News and Features

Year 2021 Witnesses USA Apparel Imports Surge to 27.36 per cent

23 April 2022

Apparel Resources

Year 2020 was a shaky one for the US apparel market, affected adversely by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. But 2021 saw US apparel import values surging tremendously as compared to 2020.

Noting 27.36 per cent Y-o-Y surge, USA imported US $ 81.59 billion worth of apparels during 2021, while the import values in 2020 were just US $ 64.06 billion – as per OTEXA. After falling in initial two months – January and February – on Y-o-Y basis, USA continuously surged in its apparel exports and it saw September ’21 as the best month when imports surged to US $ 8.15 billion (See Table 1), noting 22.60 per cent per cent Y-o-Y growth.

In volume terms, the apparel imports grew 27.42 per cent to 29,471.79 million SME in 2021 as against 23,128.83 million SME in 2020.

The growth in the US apparel imports can be attributed to normalcy that the consumer market witnessed in 2021, especially in the latter half, as consumers didn’t refrain from spending money on clothing products during holiday season after almost two years of market drought due to pandemic.

The import data is well justified with the official apparel retail sales in USA that reached US $ 198 billion during 2021, as per the latest US Census Bureau. The data reflects 47 per cent Y-o-Y growth in 2021 over 2020 and 1.50 per cent growth over 2019.

Extended holidays and strained supply chains push consumers to go for early shopping…

October to December quarter has always been a decent one as it’s the time when US buyers fill the factories with orders for festive seasons. In 2021 also, the factories across manufacturing destinations received significant amount of orders from the US market – better than Q4 ’20 and even Q4 ’19 (See Table 2).

The US consumers held back their spending on festivals for almost 2 years, mainly due to social distancing and pandemic regulations, but the holiday season last year came up with a major difference. Christmas landed on a Saturday and that didn’t happen in over a decade, which resulted in extended holidays for the US shoppers. The shift of Christmas to a Saturday also prompted earlier than normal holiday shopping and typically a greater surge of day after Christmas sales on Sunday.

Secondly, the rising demand further strained supply chains, leaving both retailers and customers concerned they might not secure the products they want, hence early imports were done. Many large retailers, braced for port congestion and shortages of truck drivers and warehouse space, imported merchandise way ahead of time in 2021, as per an Accenture report.

These factors contributed to surging apparel imports.

Month-wise apparel imports of USA (in 2019, 2020 and 2021)

Month Value (US billion $) Month Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Month Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
Jan-19 7.57 Jan-20 6.75 -10.83 Jan-21 5.52 -27.08
Feb-19 6.65 Feb-20 5.91 -11.13 Feb-21 5.39 -18.95
Mar-19 6.07 Mar-20 5.18 -14.66 Mar-21 6.49 6.92
Apr-19 6.16 Apr-20 3.41 -44.64 Apr-21 5.67 -7.95
May-19 6.66 May-20 2.65 -60.21 May-21 6.14 -7.81
Jun-19 6.93 Jun-20 3.97 -42..71 Jun-20 6.16 -11.11
Jul-19 8.83 Jul-21 6 -32.05 Jul-21 7 -20.72
Aug-19 8.43 Aug-20 6.56 -22.18 Aug-21 8.07 -4.27
Sep-19 7.77 Sep-20 6.64 -14.54 Sep-21 8.15 4.89
Oct-19 6.91 Oct-20 6.92 0.14 Oct-21 8.33 20.55
Nov-19 5.55 Nov-20 5.28 -4.86 Nov-21 7.38 32.97
Dec-19 5.75 Dec-20 4.83 -16.00 Dec-2 7.30 26.96
Total 83.28 Total 64.1 -23.03 Total 81.60 -2.02

Table 1

(Data is Compiled by – Apparel Resources)

Quarter-wise apparel imports of USA (in 2019, 2020 and 2021)

Quarter Value (US billion $) Quarter Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Quarter Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
Q1 '19 20.29 Q1 '20 17.84 -12.07 Q1 '21 17.4 -14.24
Q2 '19 19.75 Q2 '20 10.03 -49.22 Q2 '21 17.97 -9.01
Q3 '19 25.03 Q3 '20 19.2 -23.29 Q3 '21 23.22 -7.23
Q4 '19 18.21 Q4 '20 17.03 -6.48 Q4 '21 23 -26.30

Table 2
(Data Compiled by – Apparel Resources)

Despite growth, the dominance of top 5 Asian destinations reduced in the US market in 2021 over 2019…
 

  • No major disruptions took place in terms of rankings of USA trade partners in the tally by the end of 2021, except one – India remained ahead of Indonesia for the first time in over a decade period. This was predicted long back by the data analysis team of Apparel Resources – the organiser of ASW.
     
