Blog: Leonie BarrieChina's competitiveness success

Leonie Barrie | 8 August 2014

If evidence were needed as to how China's competitiveness is holding up, look no further than the latest US apparel import data.

For all the talk about buyers fleeing the country amid concerns over rising costs, China booked a 2.2% rise in the volume of its apparel shipments to the US during the first-half of the year to 4.49bn SME.

The data also seems to suggest China has once again managed to offset fears about rising prices, with average unit cost continuing to fall. The average price fell 1.4% year-on-year in the six months from January to June to $2.76, as higher worker wages are being offset by training, investment in cutting edge capital equipment - and the resulting productivity gains.

Indeed, a simple calculation shows China's average cost compares with $2.8 last year - and an average unit price of $3.16 across all apparel imports into the US in the six months from January to June.

And most surprising of all? China's unit prices are now lower than those from Bangladesh - one of the world's lowest cost clothing producers - whose average apparel costs on shipment to the US rose 2.8% to $2.94 in the six months to June.

Click on the following link to read: ANALYSIS: US apparel imports show continuing China competitiveness.

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