Japan has been continuously declining in its apparel imports in 2021 till April both weight-wise and value-wise, according to official data.
The country imported garments worth 853.70 billion yen (US $ 7.73 billion) in Jan.-Apr. ’21 as compared to 903.54 billion yen (US $ 8.18 billion) in the same period of 2020, noting 5.52 per cent yearly downfall.
In terms of weight, Japanese apparel import declined to 2,070.28 million kg in the mentioned period as against 2,076.55 million kg in the corresponding period of 2020 which is a 0.30 per cent yearly decline.
The fall has been witnessed due to lowering demand of woven clothing in Japanese apparel market, while knitted segment remained positive.
The share of knitted garments in overall imports was 433.52 billion yen – US $ 3.93 billion – (up 0.40 per cent), while woven garments constituted 420.17 billion yen (US $ 3.81 million), decreasing by 10.94 per cent.
Low unit prices in 2021 have put exporters to Japan under immense pressure as per kg garments imported by Japan valued just 410 yen (US $ 3.71) in 2021’s first 4-month period as compared to 440 yen (US $ 4) a year earlier.
Particularly in April ’21, the country hit import revenue of 223.82 billion yen (US $ 2.03 billion) which slumped 7.25 per cent as compared to April ’20.
The downfall in Japanese apparel market raises serious concerns as 2020 was a year when the country saw severe impact of COVID-19 across sectors. The further decline in 2021 is not at all a good sign and exporters to Japan will have to wait to see when Japanese apparel sector revives.