Garment | News & Insights

USA’s apparel import from major suppliers, January-September 2023.

Published: November 21, 2023

The official import data by the United States’ Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) has been published for the period of January-September 2023 and we have compiled it. I am writing to share the information with few analyses on it. You can access the detailed information in the attachment.

As per the compiled data, USA’s apparel import from the world has declined by 22.81% in January-September 2023 to US$ 60.82 billion from US$ 78.79 billion in January-September 2022. If we look at the volume wise data (measured in Square Meter Equivalent – SME), the import has dropped by 25.16%, that is to 18.86 billion SME in January-September 2023, from 25.21 billion SME in January-September 2022.

During the mentioned period, USA’s apparel imports from Bangladesh declined significantly by 23.33%, to US$ 5.77 billion from US$ 7.53 billion year-over year. The import has declined by 29.37% in quantity, which means it has gone down from 2.49 billion SME in January-September 2022 to 1.76 billion SME in January-September 2023.

During January-September 2023, USA’s apparel imports from China declined by 28.13% in value terms to US$ 12.75 billion from US$ 17.74 billion in 2022. In terms of quantity, the decline is recorded 23.90 % to 6.77 billion SME from 8.90 billion. USA’s import from Vietnam, the 2nd largest source of apparel import, has also shown negative growth of 24.13% (to US$ 11.06 billion from US$ 14.58 billion) in value terms during Jan-September of 2023 compare to the same period of 2022. In volume wise, USA’s import from Vietnam has also declined by 26.51% to 2.94 billion SME from 4 billion.

That means the decline in quantity-wise import is higher for Bangladesh than China and Vietnam, which is alarming for us.

Particularly in the last 2 months, i.e. in August and September of 2023, USA’s import from Bangladesh declined significantly by 33.71% and 34.72% year-on-year. Quantity-wise the decline of import in August and September were recorded 29.66% and 31.67%.

The scenario of EU’s apparel import is no difference, EU’s import from Bangladesh has dropped by 21.29% in August and we are yet to receive the September data. I will share with you while published.

The most alarming fact is that USA’s the unit price per SME is nose diving in recent month. USA’s apparel import price from the world in August has declined by 8.03% from world, 16.43% from China and 5.76% from Bangladesh, year-over-year. The decline in September is recorded 21.66% from China and 4.45% from Bangladesh. This is unjustifiable in a context when all the costs are going higher and when we are going to face a wage hike as the new minimum wage will come in effect from December this year. On the backdrop of such competitive scenario, the implementation of new minimum wages will escalate our cost of manufacturing, and we are yet to see what toll it will take on our industry.

Needless to mention that we are passing through an unprecedented time healing the wound caused by COVID, the Russia-Ukraine war escalated the situation with soaring price of fuel and commodities worldwide. The spending power of the consumers is severely affected by the historic inflation in all our major markets; when the advanced economies are raising interest rate to curb inflation this is limiting consumers’ disposable income and spending power further. Now the Israel-Hamas war is aggravating the situation further.

Therefore, I would urge my fellow colleagues and entrepreneurs in this industry to remain more watchful on the global developments and engage with your buyers and suppliers with right strategy. I am also humbly requesting all brands and buyers sourcing from Bangladesh to consider the cost realities and be more empathetic in terms of ensuring responsible purchasing practices. Being a sustainable manufacturing hub, Bangladesh has the potential to contribute more to the global fashion industry.

US Apparel Import_Jan-Sep 2023

US Apparel Import_USD_Jan-Sep 2023 VS 2020

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