2020 has been a tough year for global apparel trade as well as fashion retail industry. The pandemic has created an uncertainty in the market and has restricted consumer spending which is making a huge dent on the revenues of fashion retailers, severely hurting the entire fashion supply chain. Amid all this, the already triggered trade war between USA and China, coupled with virus origination, has impacted the world’s largest apparel exporter China, which has given birth to thousands of speculations about apparel buyers shifting from China to other destinations!
Is this that easy to speculate that the world is moving away from China which is heavily dependent on it in terms of apparel trade? What does the increasing imports and apparel retail sales of China indicate for its partner countries? The official August statistics of the Chinese agencies give a thorough answer to all these predictions.
(Team Apparel Resources has analysed and compiled official Chinese export data which seems quite positive, but there may be uncertainty as the EU has not released its import data for 5 months now and OTEXA says China is down in almost all the product categories in its export done in January-August ’20 period.)
According to data, China has surged in its apparel imports and exports in August ’20 as against August ’19, while for the first time since January ’20, the country also noted growth in its apparel retail revenues in August ’20 on the yearly note.
China still dominant and positive (on Y-o-Y) in textile exports; while apparel exports have started recovering from August ’20…
China has experienced a significant yearly growth in its textile and garment exports by 5.62 per cent to US $ 187.41 billion during January to August 2020, as per the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China.
Textile exports, in particular, contributed US $ 104.80 billion, growing by 32 per cent on Y-o-Y basis, while the export of garments saw a yearly plunge of 15.74 per cent to US $ 82.61 billion in Jan.-Aug. ’20 period.
What’s noteworthy is the performance of China in August ’20 when its garment exports totalled US $ 16.21 billion, marking a 3.23 per cent surge on Y-o-Y basis and that’s the first month in 2020 when it grew from the same month of the previous year.
As far as comparison between July ’20 and August ’20 is concerned, China tapped over 5.80 per cent growth in August ’20 from the preceding month when it had exported just US $ 15.32 billion worth of garments to the world.
On the other hand, as PPE textiles demand has been surging all across the world, China is getting benefits due to its ability to cater to huge orders quantities in low prices and in a short lead time.
As a result, continuing the growth in August ’20, textile exports (majorly boosted by Med-Tex products) from the country jumped by 46.96 per cent on Y-o-Y basis to US $ 14.72 billion.
Seeing all these statistics, this is hard to believe that China is not going to be the dominant force in garment and textile export in post-COVID era!
China proves to be a lucrative destination for other countries as well for their respective garment exports…
According to the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), the country has experienced a Y-o-Y surge of 8.70 per cent in its garment imports in January-August ’20 period, valuing US $ 5.44 billion.
This yearly surge in the pandemic-hit period indicates that consumers in China are not afraid to spend on clothing, and as a result, the sales of clothing have been improving on monthly basis, hence leading to growth in the country’s garment import.
Particularly in August ’20, the import of apparels valued US $ 895.26 million which is 4.45 per cent more than what the country imported a month earlier – US $ 857.16 million (in July ’20).
The import was down by 7.60 per cent on Y-o-Y basis in January-February ’20 period to US $ 1.29 billion which got worse in subsequent months due to COVID-19 spread in the partner countries which resulted in held up inventories in logistics. The massive decline in imports done in March-April-May ’20 period led the country tumble by 26 per cent cumulatively in January-May ’20 period.
However, June onwards, China started picking up in its garment imports and the boost continued in July and August. This signals that China is still an important destination for its apparel partner countries, and if China is not dependent on them, they are dependent on China.
China’s apparel retail revenues up 4.20 per cent in August ’20 over July ’20…
According to the research data by ComprarAcciones and figures released by National Bureau of Statistics (China), August 2020 was the first month of retail sales growth since the year started. Overall retail sales during the month increased by 0.5 per cent from the same month in 2019.
In August ’20, most retail categories grew significantly in comparison to the performance recorded in July ’20. As far as garments are concerned, the retail sales were up by 4.20 per cent in August ’20 over July ’20 as compared to 2.50 per cent fall in July ’20 over the preceding month.
During January-August 2020, retail sales in China declined by 8.60 per cent on Y-o-Y basis. January and February had the highest drop of 20.50 per cent each, while the decline was comparatively less (15.80 per cent) in March due to markets reopening.
As lockdown measures eased in the country from April onwards, the decline eased further to 7.50 per cent in April ’20, 2.80 per cent in May ’20, 1.80 per cent in June ’20, and 1.10 per cent in July ’20 – all on yearly basis, before seeing positivity in August ’20.