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Monthly Textile and Apparel Imports Slide in February, but Caribbean Sees Big Gains

Monday, April 08, 2013
By Shawn McCausland
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel reports that monthly imports of cotton, wool, manmade fiber, silk blend and non-cotton vegetable fiber textile and apparel products totaled 4.54 billion square meter equivalents in February, down 1.5% from January but up 17.3% from a year earlier. Textile imports totaled 2.48 billion SME, a 2.4% drop from the previous month but up 17.6% year-on-year, while apparel imports of 2.07 billion SME were virtually unchanged from January but 17.0% higher than February 2012.

For the year-to-date as of February 2013 total imports of textiles and apparel were 9.15 billion SME, a 10.1% rise from the same period in 2012, as textile imports gained 9.9% to 5.02 billion SME and apparel imports were up 10.3% to 4.14 billion SME. For the 12-month period ending in February total imports were 2.7% higher at 54.9 billion SME as textile imports rose 3.8% to 30.8 billion SME and apparel imports moved ahead 1.4% to 24.1 billion SME.

With respect to specific sources, imports of textile and apparel products (except cotton and silk blend textiles) increased between January and February from China (0.9% to 2.19 billion SME), Mexico (0.4% to 185.1 million SME), the DR-CAFTA region (41.6% to 240.8 million SME), Caribbean Basin Initiative partners (28.9% to 23.2 million SME) and Turkey (1.0% to 49.7 million SME). Monthly imports declined from Vietnam (1.8% to 309.5 million SME), Hong Kong (32% to 5.1 million SME), South Korea (13.4% to 97.2 million SME), Canada (10.5% to 86.6 million SME), Association of Southeast Asian Nations partners (4.6% to 652.9 million SME), South Asia (8.8% to 664.0 million SME) and Israel (23.9% to 30.6 million SME).

Year-on-year textile and apparel imports increased in February from China (34.2%), Vietnam 36.4%), Hong Kong (11.5%), CBI (17.2%), ASEAN (15.6%), South Asia (4.2%), Turkey (9.2%) and Israel (8.6%) but decreased from Taiwan (11.3%), South Korea (7.8%), Canada (15.1%), Mexico (5.9%) and the DR-CAFTA region (1.9%).

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