangement) clothing, with a share of 60%. However, its share of imports of all MFA products stood at 42.9% in 2006, behind that of man-made fibres at 54.5%. That said, cotton’s share rose by 1.5 percentage points in 2006 while that of man-made fibres fell by 1.3.
China strengthened its lead as the USA’s biggest supplier, in value and in volume, but growth slowed markedly in 2006. In volume terms, imports from China rose by only 11.0%. This was the first year that growth fell below 40% since China joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in late 2001. Indeed, in 2002 US imports from China rose by 124.5%, in 2003 by 67.0%, in 2004 by 40.7%, and in 2005 by 43.7%. US imports from Mexico, the second biggest supplier, fell in value and in volume in 2006. The drop in value was the fifth in succession, while in volume terms imports fell for the second year in a row—as prices continued to decline. Imports from Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) countries also fell in value and in volume. Among Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, imports from Indonesia grew by 27% in value terms—the fastest rate in the top ten. Meanwhile, in volume terms, imports from Indonesia rose by 18%—slightly slower than the 21% rise recorded in imports from Vietnam. Imports from the Asian “big three”—Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan—rose by 2.4% in volume and, in so doing, maintained their 7.5% share of the market. In terms of value, however, imports fell by as much as 15%, indicating large price drops. That said, overall US import prices rose in 2006, led by increases in China, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
Table of Contents
Trends in US Textile and Clothing Imports
Summary Introduction US Imports of Textiles and Clothing by Main Category: Yarns, Fabrics, Apparel and Made-Up Textiles US Imports of Textiles and Clothing by Fibre Type Major Suppliers of US Textile and Clothing Imports US Textile and Clothing Import Prices Outlook for US Textile and Clothing Imports Men's and Boys' Cotton Coats Women's and Girls' Cotton Coats Women's and Girls' Wool Coats Cotton Dresses Men's and Boys' Cotton Knitted Shirts Women's and Girls' Cotton Knitted Shirts Men's and Boys' Cotton Non-Knitted (Woven) Shirts Women's and Girls' Cotton Non-Knitted (Woven) Shirts Cotton Skirts Man-Made Fibre Skirts Men's and Boys' Cotton Trousers Women's and Girls' Cotton Trousers Cotton and Man-Made Fibre Baby Garments Cotton Pile Towels Other Cotton Apparel
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