Dave turned me on to Emerging Textiles. It’s a for-pay newsletter covering big picture news in imports, fibers and textile products across the globe. You can get a free two week trial or you can buy some reports for a surprisingly reasonable price (>$5). To be sure some reports are a redux of US Dept of Commerce data but who wants to wade through those? Other than some of the sick twisted puppies I know are out there.
Here’s two separate pieces I’ve tied together for an idea of what we can look forward to with regard to apparel imports and production sourcing. Consider Mexico, I’d bet most people think they’re getting US production dollars. Rather, what emerges is what some could describe as a compelling picture of a race to the bottom. In spite of an increase in full package sourcing (that does seem to be up across the board, no?), Mexico has lost 50% of its apparel related jobs.
Mexico’s apparel and fiber industries significantly declined over the past years, in line with lower exports to the US market. Apparel production capacities were partly relocated to Central America and the Caribbean while fiber industry lost 50% of its jobs, our special envoy to Mexico reports. Apparel producers continue shifting to full package production, but face a threatening 2009 deadline with the end of US quotas on Chinese products while also confronted with surging illegal imports.
The two behemoths China and India are squaring off; their relationship is quite dynamic, pricing highly related to value and import restrictions imposed against one or the other. For example, for decades, US imports from India have largely benefited from quotas against Chinese goods. However, with quotas against Chinese goods set to expire in 2009, the situation could change quickly. In the interim, India has strategized by producing goods with higher margins, leaving China to fight amongst itself for commodity production. Once the quotas expire, it is very likely India will have some competition in the niche its carved out for itself.
China and India are increasingly heading towards direct confrontation on the US apparel market…China and India are both increasingly shifting to higher-valued segments on the US apparel market. Direct confrontation is progressively dominating the match between the two textile giants, as a result. India limits the rise in its prices in categories where quotas are maintained on Chinese products while more rapidly raising prices and quality in other categories,
Minimally, India has raised the bar. I have no doubts China will improve her competencies in higher end goods (once we can tear them away from pirating CDs). The way I see it is that rising costs abroad can only improve the relative position of US domestic producers.
Now, go on. Move along now. Don’t louse things up by hitting the comment button. Nobody ever does on posts like these.