  • In top 5 tally, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam crossed pre-pandemic export values to USA. China and Indonesia remained sluggish in 2021 over 2019, though there was Y-o-Y growth as compared to 2020. (Refer Table 3)
     
  • Vietnam’s gain is remarkable as the country went into full-fledged lockdown during August-September period yet it managed to ship significant amount of apparels to USA by taking well-measured precautions and kept its factories alive.  
     
  • China felt the heat for sure and, in 2021, it ended up losing around US $ 7.77 billion in its export values to USA as compared to 2018 figures and around US $ 5.28 billion as compared to 2019 figures.
     
  • These top 5 destinations contributed around 63.40 per cent in overall US apparel import values in 2019, which is predicted to reduce to 59.12 per cent by the end of 2021. Collectively, these 5 destinations will grow by around 15.83 per cent (in terms of collective export values) by this year end, however the growth rate will remain less than what US is expected to witness – 20.67 per cent!
     
  • For the first time ever, Pakistan crossed US $ 2 billion export value in the US market by 2021 – this was the prediction made by team Apparel Resources back in November 2021 while analysing Jan.-Sep. ’21 import data of USA.
     
  • It is believed that Pakistan has gained advantage of strong cotton supply chain in pandemic times due to USA’s restrictions on Chinese cotton from the Xinjiang autonomous region which constitutes 80 per cent of the Chinese cotton crop.
     
  • The collective share of these five destinations in the US market has reduced to around 60 per cent in 2021 from 63 per cent in 2019.

Yearly apparel export values to USA – Top 5 destinations

Exporting Country to USA Year Value (US billion $) Year Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Year Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
China 2019 24.91 2020 15.15 -39.18 2021 19.61 -21.28
Vietnam 2019 13.53 2020 12.57 -7.10 2021 14.37 6.21
Bangladesh 2019 5.92 2020 5.23 -11.66 2021 7.15 20.78
India 2019 4.05 2020 3.02 -25.43 2021 4.19 3.46
Indonesia 2019 4.39 2020 3.51 -20.05 2021 4.15 -5.47
  Total 52.8 Total 39.48 -25.23 Total .49.47 -6.31

(Data Compiled by – Apparel Resources)Table 3

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Year 2021 Witnesses USA Apparel Imports Surge to 27.36 per cent

News and Features

Year 2021 Witnesses USA Apparel Imports Surge to 27.36 per cent

23 April 2022

Apparel Resources

Year 2020 was a shaky one for the US apparel market, affected adversely by the widespread COVID-19 pandemic. But 2021 saw US apparel import values surging tremendously as compared to 2020.

Noting 27.36 per cent Y-o-Y surge, USA imported US $ 81.59 billion worth of apparels during 2021, while the import values in 2020 were just US $ 64.06 billion – as per OTEXA. After falling in initial two months – January and February – on Y-o-Y basis, USA continuously surged in its apparel exports and it saw September ’21 as the best month when imports surged to US $ 8.15 billion (See Table 1), noting 22.60 per cent per cent Y-o-Y growth.

In volume terms, the apparel imports grew 27.42 per cent to 29,471.79 million SME in 2021 as against 23,128.83 million SME in 2020.

The growth in the US apparel imports can be attributed to normalcy that the consumer market witnessed in 2021, especially in the latter half, as consumers didn’t refrain from spending money on clothing products during holiday season after almost two years of market drought due to pandemic.

The import data is well justified with the official apparel retail sales in USA that reached US $ 198 billion during 2021, as per the latest US Census Bureau. The data reflects 47 per cent Y-o-Y growth in 2021 over 2020 and 1.50 per cent growth over 2019.

Extended holidays and strained supply chains push consumers to go for early shopping…

October to December quarter has always been a decent one as it’s the time when US buyers fill the factories with orders for festive seasons. In 2021 also, the factories across manufacturing destinations received significant amount of orders from the US market – better than Q4 ’20 and even Q4 ’19 (See Table 2).

The US consumers held back their spending on festivals for almost 2 years, mainly due to social distancing and pandemic regulations, but the holiday season last year came up with a major difference. Christmas landed on a Saturday and that didn’t happen in over a decade, which resulted in extended holidays for the US shoppers. The shift of Christmas to a Saturday also prompted earlier than normal holiday shopping and typically a greater surge of day after Christmas sales on Sunday.

Secondly, the rising demand further strained supply chains, leaving both retailers and customers concerned they might not secure the products they want, hence early imports were done. Many large retailers, braced for port congestion and shortages of truck drivers and warehouse space, imported merchandise way ahead of time in 2021, as per an Accenture report.

These factors contributed to surging apparel imports.

