Japan’s Apparel Imports Show Accelerating Shift to ASEAN

According to statistics compiled by The Japan Textiles Importers Association based on Ministry of Finance trade statistics, Japanese apparel imports during January-June 2019 remained about the same as the year before.

Apparel imports during the first six months of this year decreased by 0.6% year-on-year to 1,421,466 million yen, and imports in weight declined by 0.5% year-on-year to 468,472 tons.

Imports from China (the largest supplier) decreased by nearly 6% both in value and weight, and the share of its value in total apparel imports dropped below 60%. Meanwhile, the shares of imports from ASEAN reached the 29% level in terms of value and weight, and reflected an accelerating shift to this region.

Apparel imports from China during the first half decreased by 5.9% to 804,027 million yen, and by 5.8% in weight to 282,684 tons. Imports decreased for all categories of knitwear, woven garments and apparel accessories. Particularly, the import volume of woven garments declined by 8.6% to 395.54 million units.

Imports from ASEAN increased by 7.4% to 412,950 million yen, with the weight growing by 8.5% to 135,833 tons. While imports of woven garments increased by 1.1% to 187.03 million units, those of knitwear grew by 8.7% to 369.27 million units.

Imports from Vietnam (the second largest supplier) increased by 10.4% and 7.8% to 65,749 tons worth 209,355 million yen, respectively. Imports of woven garments remained about the same as the year before at 75.19 million units, while those of knitwear rose by 9.6% to 193.73 million units.

Imports posted double-digit growth both in value and tons for Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, India and Malaysia. Especially, imports from Myanmar sharply increased by 21.2% to 48,681 million yen.