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Cotton products continue to account for most of textile & apparel trade
16
Jun '09
U.S. textile trade has declined considerably during first-quarter 2009 as the global economy continues to struggle. Total imports during the first three months of 2009 reached only 3.6 billion (raw-fiber equivalent) pounds, 15 percent below a year ago.

During the same period, textile exports totaled about 746 million pounds, 24-percent lower than the first three months of 2008. As a result, the textile trade deficit for January-March 2009 was approximately 2.9 billion pounds or 12 percent below a year earlier.

Cotton products continue to account for most of the U.S. textile and apparel trade. During January-March 2009, cotton product imports reached 2 billion (raw-fiber equivalent) pounds, down 15 percent from 2.4 billion for the corresponding period in 2008. Likewise, cotton textile and apparel exports declined to 385 million pounds, or 20 percent below the first three months of 2008. Consequently, the cotton product trade deficit for first-quarter 2009 was 1.7 billion pounds or 14 percent less than a year ago.

Cotton products accounted for 58 percent of the deficit during January-March 2009, compared with 59 percent for the same period in 2008. Looking at the leading trading partners, first-quarter 2009 data indicate increased concentration. While the U.S. recession has reduced the volume of both cotton product imports and exports, the top five countries are accounting for a larger share of the total. For U.S. imports, the top five suppliers combined for 59 percent of the total during January-March 2009, compared with 54 percent a year earlier and 56 percent for calendar year 2008.

U.S. exports of cotton products are even more concentrated. The top five destinations for U.S. cotton products surpassed 86 percent during January-March 2009, slightly above both first-quarter 2008 as well as the entire calendar year. Like imports, only one country—Dominican Republic—from the top five destinations showed an increase from year ago levels.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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