Recent figures might well show the end of the end of China

Recent figures might well show the end of the end of China

US garment imports have not only reached record levels but, based on recent data, growth is accelerating. David Birnbaum has used this as an opportunity to take a snapshot of the global garment industry: the current position of exporting countries and more importantly the direction in which they are moving. This article, the second of three, looks at the less successful.

Less successful exporting countries are characterised by increasing exports but decreasing market share. These are the countries that are seemingly doing well, but are losing their share of increased demand.

The less successful garment exporting countries

Where exports are rising while market share is falling.

We can divide this group into two categories: 

  • Those with potential to move upward. 
  • Those looking downward

Moving up from less successful to successful

  • CHINA: This is the question on everyone's mind: Will China recover?

Exports by units up 8.3% and 4.7% by value.

China YTD 15-08 China YTD 15-08 China YTD 15-08
Units (1,000 Dozens) Value ($ Millions) FOB
2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/-
Total 6,807 7,373 8.30% Total 18,930 19,820 4.70% Total $2.78 $2.69 -3.30%

Market share by value as of YTD August 2015 stood at 35.0% compared with 35.1% for the same period in 2014: a decrease of 0.3%. Market share bottomed out in April and has been recovering ever since, to the point when August shows a solid increase. One month does not make a trend, but the recent figures might well show the end of the end of China, if indeed that end ever existed.

  • CAMBODIA: Exports by units up 5.5% and 2.2% by value.
Cambodia YTD 15-08 Cambodia YTD 15-08 Cambodia YTD 15-08
Units (1,000 Dozens) Value ($ Millions) FOB
2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/-
Total 670 707 5.50% Total 1,643 1,680 2.20% Total $2.45 $2.38 -3.00%

Market share by value as of YTD August 2015 stood at 2.97% compared with 3.05% for the same period in 2014: a decrease of 2.6%. Market share declines bottomed out in March and have been positive ever since. I think it safe to say that Cambodia is moving to the point it will end the year on a positive note.

Moving downward from less successful to unsuccessful

  • DR-CAFTA: Exports by units up 1.8% and 3.1% by value
CAFTA YTD 15-08 CAFTA YTD 15-08 CAFTA YTD 15-08
Units (1,000 Dozens) Value ($ Millions) FOB
2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/- 2014 2015 %+/-
Total 1,980 2,016 1.80% Total 5,351 5,516 3.10% Total $2.70 $2.74 1.30%

Market share by value as of YTD August 2015 stood at 9.9% compared with 9.7% for the same period in 2014: a decrease of 1.8%. Market share continues its long-term decline. At best, we can expect market share to stabilise, albeit at a lower level.

Conclusion

As long as US imports continue to grow, conditions will appear to be favourable. Less successful garment exporting countries will also show increased exports. And lets face it; how many garment factories care or even know about market share.

The truth will come home when US garment imports stabilise or go into even a moderate decline. At that point less successful garment exporting countries will move into serious decline.

Click on the links below for Birnbaum's take on what the future holds for: