According to The Japan Textiles Importers Association report on the nation’s apparel imports, based on Ministry of Finance trade statistics, imports in 2018 increased by 6.4% over the previous year to 2,791,643 million yen (provisional).
The import quantity grew by 3.6% to 3,833.46 million units.
Apparel imports from China decreased by 2.6% in volume and 0.4% in value to 2,419.30 million units worth 1,631,959 million yen, while those from ASEAN climbed 16.5% and 19.0% respectively to 1,070.34 million units valued at 802,557 million yen. Imports from China in 2017 increased for the first time in four years, and 2018 imports were also about the same value as the previous year, but the growths in imports from ASEAN were more remarkable. It is considered that Japanese affiliates wanting to avoid China’s environmental restrictions and China-U.S. trade conflicts increased their imports from ASEAN.
The value of imports from Bangladesh posted the sharpest growth of 27.3% to 121,720 million yen, followed by Myanmar (up 26.1% to 99,776 million yen), Cambodia (up 25.6% to 114,599 million yen) and Vietnam (up 20.3% to 415,123 million yen).
2018 imports from the EU increased by 10.9% in value to 131,444 million yen, but the volume decreased by 3.3% to 10.88 million units. 2019 imports are expected to increase thanks to the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
2018 imports including accessories grew by 5.8% in volume and 6.3% in value to 1,081,969 tons worth 3,204.4 billion yen. The share of imports from China dropped below 60% to 59.9%.