US Jeans Imports Suffer Steep Fall in First Half

Crushed under the weight of the pandemic’s economic devastation, U.S. denim apparel importers slashed orders to the point of bringing down the value of shipments entering the country 37.82 percent in the first half of the year to $1.08 billion compared to the first six months of 2019.

According to the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA), Cambodia, with a nearly 40 percent increase, and Vietnam, with a less that 1 percent rise in jeans imports, were the only Top 10 suppliers without significant declines in the period. With the coronavirus sweeping through the country starting in March, most stores were shut until May or June, and massive unemployment caused even online shoppers to curtail purchasing, leading brands and retailers to cut back on their production around the world.

Julia Hughes, president of the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), said denim imports have been hit hard, just like every other type of apparel, “by the collapse in trade and in retail in response to the global pandemic.”

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