Ho Chi Minh City: Vietnam gained more market share last year among suppliers of garments and textiles to the American market than any country except China, according to a US report.
Vietnam’s share by volume of the US market for textiles and apparel rose to 2.8% last year from 2.2% in 2006, the US International Trade Commission said in a report this week. While China’s share of the market jumped to 40.2% from 35.7%, all other countries that supply more than Vietnam lost market share or held steady.
Growth story: Workers at a Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam-based firm. According to an industry report released this week, Vietnam’s share by volume of the US market for textiles and apparel rose to 2.8% last year. (Photograph by Paul Hilton / Bloomberg)
Last year “was characterized by a shift in US textile and apparel imports from Central American and South American countries towards lower-priced Asian suppliers”, the report said. The report is posted on the agency’s website.
While the overall volume of garment and textile exports from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Indonesia to the US increased in 2007, all four countries’ market shares held steady, according to the US International Trade Commission report.
India’s share by volume of the US garment and textile market was 5.1% in both 2006 and 2007; Indonesia’s was 3.1%; Bangladesh’s was 2.9%; and Cambodia’s was 1.7%.
Garments are Vietnam’s second biggest export after crude oil. The South-East Asian nation’s garment exports received a boost last year by the removal of US quotas, as part of Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
“Vietnam’s garment industry is going to catch up with other countries in terms of vertical integration,” said Chris Freund, managing director of Mekong Capital in Ho Chi Minh City, which manages funds that hold shares in two garment producers.
“The industry will go more upstream over time, similar to what happened in Taiwan and Korea,” Freund said. “Vietnam will begin to produce yarn, which should lower costs and also make Vietnam more competitive in terms of timing.”
Measured by volume, Vietnam was the ninth biggest supplier of garments and textiles to the US in 2007, moving up from 10th place in 2006, bypassing Taiwan. Among non-Asian countries ahead of Vietnam, Mexico’s market share slipped to 5.7% in 2007 from 6.6%, while Canada’s slumped to 3.6% from 4.7%.
Among Asian countries, Pakistan’s market share fell to 6% from 6.8%, while South Korea’s slipped to 3.7% from 4.1%, according to the US International Trade Commission report.
“Investment in the textile sector is on the decline” in Pakistan, wrote agricultural specialist Mohammad Shafiq Ur Rehman at the US embassy in Islamabad, in a May report.
Khalid Qayum in Islamabad contributed to this story.