4.6% Growth In Import Of Denim Jeans Into USA In 2010 Over 2009

 up-or-down-denim The denim apparel imports into USA has increased by a marginal 4.6% in 2010 over the volumes of 2009 . This is quite surprising as the increase in imports during the first 6 months of the year was 12.6% and as I mentioned in a previous report. This actually means that the imports in the second half of the year have actually dropped in second half. Let’s see from the table below :

Imports Of All Denim Apparel Into US  2009-2010


2009 million pcs

2010  million pcs

% change

Ist Half




2nd Half








From the table above, we can clearly see that the volumes of denim apparel import into US have actually shown a declining trend in the second half of the year 2010 .  This declining trend actually set in the last quarter of 2010. The imports in the
  • last quarter of 2009 were 157 million pcs
  • last quarter of 2010 were 148 million pcs .

That means that in the last quarter itself, the fall in imports is to the tune of 6.8% – a very large fall . If this trend of falling imports continues in the first half of 2011 , then we are looking at a very negative story on denim consumption in US . But since only one quarter in 2010 has shown a negative story, there is still hope and maybe the first quarter of 2011 will make the things more clear ..

There can be many possible reasons why this fall is happening . One of the main reasons could be the increase in prices of denim due to rising cotton prices, which is making the highest impact on Denim as denim is almost the heaviest product using cotton. It would be interesting to study whether the sales of all clothing has also shown a similar downward trend during 2010. Though , there is a time lag between the imports of a product and its actual sales at retail stores, the imports also are indicative of the sentiments of retailers which are based on their sales forecasts which depend on actual sales happening in the stores.

The following table shows the total sales in clothing stores in US during 2009 and 2010

Total Clothing Sales in US – Last Quarter of 2009 and 2010


2009  $billion

$ billion


Jan – Dec




Oct – Dec




Though these figures are for values (USD) , they clearly show that the sales of all clothing stores put together have actually shown a very positive increase during the year with about  4.4% increase in the year and about 5% increase in the last quarter itself. 

The denim imported in the last quarter of 2010 would be retailed in the first quarter (mostly) and the actual retail sales of clothing stores in the first quarter of 2010 would indicate whether it is only denim which is losing steam or not..   Lets keep our fingers crossed..




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