35% Fall In Denim Fabric Imports In USA in 2009 – A report

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The first half of this year ( period Jan-May 2009) has seen a drop of 34% in the imports of Denim Fabrics into US. This is surprising if we consider that the sales of Jeans in during this period has actually increased by 2.3 %.

But as mentioned in this previous report , sales Super of Premium Denim Jeans ( $200 + Jeans) in the US has taken a knock. And the same is reflected in lower production of Premium Denim Jeans in US and thus lower imports of denim fabrics . Lets analyze these figures :

Consolidated Data for Denim fabrics:

                                    Jan-May 2008            Jan- May 2009

Imports in US

(Linear mtrs)         13 Million Mtrs          8.6 Million Mtrs


Here I am giving the figures of  denim fabrics reflecting the exports of Denim Fabrics from various countries during this period.


Imports of Denim Fabrics In USA in Jan- May 2009

Country Jan-May 2008 Jan-May 2009 %Change
(Figures   in 1000 mtrs )  
China 4,362 2,568 -41%
Italy 2,085 1,022 -46%
Taiwan 1,720 1,903 +10%
Mexico 1,639 1,682 +3%
Turkey 1,505 305 -80% !
Japan 456 540 +18% .Good !
Slovenia 397 0 -100% !
Bahrain 373 203 -45%
Pakistan 140 16 88%
Spain 87 10 -89%
Hong Kong 56 10 -81%
Indonesia 88 0 -100%
India 16 43 +161%

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Int’l Trade Commission.However
square mtr figures have been converted to Linear mtrs(1m=1.55sq m average) for easy understanding.

This fall in the imports of Denim fabrics into US coincides with an increase

in sales of Jeans. This can indicate the following:

a) Manufacturing of Premium jeans in US has taken a knock.
b)Some of the Premium Denim Brands may have actually shifted part of their productions overseas to reduce costs.

It is also interesting to see that where countries like China , Italy  and Turkey have lost substantial volumes, others like  Taiwan, Mexico and Japan have gainedHere, however, it should be noted that Premium Denim brands have a marked preference for Japanese denim fabrics . However, these fabrics may not always come directly from Japan only.They are sometimes  routed through China and Hongkong also .

Taiwan is a quiet but regular exporter of denim fabrics. It does not figure anywhere as a large denim manufacturing country  , but it does manufacture very specialized denim fabrics and US has always been its regular buyer . And for the last few years, Premium Denim manufacturers have been using its fabrics in volumes.

Italy and Turkey are two other major countries to have their exports reduced.  However, with improving market in US, their exports might pick up a bit.

Other countries are really so small in their export figures that % changes in their figures hardly make a difference.


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