March 28, 2008
March 28, 2008 - Statistics released by the U.S. Office of Textiles and Apparel indicate that U.S. imports of wool apparel rose strongly in November 2007 compared to the same period in 2006 (in both value and volume terms).
Behind the solid performance of wool apparel imports in November 2007, the long term trend of wool apparel share by volume of total apparel imports is declining. During the 12 months ending December 1998, the average share of wool apparel in total apparel imports oscillated around 2.1 percent.
Ten years later, the same ratio for 12 months ending November 2007 dropped to around half of that. A similar trend has been recorded in value terms.
In contrast, total apparel imports maintain a solid upward trend with the volume of total U.S. apparel imports almost doubling within the last decade.
The most important supplier of apparel on the U.S. market is China. The importance of China in U.S. imports is even greater in the sector of wool apparel products. There has been a 12-fold increase in the volume of wool apparel supplied to the United States by China in the 12 months to November 2007 compared to ten years ago.
There are some signs that the solid monthly trend in U.S. wool apparel imports may become more subdued due to weakening American economy and faltering demand in the U.S. retail sector. Reprinted from Australian Wool Innovation Limited