T-shirt Imports by Country

Design T-shirts (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Designer T-shirts (Pixabay)

Overall, the cost of knitted or crocheted T-shirts imported in 2018 totaled US$41.1 billion. That dollar amount reflects a 6.9% rise for all importing countries since 2014 when international purchases of T-shirts cost $38.4 billion. Year over year, worldwide T-shirt imports increased 5.4% from 2017 to 2018.

From a continental perspective, Europe sold the highest dollar worth of imported T-shirts with purchases valued at $22.7 billion or 55.3% of the global total for 2018. In second place were Asian importers at 20.1% while 18.1% of T-shirts imported worldwide was delivered to customers in North America. Smaller percentages went to Latin America (2.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (2.1%) led by Austria and New Zealand, then Africa (1.6%).

Cotton is the dominant material for T-shirt manufacturing. Cotton T-shirts accounted for $27.2 billion in worldwide purchases or about two-thirds (66.3%) of all T-shirts imported during 2018. Similar apparel made from textiles other than cotton equaled $13.8 billion for the remaining 33.7%.

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 Imports by Country

Overall

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of knitted or crocheted T-shirts (regardless of source materials) during 2018.

  1. United States: US$6.2 billion (15% of total imported T-shirts)
  2. Germany: $4.4 billion (10.6%)
  3. United Kingdom: $2.7 billion (6.6%)
  4. France: $2.5 billion (6%)
  5. Japan: $2.4 billion (5.8%)
  6. Spain: $1.9 billion (4.7%)
  7. Netherlands: $1.9 billion (4.7%)
  8. Italy: $1.7 billion (4.3%)
  9. Belgium: $1.3 billion (3.2%)
  10. Hong Kong: $1.1 billion (2.6%)
  11. China: $835.2 million (2%)
  12. Poland: $833.3 million (2%)
  13. South Korea: $824.9 million (2%)
  14. Austria: $758.5 million (1.8%)
  15. Canada: $731.6 million (1.8%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 73.1% of all T-shirts imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for T-shirts since 2014 were: China (up 56.6%), Poland (up 49.8%), South Korea (up 39.1%) and Austria (up 10.0%).

Two countries posted declines in their imported T-shirts purchases namely United Kingdom (down -5.9%) and Germany (down -5.4%).

Cotton

T-shirt Imports by Country: Cotton

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

  1. United States: US$4.3 billion (15.6% of imported cotton T-shirts)
  2. Germany: $2.8 billion (10.2%)
  3. United Kingdom: $1.8 billion (6.7%)
  4. France: $1.6 billion (5.8%)
  5. Netherlands: $1.4 billion (5.2%)
  6. Spain: $1.3 billion (4.8%)
  7. Italy: $1.3 billion (4.6%)
  8. Japan: $1.2 billion (4.5%)
  9. Belgium: $870.8 million (3.2%)
  10. Hong Kong: $826.3 million (3%)
  11. China: $601 million (2.2%)
  12. Poland: $594.6 million (2.2%)
  13. Austria: $513 million (1.9%)
  14. Australia: $491.4 million (1.8%)
  15. Canada: $487.4 million (1.8%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 73.4% of the total $27.2 billion worth of cotton T-shirts imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for cotton T-shirts since 2014 were: China (up 55.2%), Poland (up 54.2%), Australia (up 22.6%) and Spain (up 11.6%).

Two countries posted declines in their purchases of imported cotton T-shirts, namely Germany (down -7.3%) and United Kingdom (down -3.4%).

Other Textiles

T-shirt Imports by Country: Non-Cotton Textiles

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

  1. United States: US$1.9 billion (13.7% of imported non-cotton T-shirts)
  2. Germany: $1.6 billion (11.3%)
  3. Japan: $1.2 billion (8.5%)
  4. France: $889.4 million (6.4%)
  5. United Kingdom: $876.5 million (6.3%)
  6. Spain: $630 million (4.6%)
  7. Netherlands: $524.6 million (3.8%)
  8. Italy: $489 million (3.5%)
  9. Belgium: $443.8 million (3.2%)
  10. South Korea: $353.7 million (2.6%)
  11. Hong Kong: $250.6 million (1.8%)
  12. United Arab Emirates: $247.8 million (1.8%)
  13. Austria: $245.5 million (1.8%)
  14. Canada: $244.2 million (1.8%)
  15. Poland: $238.7 million (1.7%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 72.8% of the $13.8 billion worth of non-cotton textile T-shirts imported in 2018.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for non-cotton T-shirts since 2014 were: South Korea (up 58.8%), Poland (up 40%), United Arab Emirates (up 27.2%) and United States (up 23.2%).

Four countries posted declines in their purchases of imported non-cotton T-shirts namely: Hong Kong (down -13.8%), United Kingdom (down -10.6%), Spain (down -10.6%) and Germany (down -2%).

Suppliers

T-shirt Exporting Companies

According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following B2B (business-to-business) companies are examples of international T-shirt suppliers.

  • B2B Print SIA (Latvia)
  • CIAO Develop Co, Ltd (Taiwan)
  • Dongguan Qinghuo Apparel Co, Ltd (China)
  • Fashion Mag Trade (Italy)
  • Guangzhou Mingmen Garments (China)
  • Iniz Solutions (India)
  • MONA Trading B2B (Poland)
  • OITA Sports Industries (Pakistan)
  • Push Top Service & Trading Co Ltd (Vietnam)
  • Xiangshan Eco-Friendly Knitting Co (China)

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



 

See also T-shirt Exports by Country, Top Exported Hats by Country and Top Exported Baby Clothing Sales

Research Sources:
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 7, 2019

The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 6, 2018

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