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US imports of textiles and apparel fell in December but still higher than a year earlier

According to statistics from the Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, overall Imports. Textile and apparel imports totaled 6.91 billion square meter equivalents in December, down 1.0 percent from November but up 12.6 percent from a year earlier. Textile imports totaled 5.12 billion SMEs, down 3.9 percent for the month but up 21.2 percent from the previous year, while apparel imports of 1.80 billion SMEs were up 9.1 percent from November but down 6.3 percent from a year before.

For all of 2023, total imports were down 12.3 percent to 92.8 million SME. Textile imports fell 8.4 percent to 68.4 billion SMEs while apparel imports fell 21.7 percent to 24.3 billion SMEs.

Though China still dominates the United States textile and apparel market, it is continuing to lose its market share. Up till December 2023, the Chinese exported 2.49 million square meters of textiles to the US which was 5.3 percent lower than the previous month, but 12.9 percent lower than the previous year. India gained substantially by exporting 912.2 SMEs by December which was 27.9 percent higher than November 2023 but 12.5 percent lower than exports executed in 2022. Malaysia was a rare gainer exporting 508.5 SMEs by December 18.5 percent higher than the previous month and 26.1 percent higher than exports made in 2022. Vietnam with 442.7 million exports posted 0.6 percent growth from the previous month and 20.2 percent on a full-year basis. Pakistan exported 287.2 million SMEs posting an 8.3 percent gain over the previous month but a 10.2 percent decline from exports made in 2022. Bangladesh’s exports of 181.1 million SMEs were 30.1 percent lower than exports made in 2022. Mexico emerged as the major beneficiary with exports of 358 million SMEs in 2023 posting a gain of 44 percent over the previous year.

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