T-shirt Exports by Country

T-shirts from around the globe

Fancy T-shirts

Worldwide T-shirt exports by country totaled US$47 billion in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 2.5% gain for all T-shirt exporters over the five-year period starting in 2014 when exported T-shirts were worth $45.8 billion. Year over year, the value of globally exported T-shirts rose by 4.9% from 2017 to 2018.

Among continents, Asia sold the highest dollar worth of exports for knitted or crocheted T-shirts (inclusive of all materials) during 2018 with shipments valued at $26 billion or 55.3% of overall T-shirt exports. In second place were European shippers at 31%. Smaller percentages of total T-shirt exports were sourced from Latin America (7.7%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, North America (3.5%), Africa (2.6%) and Oceania (0.06%) led by Australia and New Zealand.

Cotton is the dominant material for T-shirt manufacturing. Cotton T-shirts accounted for $30.4 billion in international sales or almost two-thirds (64.7%) of total exported T-shirts. Similar apparel made from textiles other than cotton equaled $16.6 billion for the remaining 35.3%.

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 2018.

  1. China: US$8 billion (17% of total T-shirt exports)
  2. Bangladesh: $6.3 billion (13.3%)
  3. Turkey: $2.8 billion (6%)
  4. Germany: $2.5 billion (5.3%)
  5. India: $2.5 billion (5.2%)
  6. Vietnam: $2 billion (4.2%)
  7. Belgium: $1.7 billion (3.6%)
  8. Italy: $1.7 billion (3.5%)
  9. Spain: $1.4 billion (3%)
  10. Netherlands: $1.4 billion (3%)
  11. Cambodia: $1.1 billion (2.4%)
  12. France: $1.1 billion (2.3%)
  13. Portugal: $1 billion (2.2%)
  14. Mexico: $931.6 million (2%)
  15. Honduras: $931 million (2%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped about three-quarters (75.1%) of global T-shirt exports in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing T-shirt exporters since 2014 were: Honduras (up 154,293%), Italy (up 28.5%), Netherlands (up 28.3%) and France (up 22.6%).

Four countries posted declines in their exported T-shirt sales namely: Turkey (down -21%), China (down -21.4%), India (down -9.7%) and Cambodia (down -1.1%).

Cotton

T-shirt Exports by Country: Cotton

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cotton T-shirts during 2018.

  1. Bangladesh: US$5.4 billion (17.9% of exported cotton T-shirts)
  2. China: $3.9 billion (12.7%)
  3. India: $1.8 billion (5.9%)
  4. Turkey: $1.7 billion (5.5%)
  5. Germany: $1.6 billion (5.3%)
  6. Italy: $1.3 billion (4.2%)
  7. Netherlands: $1.1 billion (3.5%)
  8. Vietnam: $994.9 million (3.3%)
  9. Spain: $941.3 million (3.1%)
  10. Portugal: $782.7 million (2.6%)
  11. Belgium: $771.5 million (2.5%)
  12. France: $732.6 million (2.4%)
  13. Honduras: $686.2 million (2.3%)
  14. Hong Kong: $612.2 million (2.0%)
  15. Mexico: $586.8 million (1.9%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped about three-quarters (75.2%) of cotton T-shirts exported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing cotton T-shirts exporters since 2014 were: Honduras (up 163,290%), Spain (up 52%), Italy (up 49.8%) and France (up 40%).

Four countries posted declines in their exported cotton T-shirts sales namely: China (down -20.4%), Hong Kong (down -8%), Turkey (down -6.6%) and India (down -2.3%).

Other Textiles

T-shirt Exports by Country: Non-Cotton Textiles

Below are the 15 countries that, during 2018, exported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts made from textile materials other than cotton.

  1. China: US$4.1 billion (24.9% of total non-cotton T-shirts exports)
  2. Turkey: $1.1 billion (6.7%)
  3. Vietnam: $955.6 million (5.8%)
  4. Belgium: $931.1 million (5.6%)
  5. Germany: $883.1 million (5.3%)
  6. Bangladesh: $816.5 million (4.9%)
  7. India: $672.4 million (4%)
  8. Cambodia: $615.7 million (3.7%)
  9. Spain: $481.6 million (2.9%)
  10. Italy: $381.7 million (2.3%)
  11. Mexico: $344.8 million (2.1%)
  12. Netherlands: $339.2 million (2%)
  13. France: $332.5 million (2%)
  14. Indonesia: $275.3 million (1.7%)
  15. Portugal: $260.3 million (1.6%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped roughly three-quarters (75.6%) of globally exported non-cotton T-shirts in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing non-cotton T-shirts exporters since 2014 were: Cambodia (up 137%), Indonesia (up 65.6%), Netherlands (up 42.1%) and Belgium (up 38.9%).

Those countries that posted declines in their exported non-cotton T-shirts sales were led by: Turkey (down -36.7%), India (down -24.8%), China (down -22.3%), Spain (down -19.1%) and Italy (down -13.2%).

Companies

T-shirt Exporting Companies

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

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

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:
Alibaba, Supplier showroom for T-shirts. Accessed on June 3, 2018

Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 7, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 7, 2019

Wikipedia, T-shirt. Accessed on June 3, 2018