Month-wise apparel imports of USA (in 2019, 2020 and 2021)

Month Value (US billion $) Month Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Month Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
Jan-19 7.57 Jan-20 6.75 -10.83 Jan-21 5.52 -27.08
Feb-19 6.65 Feb-20 5.91 -11.13 Feb-21 5.39 -18.95
Mar-19 6.07 Mar-20 5.18 -14.66 Mar-21 6.49 6.92
Apr-19 6.16 Apr-20 3.41 -44.64 Apr-21 5.67 -7.95
May-19 6.66 May-20 2.65 -60.21 May-21 6.14 -7.81
Jun-19 6.93 Jun-20 3.97 -42..71 Jun-20 6.16 -11.11
Jul-19 8.83 Jul-21 6 -32.05 Jul-21 7 -20.72
Aug-19 8.43 Aug-20 6.56 -22.18 Aug-21 8.07 -4.27
Sep-19 7.77 Sep-20 6.64 -14.54 Sep-21 8.15 4.89
Oct-19 6.91 Oct-20 6.92 0.14 Oct-21 8.33 20.55
Nov-19 5.55 Nov-20 5.28 -4.86 Nov-21 7.38 32.97
Dec-19 5.75 Dec-20 4.83 -16.00 Dec-2 7.30 26.96
Total 83.28 Total 64.1 -23.03 Total 81.60 -2.02

Table 1

(Data is Compiled by – Apparel Resources)

Quarter-wise apparel imports of USA (in 2019, 2020 and 2021)

Quarter Value (US billion $) Quarter Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Quarter Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
Q1 '19 20.29 Q1 '20 17.84 -12.07 Q1 '21 17.4 -14.24
Q2 '19 19.75 Q2 '20 10.03 -49.22 Q2 '21 17.97 -9.01
Q3 '19 25.03 Q3 '20 19.2 -23.29 Q3 '21 23.22 -7.23
Q4 '19 18.21 Q4 '20 17.03 -6.48 Q4 '21 23 -26.30

Table 2
(Data Compiled by – Apparel Resources)

Despite growth, the dominance of top 5 Asian destinations reduced in the US market in 2021 over 2019…
 

  • No major disruptions took place in terms of rankings of USA trade partners in the tally by the end of 2021, except one – India remained ahead of Indonesia for the first time in over a decade period. This was predicted long back by the data analysis team of Apparel Resources – the organiser of ASW.
     
  • In top 5 tally, Bangladesh, India and Vietnam crossed pre-pandemic export values to USA. China and Indonesia remained sluggish in 2021 over 2019, though there was Y-o-Y growth as compared to 2020. (Refer Table 3)
     
  • Vietnam’s gain is remarkable as the country went into full-fledged lockdown during August-September period yet it managed to ship significant amount of apparels to USA by taking well-measured precautions and kept its factories alive.  
     
  • China felt the heat for sure and, in 2021, it ended up losing around US $ 7.77 billion in its export values to USA as compared to 2018 figures and around US $ 5.28 billion as compared to 2019 figures.
     
  • These top 5 destinations contributed around 63.40 per cent in overall US apparel import values in 2019, which is predicted to reduce to 59.12 per cent by the end of 2021. Collectively, these 5 destinations will grow by around 15.83 per cent (in terms of collective export values) by this year end, however the growth rate will remain less than what US is expected to witness – 20.67 per cent!
     
  • For the first time ever, Pakistan crossed US $ 2 billion export value in the US market by 2021 – this was the prediction made by team Apparel Resources back in November 2021 while analysing Jan.-Sep. ’21 import data of USA.
     
  • It is believed that Pakistan has gained advantage of strong cotton supply chain in pandemic times due to USA’s restrictions on Chinese cotton from the Xinjiang autonomous region which constitutes 80 per cent of the Chinese cotton crop.
     
  • The collective share of these five destinations in the US market has reduced to around 60 per cent in 2021 from 63 per cent in 2019.

Yearly apparel export values to USA – Top 5 destinations

Exporting Country to USA Year Value (US billion $) Year Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2020)
Year Value (US billion $) Y-o-Y % Change
(b/w 2019 and 2021)
China 2019 24.91 2020 15.15 -39.18 2021 19.61 -21.28
Vietnam 2019 13.53 2020 12.57 -7.10 2021 14.37 6.21
Bangladesh 2019 5.92 2020 5.23 -11.66 2021 7.15 20.78
India 2019 4.05 2020 3.02 -25.43 2021 4.19 3.46
Indonesia 2019 4.39 2020 3.51 -20.05 2021 4.15 -5.47
  Total 52.8 Total 39.48 -25.23 Total .49.47 -6.31

(Data Compiled by – Apparel Resources)Table 3

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