ASEAN Gains Greater Share in Japanese Apparel Imports

According to The Japan Textiles Importers Association, the nation’s apparel imports during January-September 2017 (based on Ministry of Finance trade statistics) decreased by 0.5% year-on-year to 1,938,764 million yen, while the import volume rose by 0.7% to 2,833.96 million units.

Imports from China slightly decreased in quantity, whereas those from major garment producing countries in ASEAN increased and expanded the share of this Southeast Asian region in Japanese imports.

Because orders tend to be placed closer to the actual demand period, Quick Response supply from China has become necessary. However, the appreciation of the Chinese yuan against the U.S. dollar has relatively weakened the competitiveness of Chinese production. Under such circumstances, the shift toward ASEAN has been progressing steadily.

Japanese apparel imports from ASEAN during the first nine months of this year grew by 6.8% in volume and 4.6% in value to 688.85 million units worth 493,392 million yen. Imports significantly increased from Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, but decreased from Indonesia and Thailand. The share of ASEAN in Japanese imports was 24.3% in volume (up 1.4 percentage points) and 25.4% in value (up 1.2 points).

Imports from China decreased by 0.6% and 2.3% respectively to 1,905.57 million units valued at 1,207,705 million yen. China’s shares were 67.2% (down 0.9 point) and 62.3% (down 1.2 points) respectively.

Imports from Bangladesh decreased by 9.3% and 6.9% respectively to 148.86 million units valued at 72,295 million yen.

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