Perfect Sourcing - - Inside -

Stag­nant con­sumer de­mand for ap­parel and per­sis­tent price de­fla­tion at trou­bled brick-and-mor­tar re­tail­ers weighed heav­ily on de­mand even amid re­duced fears of a cross-bor­der tax on im­ports from Asia. Con­tin­ued de­clines in store traf­fic and seem­ingly weekly new store clo­sure an­nounce­ments are caus­ing many stores to rein in in­ven­tory.asian fac­to­ries are re­port­ing that U.S. buy­ers are plac­ing smaller, more fre­quent or­ders with shorter lead times re­quested. Along with this, the U.S. trade deficit fell from a near two year high in Fe­bru­ary as slow­ing do­mes­tic de­mand weighed on im­ports and stronger global growth boosted ex­ports of Amer­i­can goods.

On a 12-month smoothed ba­sis, ap­parel im­ports fell by 2.9%, their small­est drop in 13 months. Ap­parel im­ports were lower in the first half of 2017 com­pared to the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to OTEXA, the In­ter­na­tional Trade Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Of­fice of Tex­tiles and Ap­parel. To­tal ap­parel im­ports dropped by 3.4% in the month to $7.5 bil­lion on a CIF ba­sis,, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by the U.S. Cen­sus Bu­reau, while to­tal U.S. goods and ser­vices im­ports in­creased by 4.8%, to $199.9 bil­lion.

To­tal ap­parel im­ports from the U.S. de­clined by 1.9% on an MFA ba­sis in the first six months of 2017, to $37.2 bil­lion from al­most $38 bil­lion in the same pe­riod in 2016. Among the top 10 U.S. ap­parel trad­ing part­ners, only Viet­nam, Nicaragua and Mex­ico have grown their ap­parel ship­ments to the U.S. On a square me­ter equiv­a­lent (SME) ba­sis, im­ports have edged up by 1.7% this year, con­tin­u­ing the over­all tendency to­ward cheaper goods, de­spite up­ward pres­sure on labour and raw ma­te­rial costs.the av­er­age cost per unit of an im­ported gar­ment fell by 3.5% in the first half of the year.the av­er­age cost per SME in­creased by 12.4% from Mex­ico, and rose 2.4% for El Sal­vador, but dropped for all other key trad­ing part­ners, with the cost per SME from China suf­fer­ing the big­gest drop, down by 7.4% per­cent.

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