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Textile trade down from a year ago
Oct '08
U.S. textile and apparel trade increased in July, but the cumulative total for the first seven months of 2008 continues to lag behind the comparable 2007 period. U.S. textile imports rose to 1.7 billion (raw-fiber equivalent) pounds, 12 percent above June but 5 percent below July 2007.

Imports were higher this July, compared with June, for all fibers, while only linen imports were higher compared with a year ago.

By major end-use category, apparel imports continue to lead the way, accounting for 1.2 billion pounds in July, or 68 percent of the monthly total.

U.S. textile exports also expanded in July 2008 to 358 million pounds, slightly above June and 7 percent above a year earlier. For July, exports of cotton and manmade products increased but were partially offset by decreases for the other fibers. Exports of cotton, manmade, and linen fibers were above July 2007.

Meanwhile, the yarn, thread, and fabric category accounted for 79 percent of U.S. textile exports and, at 283 million pounds, these exports were marginally below June 2008 but were 7 percent above July 2007.

Based on the first seven months of 2008, the textile trade deficit remains below the comparable 2007 period. The overall deficit reached 8 billion pounds through July 2008, compared with 8.6 billion a year earlier, a 7 percent reduction.

Cotton accounted for 59 percent of the textile deficit through July and, at 4.7 billion pounds, was 6 percent below the first seven months of 2007.

U.S. cotton textile and apparel imports through the first seven months of 2008 reached 5.9 billion pounds, 5.5 percent below the corresponding period of 2007.

Suppliers to the U.S. market have seen varying degrees of decline this year as the economic slowdown has continued. The top five suppliers to the United States account for over half of the total cotton product imports, with this share continuing to grow over time.

Although China continues to supply 25 percent of the cotton products, imports through July 2008 from China are more than 6 percent below a year earlier.

Similarly, Pakistan and Mexico have seen their shipments to the U.S. market fall nearly 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively, from the comparable period of 2007. Despite this decline, their share of the total U.S. market remains similar.

During the first seven months of 2008, U.S. cotton textile imports from India are slightly below a year earlier, while imports from Honduras have expanded 2 percent. However, both of these countries have gained market share in 2008 compared with the last several years.

Cotton Council International

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