WASHINGTON — Textile and apparel imports rose 17.1 percent in November, compared with the same month in 1992, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
During November, textile and apparel imports totaled 1.3 billion square meters equivalent. This total was the largest for a November, but far from the record of 1.5 billion SME recorded in August.
For the year to date, textile and apparel imports rose 9.5 percent to 14.6 billion SME, the largest 11-month import level on record.
During November, apparel imports rose 14.8 percent, to 600.4 million SME — again, a record for any November, but far below August’s 761 million SME, the record for any single month. For the year to date, apparel imports were up 7 percent to 7 billion SME.
Imports of textiles jumped 19.1 percent in November, to 693.3 million SME. The percentage increase was driven up strongly by a 44.3 percent increase in yarn imports, which totaled 122.6 million SME. For the year to date, textile imports rose 12 percent to 7.6 billion SME.
Meanwhile, U.S. textile imports from China soared 29.5 percent to 170.2 million SME in November. These imports rose 8.5 percent to almost 2 billion SME for the year to date.
Donald Foote, director of the agreements division within the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, attributed the spurt in China’s exports during November to importers seeking to get merchandise in before embargoes were placed on future shipments.
Foote noted that in 1993 the U.S. imposed embargoes on 20 categories of Chinese textile and apparel goods and on one group that includes 15 categories of products — the second-largest number of embargoes since 1987, when 40 were imposed.
The OTEXA official reported that China and other nations, whose shipments of textiles and apparel comprise 90 percent of the import trade, saw their total exports rise about 8 percent for the year to date.
Meanwhile, a collection of small suppliers, including Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Austria, which account for 10 percent of this trade, saw their shipments to the U.S. soar by 40 percent in this period.
Nation-groups also posted large increases in their textile apparel exports to the U.S. Imports of these goods from the European Community, for example, soared by 26 percent to 103.4 million SME and jumped by 16.8 percent to about 1.1 billion SME for the year to date. The U.S. imposes no restrictions on these EC imports.
U.S. clothing and fabric imports from the Caribbean Basin nations rose 14.1 percent to 133.5 million SME during November and rose by 19.9 percent to 1.4 billion SME for the year to date.
Most of the apparel exported from the CBI states to the U.S. is assembled there from U.S. made and cut fabrics. These garments are accorded special quota and duty preferences.