AsiaInspection, a leading global provider of quality control services for businesses importing from Asia, Africa, Southern Europe and Latin America, announces its 2014 Q2 Barometer, a quarterly synopsis on outsourced manufacturing and the quality control services industry.
Vietnam Undeterred by Rioting
In Vietnam, textile and apparel exports increased 18% year-on-year between January and May, reaching $7.5 billion USD. However, recent protests due to political tensions with China sent fear into supply chains, with AI figures showing May 2014 ordered inspections to be 3.3 times higher than the average for May 2013 to April 2014. This is due to increased concern from foreign buyers to ensure their supply chain and quality have not been disrupted. In the first half of the year apparel imports from Vietnam into the US saw a 12.7% increase, well ahead of rival China at 0.9%.
China Sees Largest Industrial Disputes in Living Memory
Chinese government stimulus efforts appear to have worked in Q2, with manufacturing activity and output up and growing nationwide, according to the latest data from the official PMI Index. This was during the same period that over 40,000 workers in the Dongguan province engaged in one of the largest industrial disputes in living memory.
Meanwhile, the largest inspections growth in Asia was Cambodia, up 99% year over year, then Bangladesh and Vietnam 73% each, India 63% and China 10%. In growth by industry category, food and food container inspections were up 55% quarter over quarter globally.
Toxic Chemicals Rampant: 5% of All Azo Dye Lab Tests Fail
When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) randomly screened for azo dyes in imported clothing in March of this year, approximately 3% contained carcinogens which may be harmful to human health, resulting in the voluntary recall of over 200,000 items from stores, involving 37 product lines from various retailers. Analyzing its own data, AsiaInspection found that over 5% of all azo dye lab tests in 2014 failed for exceeding the legal minimum.
“Time and time again we see outsourced manufactured products putting consumers at risk. The fact that 200,000+ products made it to store shelves containing a known cancer causing carcinogen shows the need for stricter controls and testing at the source. This reflects the sheer scale at which consumers are being placed at risk” said Sebastien Breteau, AsiaInspection CEO.
The Sourcing Journal reported that while brands and retailers increasingly place huge importance on information in their value chains, specific information is often exceedingly hard to obtain. 50% of respondents said that they do not have sufficient data from within their supply chain.