T-shirt Exports by Country

T-shirts from around the globe

Fancy T-shirts

T-shirt exports by country totaled US$43.1 billion in 2016, up by an average 9.8% for all T-shirt exporters over the five-year period starting in 2012. Year over year, the value of global T-shirt exports dipped -4% from 2015 to 2016.

Cotton is the dominant material for T-shirt manufacturing. Cotton T-shirts accounted for $26.8 billion in international sales or almost two-thirds (62%) of total T-shirt exports. T-shirts made from textiles other than cotton equal $16.4 billion for the remaining 38%.

Among continents, Asian countries accounted for the highest dollar worth of exported T-shirt (inclusive of all materials) during 2016 with shipments valued at $26.1 billion or 60.5% of global exports.

In second place were European Union nations at 26.6%. Smaller percentages of worldwide T-shirt shipments are sourced from exporters in Latin America including Mexico and the Caribbean (6.3%), North America (3.6%) and Africa (2.4%).

The 4-digit Harmonized Tariff System code prefix for knitted or crocheted T-shirt is 6109. Drilling down, cotton T-shirts fall under 610910 while T-shirts made from other materials are categorized as 610990.

T-shirt Exports by Country

Overall

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts (regardless of source materials) during 2016:

  1. China: US$8.7 billion (20.2% of total T-shirt exports)
  2. Bangladesh: $5.6 billion (13.1%)
  3. Turkey: $2.9 billion (6.8%)
  4. India: $2.8 billion (6.4%)
  5. Germany: $1.9 billion (4.4%)
  6. Vietnam: $1.5 billion (3.6%)
  7. Belgium: $1.5 billion (3.5%)
  8. Italy: $1.3 billion (3%)
  9. Spain: $1.2 billion (2.9%)
  10. Cambodia: $1 billion (2.4%)
  11. Portugal: $924.4 million (2.1%)
  12. Netherlands: $901.2 million (2.1%)
  13. Mexico: $895.8 million (2.1%)
  14. France: $872.3 million (2%)
  15. Hong Kong: $828.9 million (1.9%)

The listed 15 countries shipped over three-quarters (76.5%) of global T-shirt exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing T-shirt exporters since 2012 were: Cambodia (up 94.1%), Vietnam (up 33.5%), Belgium (up 33.4%) and India (up 31.6%).

Five countries posted declines in their exported T-shirt sales: Hong Kong (down -27%), Turkey (down -5.1%), Netherlands (down -4.3%), Spain (down -2.6%) and Germany (down -1.4%).

Cotton

T-shirt Exports by Country: Cotton

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cotton T-shirts during 2016:

  1. Bangladesh: US$4.9 billion (18.4% of total exported cotton T-shirts)
  2. China: $4.3 billion (16.2%)
  3. India: $1.7 billion (6.5%)
  4. Turkey: $1.6 billion (5.9%)
  5. Germany: $1.1 billion (4.2%)
  6. Italy: $883.3 million (3.3%)
  7. Vietnam: $734.8 million (2.7%)
  8. Belgium: $730.3 million (2.7%)
  9. Spain: $687.8 million (2.6%)
  10. Netherlands: $659.8 million (2.5%)
  11. Portugal: $646.2 million (2.4%)
  12. El Salvador: $641.5 million (2.4%)
  13. Hong Kong: $623.2 million (2.3%)
  14. United Kingdom: $542.3 million (2%)
  15. France: $523.9 million (2%)

The listed 15 countries shipped three-quarters (75.4%) of global cotton T-shirts exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing cotton T-shirts exporters since 2012 were: United Kingdom (up 36.4%), Italy (up 29.9%), France (up 16.1%) and Belgium (up 11.9%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported cotton T-shirts sales were led by: Hong Kong (down -20.4%), Netherlands (down -15.1%), Turkey (down -11.8%), Germany (down -11.6%) and El Salvador (down -11%).

Other Textiles

T-shirt Exports by Country: Non-Cotton Textiles

Below are the 15 countries that, during 2016, exported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts made from textile materials other than cotton:

  1. China: US$4.4 billion (26.8% of total exported non-cotton T-shirts)
  2. Turkey: $1.3 billion (8.2%)
  3. India: $1 billion (6.3%)
  4. Vietnam: $803.3 million (4.9%)
  5. Germany: $793.8 million (4.8%)
  6. Belgium: $777.2 million (4.7%)
  7. Bangladesh: $722.1 million (4.4%)
  8. Cambodia: $596.3 million (3.6%)
  9. Spain: $559.6 million (3.4%)
  10. Italy: $397.6 million (2.4%)
  11. Mexico: $375.3 million (2.3%)
  12. France: $348.4 million (2.1%)
  13. Sri Lanka: $298.9 million (1.8%)
  14. Portugal: $278.2 million (1.7%)
  15. Indonesia: $267.8 million (1.6%)

The listed 15 countries shipped almost four-fifths (79.3%) of global non-cotton T-shirt exports in 2016 by value.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing non-cotton T-shirts exporters since 2012 ranged from Bangladesh (up 252.0%), Cambodia (up 217.1%) and India (up 130.1%) down to China (up 15.6%), Italy (up 4.9%) and Turkey (up 4.3%).

Not one country posted a decline in its non-cotton T-shirt exports.

Companies

T-shirt Exporting Companies

According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers are examples of established T-shirt companies:

  • Nanchang Dongshen Knitted Garment Co, Ltd (China)
  • Fab Collections Limited (Bangladesh)
  • Sky Apparel Limited (Turkey)
  • PBM Polytex Limited (India)
  • NFS Trade International (Germany)
  • Vietgo Company Limited (Vietnam)
  • Idea Group IGM SRL (Italy)
  • Ruma North America Group S de RL de CV (Mexico)
  • Herbert Georg Santura (Portugal)
  • Luxiberg (France)

The home-country location for each business is shown within parentheses.

See also Leather Shoes Exports by Country, Cotton Exports by Country, Cotton Imports by Country and Top Exported Baby Clothing Sales

Research Sources:
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 21, 2017

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 21, 2017

Wikipedia, T-shirt. Accessed on June 21, 2017

Alibaba, Supplier showroom for T-shirts. Accessed on June 21, 2017