Posts Tagged ‘footwear’

PIERS Offers Exclusive Research Into China’s Impact on the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Nations – Available for Free Download

March 12, 2013

PIERS, the Standard in Trade Intelligence, is pleased to offer a one of a kind report available for FREE download. The report examines China’s waning strength in labor-intensive exports like furniture, apparel and footwear, and its impact on other developing countries.

Understand how rising wages and labor shortages are prompting factory owners in China to relocate facilities inland or in many cases flee to other developing countries where wages are lower or competitive, and supply of unskilled and semi-skilled workers is abundant. To isolate developing countries most exposed to this trend, this report identifies  13 countries for which manufacturing represents more than 15% of their GDP and wages are lower than in China or globally competitive.

China’s Impact on the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Nations

The results suggest that China’s waning strength in labor-intensive exports is benefiting some developing economies more than others, while a few appear to not be benefiting at all. Countries examined in this report include: Vietnam, Mexico, India, Thailand, Brazil, Honduras, El Salvador, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Poland, Philippines and Cambodia.

Key findings include:

  • Favorable trade conditions and geographic proximity with Central American countries have led to growth rates of U.S. apparel imports that significantly outpaced that of China, in part because shortened transit time is particularly important to shippers of apparel.
  • Lower wages and favorable exchange rates in recent years have given Vietnam an advantage over China in the footwear and apparel sector, leading to an increase in market share of U.S. imports in both of these sectors.
  • While Poland represents a relatively small share of the global furniture market, significant currency depreciation  against the U.S. dollar has resulted in a compound annual growth rate of U.S. furniture imports of 19.6% from 2001 through 2011.

Get a better understanding of how these trends effect the global supply chain and download your FREE report today!


U.S. Containerized Imports Up 0.6% in August

October 9, 2012

U.S. containerized imports decelerated sharply in August after jumping by 10.5 % year over year in July reports the JOC, a PIERS sister company. Utilizing PIERS waterborne data, total U.S. containerized imports edged up 0.6% in August 2012, compared to August 2011, to a total of 1.54 million TEUs. Imports declined 2.1 % in August versus July. Year to date, through August, overall U.S. containerized imports were up 3.2%.

Leading the gains were auto parts, up 16% versus August, 2011; decorations, up 12%; still wines, up 17%; and paper & paperboard, up 6%. Leading the losses were footwear, down 30 %; auto tires, down 14%; and computers, down 15%, all compared to August 2011.

A full analysis of these findings is available online at, or for a more a granular look at U.S. waterborne shipments including company names, commodity, carrier, country of origin/destination and more, visit to register for a free demo.

Touch His Sole for Father’s Day

June 15, 2012


With Father’s Day on Sunday, you might still be contemplating what to get the men you are honoring this Holiday. You’ve surprised him with everything from power tools to golf clubs; you’re drawing a blank for this year’s gift…with time running out quickly! (eek) Start with asking yourself these two questions:

  1. Is Dad’s wardrobe stuck in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s? 
  2. Do leisure suits, blue suede shoes, college team t-shirts with holes  and PONY sneakers line Dad’s closet?                  

If you answered  ‘yes’ to either of these questions, then this is the year to spruce up Dad’s attire…while stimulating the U.S. economy!

As mentioned in our blog from Monday, leading the losses last quarter were footwear, down 20%, and menswear, down 19%. Year-over-year U.S. containerized imports from Asia declined 1.6% in April, with shipments from China at the forefront, down 3%, due to reduced footwear and apparel shipments. “It appears retailers are keeping inventories of footwear and apparel ultra-lean as the economy loses momentum and employers reduce hiring,” said Journal of Commerce Economist, Mario O. Moreno. If inflation falls further later this year, we may see some growth in retail sales but as long as high unemployment and sluggish wage growth dampen confidence, spending will remain tight.

Happy Father’s Day from PIERS, enjoy the weekend!

U.S. Importers Keeping Inventory Lean, Containerized Shipments Down 2% in April

June 11, 2012

U.S. containerized imports dropped 2% in April year-over-year, as retailers responded to a slowing economy by keeping inventories lean, reported Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS. The decline followed a 7.3% Y-o-Y gain in March due, in part, to an early Lunar New Year in China.

“Latest import data reinforces the interpretation of a marked slowdown in the economy, induced by a lack of significant job growth. It is only fair to ask, what will the Fed do next?” Moreno said. His comments reflect his continued expectation that growth in imports will regain speed in the second half of the year, with the help of Federal Reserve intervention. Overall U.S. containerized imports were up 1% in the first four months of the year.

U.S. Containerized Imports April 2012


Leading the losses in April were footwear and miscellaneous fruits, each down 20%; menswear, down 19%; women’s and infant wear, down 11%; miscellaneous apparel, down 11%; auto tires, down 6%; and computer-related products, down 8%.  

Sales of existing homes are paddling along so far this year, which contributed to a slight uptick in furniture imports. In the months ahead, however, softness in the pace of home sales will constrain growth in furniture and home goods imports, Moreno said. Furniture is the single largest containerized import commodity.

Year-over-year U.S. containerized imports from Asia declined 1.6% in April, with shipments from China at the forefront, down 3%, due to reduced footwear, furniture and toy shipments. Chile followed with a surprising drop of 25%, while imports from Hong Kong and Belgium fell 11% and 17%, respectively. Leading the gains were Japan, up 17%, and Vietnam, up 14%.

More of Moreno’s trade and economic analysis can be found in his blog or by following him on Twitter @MarioMoreno_JoC

For FREE, instant access to details on U.S. import shipments, register online for PIERS TI Basic.

No Longer “Made in China?”

May 17, 2011

PIERS has uncovered a big change in the material world—a shift away from the Chinese production of men’s and women’s clothing and footwear. According to PIERS/JOC economist Mario Moreno, container shipments from China to the U.S. of apparel and footwear have dropped, indicating a shift toward offshore sourcing of these products.

China’s share of footwear imports dropped from 75% in the first quarter of 2010 to 73% in the first quarter of 2011. Menswear imports to the U.S. dropped from 25% to 22% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the first quarter of 2010. In women’s and infants’ wear, China’s market share dropped from 34% to 31%.

Moreno believes the decline is due to many firms moving their footwear and apparel manufacturing facilities out of China to Southeast Asia, the India Subcontinent and Central America. In fact, the Financial Times announced just last week that Coach, the U.S. accessories brand, is already planning to shift up to half of its manufacturing out of China to escape rising labor costs. Over the next five years, the company is opening factories in lower-wage economies including India, Vietnam and the Philippines and cutting its China production by as much as 50% of what it is now.

The shift reflects ongoing changes in China’s labor market—wages are increasing and the working population sees more employment options. This shows the Chinese economy is changing from its export engine toward a pro-consumption model. The strengthening of China’s currency is also a factor in reducing already tight profit margins for manufacturers of low-value goods.

PIERS’ analysis shows the change in direction from upward to flat to downward as manufacturing firms flee the country on rising wages. Moreno said jobs in general are growing at a much faster rate than the working population growth, suggesting Chinese workers have more options now than a decade ago. Thus, working at a footwear or apparel factory performing repetitive tasks on a daily basis has become less appealing to unskilled workers, despite higher wages.

With PIERS, you can arm yourself with the right information to put these and other market shifts into perspective. Can your business benefit from sourcing a new supplier? Need assistance analyzing a new market? Contact us today to have a PIERS business development manager show you how our product solutions can help you grow your business, cut expenses and so much more.

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