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Bangladesh becomes no. 1 denim exporter in USA

Bangladesh becomes the top denim exporter in the USA, surpassing Mexico and China in the first half of this FY. Although due to the Covid-19 pandemic the denim export has dropped from a year ago.

A data from Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel (Otexa) in the USA showed Bangladesh’s denim exports to the US market fell by 23.03% to $190.14 million in the first half of 2020 – from $247.82 million in the corresponding period of 2019.

Bangladesh-no-1-denim-exporter-USA
Figure: Bangladesh outperformed Mexico and China to become the largest denim exporter to the United States.

The US total imports of denim items have also fallen by 37.82% to $1,083 million during the first six months of this year from $1,741.82 million in the same period last year.

At the same time, Mexico, the once prime denim exporter in the USA, went down to second place due to a recent agreement among the US, Canada and Mexico.

As a result, its denim shipments declined by 54.9% to $184.94 million in the first half of this year – in contrast to $410.07 million over the same time last year.

In 3rd place stood Vietnam. It moved down to the third position on the US market with 0.67% growth among the top ten suppliers during the first half of the year. The value of Vietnam’s denim exports was US$143.57 million throughout the period, which was $142.61 million in the same period last year.

Once a mighty player in this arena, China’s denim exports to the USA were disrupted in the first six months of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the ongoing trade war affected them significantly. As a result, the once second largest denim supplier to the US market fell to fourth place.

According to Otexa data, Cambodian denim exports registered nearly 40% growth to US$64.03 million in the period from $45.89 million in the same period last year.

And US denim imports from Pakistan declined by 15.8% to $100.68 million in this period from $119.40 million in the same period of 2019.

Bangladeshi denim industry insiders have said China and Mexico have lost more than 50% of their denim exports to the US market during the period, which aided Bangladesh to reach the first place.

Experts also predict that the business condition might be healthier in the second half of the year with most EU buyers coming back to markets as most fashion clothing stores have reopened.

But in the near future, Bangladesh will face a close challenge from Vietnam and Cambodia, as these countries will get more benefits in the US market.

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