Thai textile and apparel exports both slumped in the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the Thai Textile Institute and the Thai Garment Manufacturers Association (TGMA).

Textile exports fell 15.3% year-on-year to $1.84bn in the three months from January to March, with slumps seen in all major product categories. Fibre shipments fell 20% to $191.5m, yarn was down 35.8% to $246.8m, and fabric exports dropped 13.9% for $344.9m.

At the same time, apparel exports declined 6.9% to $749.8m.

The US remained the largest export market for both textiles and apparel. But textile exports to the US fell 16.8% to $308.6m and apparel exports were down 11.9% to $255.7m.

Shipments to its second largest customer, the EU, also tumbled. Textile exports here were down 26.5% to $282.9m and apparel fell 11.9% to $202.2m. But while textile exports to third-largest market Japan slipped 3.4% to $172.7m, apparel jumped 36.7% to $97.2m.

During the quarter Thailand spent $1.26bn on importing textile products, a rise of 2.71% over the same period last year. China is the largest supplier at $393.9m - up 11.09% over last year and accounting for 31.3% of the total.