Denim Fabric Imports Into US Fall 26.72% But Prices Rise 19.40% in 2010

The Denim Fabric imports into US in the first quarter of 2010 showed a negative growth of 26.72%  compared to the same quarter in the year 2009. However, what was surprising to see was that the average prices  of imported denim fabrics rose by 19.40% . It was clearly a reflection of the fact that the volume of premium denim jeans production in US has taken a hit but the manufacturers are trying to use better fabrics to differentiate themselves in the highly competitive premium denim market space. This trend of increasing average prices had actually started in 2009 itself and the prices kept on increasing with each passing quarter. 

Imports of Denim Fabrics Into USA 2009- & 2010 – 1st Quarter

Year Quarter Qty(million sq mtrs.) Qty. ( million mtrs at 160cm) Value
Average Price / Linear mtr of 160cm
2009 1st 8.27 5.17 18.92 $3.66
2010 1st 6.06 3.78 18.71 $4.95
Change %= -26.72%   -1.1% +19.40%

Lets have a look at some of the  main exporting countries which exported denim fabrics to USA in 2010 first quarter.

Country 2009  1st quarter
(million mtrs 160cm width)
2010 1st quarter
(million mtrs. 160cm width)
% Change
Mexico 1.24 0.35 -71.78%
China 1.41 1.87 +32.64%
Italy 0.88 1.30 +47.72%
Taiwan 1.05 0.89 -15.23%
Japan 0.27 0.56 +107%

We can see that the largest %  increases in imports have been from Japan and Italy – prices from where have been traditionally the highest. This is also reflected in our figures in the first table where the average prices of imports have increased by almost 20%. China is also becoming an important exporter of denim fabrics to US. Mexico has taken the biggest hit in terms of exports – reflecting the inability of the Mexican mills to meet the  requirements of the US importers.

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