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US textile and clothing imports slowed in first quarter, exports contract



US textile and clothing imports slowed in first quarter, exports contract

US textile/clothing imports slowed by 4.7% to $24.6 billion in the first quarter. Exports also slowed, contracting by 4.46% to $5.7 billion.


The figures published by the Department of Commerce come after a year in which US clothing imports plummeted by 22% to €77.8 billion. European products were the only ones to escape this fall, driven by luxury goods. 

In the first quarter of 2024, China was the United States’ leading supplier of textiles and clothing, with goods worth $5.5 billion, an increase of 3.6%. Vietnam stabilised at $3.7 billion (+1.8%), while India fell back to $2.3 billion (-4.37%). But the most notable fall was in Bangladesh, down 17.3% to 1.8 billion.

The European Union did not escape the slowdown, with exports down by 4.1% to 1.4 billion dollars, followed by Indonesia with 1.2 billion dollars (-13.3%), Cambodia with 1 billion dollars (+8.9%) and neighbouring Mexico, which suffered a significant 11.9% fall in goods shipped to the United States over the period, to 989 million dollars.

A slowdown in exports

In terms of textile/clothing exports, the United States’ biggest customer, Mexico, posted a 4.9% fall to 1.7 billion dollars over the January-March period. Next came Canada with 1.8 billion dollars (-5.40%), followed by the European Union with 643 million (-10.8%) and Honduras with 305 million (-11.6%).

China, on the other hand, recorded a significant increase of 14.5% over the period, with orders worth €185 million shipped to the Middle Kingdom. Next come the Dominican Republic with 154 million (-15.3%), Japan with 105 million (-5.3%) and the United Kingdom with 101 million (-22.9%).

In 2023, the United States imported $104.9 billion worth of textiles and clothing, a collapse of 21% after a particularly active 2022. Exports, meanwhile, stabilised at 23.6 billion dollars, not far off the 24.8 billion exported the previous year.

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