The volume of apparel imports into the US in December slipped 1.1% on the month before as the holiday season came to an end.

That said, imports were 2.3% higher than the same month a year earlier, at 1.83bn square metre equivalents (SME). In value terms, imports rose 3.9% to $79.8bn.

Gains were booked during the month by each of the US's three largest apparel suppliers. China rose 4.6% to 762m SME, Vietnam was up 9.5% to 191m SME, and Bangladesh saw its shipments edge up 1.8% to 101m SME.

Bangladesh's performance reverses a decline of 2.2% to 117m SME during November - the first drop since factory safety issues came to the fore with the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in April.

Other countries reporting import gains during December included Mexico (up 8.9% to 64m SME), India (up 9.5% to 60m SME), El Salvador (up 1.2% to 69m SME), and Pakistan (up 6.3% to 39m SME).

But declines were seen by Indonesia (down 20.1% to 80m SME), Honduras (down 2.8% to 89m SME), and Cambodia (down 7.3% to 74m SME).

Among the most important regional supply groups were ASEAN, whose shipments slipped 4.4% to 402m SME, and South Asia, which rose 5.2% to 235m SME.

While monthly trade data is often volatile, with big swings from one month to the next, a broader view of the full-year shows total US apparel and textile climbed 4.6% to 56.5bn in 2013. Click on the following link to read: US apparel imports from China show no slowdown.