WASHINGTON — Textile and apparel imports to the U.S. continued their long decline in August, with Vietnam posting the only increase among major suppliers.
The Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles & Apparel said Friday industry imports fell 9.8 percent to 4.2 billion square meter equivalents in August compared with a year earlier. The total volume of imports of textiles and apparel to the U.S. in August was the highest for any month this year, but in year-over-year comparisons imports have been declining since February 2008.
Apparel imports fell 6.4 percent to 2 billion SME and textile imports dropped 12.7 percent to 2.2 billion SME.
Shipments from Vietnam increased 15.7 percent to 203 million SME, fueled by a 94.2 percent increase in textile shipments to 54 million SME. Apparel imports from Vietnam grew 0.9 percent to 149 million SME.
Imports of textiles and apparel from China dropped 0.7 percent to 2.1 billion SME in the month compared with August 2008. Apparel imports from China increased 9.1 percent for the month to 961 million SME, while textile imports from China fell 8 percent to 1.1 billion SME.
Honduras, where a coup staged in June has disrupted textile and apparel production, reported a drop in imports of 28.7 percent to 82 million SME. Significant declines were also posted by South Korea and Pakistan, which declined 27.8 percent to 106 million SME and 20.6 percent to 222 million SME, respectively.
In contrast, apparel imports from a few countries showed signs of resilience. In addition to an increase in shipments from China, Indonesia’s apparel imports were up 4.9 percent to 92 million SME. Apparel imports from India increased 3.9 percent to 66 million SME.
The top five apparel suppliers to the U.S. in August were China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Honduras and Indonesia. China was also the top textile supplier, followed by Pakistan, India, South Korea and Mexico.
The nation’s overall trade deficit narrowed to $30.7 billion in August from $31.9 billion the previous month, according to the Commerce Department, driven primarily by oil trends.
“The trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly in August,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “We expect the trade deficit to widen over the rest of the year as U.S. imports should pick up faster than exports as the domestic inventory cycle turns.”
While signs of recovery have yet to significantly impact the textile and apparel industry, officials said the overall trade picture was improving.
“Exports of goods and services increased in August for a fourth consecutive month,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “We’re encouraged by the continued signs that the U.S. and other major economies are beginning to expand again, but we must remain steadfast in our efforts to boost U.S. exports and put Americans back to work.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty