US textile and apparel imports continued to climb in July as retailers brought moremerchandise into the country for the back-to-school season, with double-digit gains seen by bothBangladeshandVietnam.
According to official figures from the Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), total textile and apparel imports climbed 4.8% compared with a year earlier to 5.3bn square metre equivalents (SME).
Leading the way,Chinaremained the largest textile and apparel supplier to theUSin July, with shipments up 5.92% to 2.66bn SME.India, in second place, saw gains of 5.4% to 300m SME.
However, by far the biggest winners in the month were Vietnam, in third place, with a rise of 14.9% to 319m SME, and sixth-place Bangladesh, whose US imports jumped 16.6% to 187m SME.
But these gains contrasted with a 6.6% drop in textile and apparel shipments fromPakistanat 216m SME, and a decline of 15.4% to 111m SME fromSouth Korea.
Regional imports were led bySouth Asia(up 4.6% to 739m SME), and ASEAN (up 9.2% to 692m SME).
In terms of apparel, growth accelerated to 6.5% in July compared with the same month last year, with world imports into theUScoming in at 2.45bn SME thanks to gains at eight of the top-ten supplier countries. This also represents a massive rise of 23.1% over the 1.99bn SME imported in June.
There was some consolation forChina, the largest apparel supplier to theUS, whose shipments rose 5.2% on the year before to 1.09bn SME - after slipping 0.36% year-on-year in June to 841m SME.
Second-largest supplierVietnamsaw growth of 12.5% to 232m SME, whileBangladesh, in third position, saw gains of 17.3% to 168m SME. Fourth placedIndonesiarose 3.7% to 124m SME.
The data continues to suggest there has so far beenno negative impact on orders from Bangladeshfollowing theRanaPlazabuilding collapse and wider factory safety issues.
Double-digit apparel import hikes were also seen during the month byIndia(up 19.4% to 78m SME) andEl Salvador(up 14.7% to 79m SME), whileCambodia's shipments climbed 1.9% to 88m SME.
During the month,USapparel imports fell fromHonduras(-9.1% to 99m SME) andPakistan(-3.0% to 55m SME).
Regional apparel imports were led by ASEAN, which rose 8.3% to 526m SME, andSouth Asia, up 13.8% to 335m SME.
As far asUStextile imports are concerned, July saw a total rise of 3.4% from the year before to 2.84bn SME, with a slightly higher 4.0% gain over June's figures.
Regional declines fromSouth Asia(-2.0% to 404m SME) and the OECD region (-6.3% to 359m SME) were offset by gains of 12.1% to 166m SME from ASEAN countries.
Of the top textile suppliers,China's shipments rose 6.5% to 1.56bn SME, with those fromIndiaedging up 1.2% to 222m SME andMexicoincreasing 5.3% to 137m SME. The biggest volume rise during July was booked byVietnam, which surged 21.8% to 87m SME.
But falls in imports were seen byPakistan(-7.7% to 161m SME andSouth Korea(-17.2% to 102m SME).
While monthly trade data is often volatile, with big swings from month to month, a broader year-to-date view shows totalUSapparel and textile imports are 3.7% higher in the seven months to July.
Compared with the same period last year, they stand at 32.15bn SME, up from 31.13bn SME.Within this, textile imports climbed 1.3% to 18.1bn SME and apparel imports were up 5.9% to 14.1bn SME.
In order, the top five apparel supply countries to the US in the year so far are China (up 6.0% to 5.48bn SME), Vietnam (up 13.0% to 1.4bn SME), Bangladesh (up 10.8% to 1.0bn SME), Indonesia (up 4.6% to 807m SME), and Honduras (-1.9% to 622m SME).
Also making significant headway isCambodia, which comes in sixth with a rise of 6.30% to 608m SME.