In 2011, the U.S. imported clothing and textiles from China decreased in price

In terms of purchasing clothing, US consumers in 2011 definitely showed a conservative attitude. As of November 30, 2011, according to the calculation of import units, the US imported overseas clothing and textiles decreased by 2%. In dollar terms, imports surged 9.2%, mainly due to rising raw material prices, including cotton and polyester.

Julie Hughes, president of the American Association of Textile and Apparel Importers, said: "Prices continue to rise while the number of garments decreases."

As of November 30, 2011, US apparel purchases amounted to US$101.3 billion, of which overseas apparel purchases accounted for 95%. In comparison, the previous year amounted to 92.7 billion U.S. dollars. However, according to the calculation of the square meter (fabric measurement), the United States imported only 54 billion square meters, compared with 55.2 billion square meters imported in 2010. Cotton prices are part of the reason for this discrepancy. Cotton prices began to soar in November 2009. At that time, the price of cotton was 72 cents/lb. By March 2011, it had reached 2.30 US$/lb.

Since then, the price has stabilized quickly. Cotton prices are now around 90 cents/lb. In the middle of the month, manufacturers were unwilling to pass high prices on to retailers when the United States itself fell into a deep recession.

But in the end they had to become forgiving or sacrifice profits. Even the Chinese procurement, known for its low cost, is affected. During the 12-month period, the amount of Chinese clothing and textiles exported to the United States increased by 6.2% to US$40.6 billion. However, the number of units decreased by 2.5% to 25.2 billion square meters. China accounts for 46% of all U.S. company apparel and textile imports.

This is different from Vietnam, where Vietnam is the second largest clothing supply country in the United States. Vietnam has an emerging clothing industry. Clothing is Vietnam's largest export product. U.S. companies purchase Vietnam clothing and textiles units by nearly 10%, and the U.S. dollar value of these products has increased by nearly 15%. Vietnam exports 9.85 billion square meters to the United States, worth 7.2 billion U.S. dollars, because clothing companies are trying to diversify their manufacturing sources.

India is the third largest apparel and textile supply country in the United States, and it is also growing. Last year, Indian apparel and textiles exports to the United States increased by nearly 2% to 3.3 billion square meters. The value of these goods increased by nearly 11% to $6 billion. (Information Officer Cao Haihong Zhuangao)

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