The industry had hoped for a better year after the catastrophe of 2020, but the COVID-19 uncertainty is still a prevailing challenge and manufacturing destinations are finding it extremely challenging to get the business back on track. Latest data released by OTEXA, which maps US imports in apparel, shows that the US registered a significant decline in the import of apparels in April’ 21 over March ’21 and, as a result, all major apparel manufacturing countries tumbled in their respective shipments.
This is bad news for the exporters shipping apparel goods to the US, which undisputedly remains the largest importer of clothing in the world. Significantly, the decline in apparel imports is both in volumes and values; however, exception is that the country saw increased activity as compared to April ’20 – which was predominantly a month when COVID-19 paused trade activities worldwide.
It is critical to mention that cumulatively, the apparel import done by USA remained positive by 8.53 per cent at US $ 23.07 billion during Jan.-Apr. ’21 period. Volumes too upped by 21.47 per cent to 8,762.49 million SME.
Key findings of April ’21 apparel import data by the US:
Volume and Value of imports decrease from last month
USA imported 2,066.06 million SME of garments in Apr. ’21, noting 17.27 per cent drop from Mar. ’21. Value-wise, the country declined 12.69 per cent on M-o-M basis in April ’21 importing US $ 5.62 billion worth of garments. This is basically reflection of the challenges prevailing in manufacturing destinations to ship out goods.
Situation much better than April 20
As far as yearly percentage change is concerned, USA increased in its values-wise and volume-wise import by 66.20 per cent and 70.60 per cent, respectively in April ’21, as compared to April ’20. This clearly indicated that the situation is far better than what it was last year and chances of revival are much higher in the coming months.
India sees lowest impact in the region
While the decline in volumes and values for other regional competitors was in double digits, with only Indonesia seeing growth, India was able to remain pretty stable with a decline of -2.92 per cent in quantities in April 21 as against March 21, while loss in values was -3.23 per cent during the same period. On a same month basis, April ’21 saw an increase of 77.20 per cent from April ’20 in volumes and 68 per cent in values.
Bangladesh faces a significant fall
The country holds third position in apparel imports to the US and in April ‘21 imports from Bangladesh dropped -12.06 per cent in volumes from the last month though the country was much better placed then in the same month last year with 31.50 per cent increase in apparel exports to the US. Value of imports from Bangladesh declined -11.46 per cent in April ’21 as against March ’21. However, there was an increase of 17.70 percent in values as against the same month last year (April ’20).