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Imports of wool apparel drops
Jul '08
Consolidated data for 2007 shows the imports of chiefly-wool apparel into Japan dropped year on year in volume terms. The large decrease was attributed to the very strong drop in wool knitwear imports, and a decrease in womenswear imports. With men's suits imports remaining relatively strong during the year, chiefly-wool menswear imports were sustained at a level only slightly lower than a year before.

Knitwear imports in the second half of 2007, which represent the specific autumn/winter seasonal demand, revealed a significant fibre shift from wool to synthetics. Wool knitwear imported to Japan during the 6 months from July to December contracted strongly from the same period in 2006. It is of interest that imports of cotton knitwear were flat in the same period, and synthetics increased 8%.

Chiefly-wool womenswear imports saw a similar result in 2007. Imports of skirts/trousers suffered most severely, with rising unit prices representing the upward shift in type of retailers in terms of price range. Wool coat imports were less affected, down moderately year on year. Wool dresses continued to expand, reaching a 10-year high, reflecting the continued popularity of dresses in general.

In contrast to the poor demand in knitwear and womenswear, chiefly-wool menswear imports were only slightly lower, mainly due to the stronger-than-expected demand for men's suits which revived strongly towards the end of the year. Wool jacket imports were also strong in 2007, while coats and trousers remained below year earlier levels.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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