T-shirt Imports by Country

Design T-shirts (courtesy of Pixabay.com)

Designer T-shirts (Pixabay)

Overall, the value of T-shirts imported in 2017 totaled US$38.5 billion. That dollar amount reflects a 7.5% increase for all importing countries since 2013 when international purchases of T-shirts were valued at $35.8 billion. Year over year, worldwide T-shirt imports appreciated by 5.4% from 2016 to 2017.

From a continental perspective, European countries represent the highest dollar worth of imported T-shirts with purchases valued at $20.7 billion or 53.7% of the global total for 2017. In second place were Asian importers at 20.5% while 18.3% of T-shirts imported worldwide was delivered to customers in North America.

Smaller percentages was sold to Latin America (3.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, Oceania (2.2%) led by Austria and New Zealand, then Africa (1.4%).

Cotton is the dominant material for T-shirt manufacturing. Cotton T-shirts accounted for $25 billion in worldwide purchases or almost two-thirds (64.9%) of all imported T-shirts during 2017. Similar apparel made from textiles other than cotton equaled $13.5 billion for the remaining 35.1%.

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 sub-categorized as 610990.

T-shirt Imports by Country

Overall

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts (regardless of source materials) during 2017:

  1. United States: US$5.8 billion (15.2% of T-shirt imports)
  2. Germany: $4.3 billion (11%)
  3. United Kingdom: $2.6 billion (6.7%)
  4. France: $2.2 billion (5.8%)
  5. Japan: $2.2 billion (5.7%)
  6. Spain: $1.9 billion (4.9%)
  7. Italy: $1.5 billion (3.9%)
  8. Netherlands: $1.4 billion (3.6%)
  9. Belgium: $1.2 billion (3%)
  10. Hong Kong: $968.2 million (2.5%)
  11. South Korea: $729.6 million (1.9%)
  12. Austria: $724.2 million (1.9%)
  13. Canada: $715.5 million (1.9%)
  14. United Arab Emirates: $704.2 million (1.8%)
  15. Australia: $697.1 million (1.8%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 71.7% of all T-shirts imported in 2017.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for cotton T-shirts since 2013 were: South Korea (up 27.9%), United Arab Emirates (up 21.2%), Australia (up 19.9%) and Spain (up 17.7%).

Those countries that posted declines in their purchases of imported cotton T-shirts were led by: Hong Kong (down -11.9%), Belgium (down -7.5%), Japan (down -6.8%) and Canada (down -4.3%).

Cotton

T-shirt Imports by Country: Cotton

Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of cotton T-shirts during 2017:

  1. United States: US$3.9 billion (15.8% of imported cotton T-shirts)
  2. Germany: $2.7 billion (10.7%)
  3. United Kingdom: $1.7 billion (6.8%)
  4. France: $1.4 billion (5.5%)
  5. Spain: $1.2 billion (5%)
  6. Japan: $1.1 billion (4.6%)
  7. Italy: $1 billion (4.2%)
  8. Netherlands: $967.7 million (3.9%)
  9. Hong Kong: $736.9 million (3%)
  10. Belgium: $734.5 million (2.9%)
  11. United Arab Emirates: $511.7 million (2%)
  12. Austria: $482.1 million (1.9%)
  13. Australia: $465.8 million (1.9%)
  14. Canada: $454.1 million (1.8%)
  15. Poland: $445.1 million (1.8%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 71.7% of the total $25 billion worth of cotton T-shirts imported in 2017.

Those countries that posted declines in their purchases of imported cotton T-shirts were led by: Belgium (down -14.9%), Canada (down -10.2%), Germany (down -9%) and Hong Kong (down -4.9%).

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for cotton T-shirts since 2013 were: Poland (up 39.4%), Spain (up 19.6%), Australia (up 17.3%) and Austria (up 17.2%).

Other Textiles

T-shirt Imports by Country: Non-Cotton Textiles

Below are the 15 countries that, during 2017, imported the highest dollar value worth of T-shirts made from textile materials other than cotton:

  1. United States: US$1.9 billion (14.1% of imported non-cotton T-shirts)
  2. Germany: $1.6 billion (11.7%)
  3. Japan: $1.1 billion (7.8%)
  4. United Kingdom: $896.9 million (6.6%)
  5. France: $857.3 million (6.3%)
  6. Spain: $653.6 million (4.8%)
  7. Italy: $457.7 million (3.4%)
  8. Netherlands: $427.5 million (3.2%)
  9. Belgium: $419.9 million (3.1%)
  10. South Korea: $348.9 million (2.6%)
  11. Canada: $261.4 million (1.9%)
  12. Austria: $242.1 million (1.8%)
  13. Hong Kong: $231.3 million (1.7%)
  14. Australia: $231.3 million (1.7%)
  15. China: $223.5 million (1.7%)

By value, the listed 15 countries purchased 72.5% of the $13.5 billion worth of non-cotton T-shirts imported in 2017.

Among the above countries, the fastest-growing markets for non-cotton T-shirts since 2013 were: China (up 89.5%), South Korea (up 84.8%), United States (up 38.8%) and Australia (up 25.6%).

Two countries posted declines in their purchases of imported non-cotton T-shirts, namely Hong Kong (down -28.6%) and Japan (down -11.9%).

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

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on November 6, 2018

Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on November 6, 2018