US apparel imports rose month-on-month in July as retailers continued to reopen stores and resume business following closures imposed to try to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Yet year-on-year the data paints a very different picture, with shipment volumes overall down by more than one-fifth – including a 35% drop for largest supplier China – while Bangladesh and Vietnam stand their ground.
The latest figures from the Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) show the volume of US apparel imports from all sources jumped 46.6% month-on-month in July to 2.2bn square meter equivalents (SME). This compares to 1.5bn SME the month before and comes amid a year-on-year decline in both volume and value of shipments.
The figures for July show a 22% drop in volume against the same month last year and a 32% drop in value to $6bn. In terms of individual supplier countries, eight of the top-ten saw their exports to the US fall on a year-on-year basis, with the largest decline coming from El Salvador at 38.9% to 48m SME.