Japan still not recovered as RMG imports down 45% in July ’20 over July ’19 and by 19.63% in COVID-19 period


Japanese RMG import took a hit in 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak and, as per data released by Ministry of Finance (Japan) and compiled by Apparel Resources, there is a sharp decline in imports in pre-COVID-19 period (January to March ’20) as well as in COVID-19 period (April to July ’20).

Japan’s RMG imports valued 903.54 billion yen (US $ 8.50 billion) in January-April ’20 (considering the April data is a result of shipment done by countries in March), marking 9.60 per cent decline on Y-o-Y basis. As lockdown got relaxed in Japan in early May ’20 and the imports for this month happened in April, the period April-July ’20 too was significantly down by 19.63 per cent on Y-o-Y basis.

The import valued 734.36 billion yen (US $ 6.91 billion) in April-July ’20 which was also down by 18.72 per cent from previous period – January-April ’20. Earlier we had reported that Japan has been noting month-over-month growth from May ’20 onwards but still the decline on Y-o-Y basis is too huge to be covered.

Vietnam was the only country which saw yearly growth by 4.80 per cent in its apparel shipment to Japan during January-April ’20. However in the subsequent period (April-July ’20), the shipment valued 122.37 billion yen (US $ 1.15 billion), noting a decline of 18.03 per cent from what it clocked in January-April ’20 and 14.51 per cent from the same period of 2019.

Japan imported 426.46 billion yen (US $ 4.01 billion) worth of garments from China in April-July ’20 period, marking 12.26 per cent decline from January-April ’20 period (when it imported 511.11 billion yen (US $ 4.81 billion) worth of garments) and 16.57 per cent from April-July ’19 period.

China’s share, cumulatively in 2020, to the total import value of Japan stood at 54.42 per cent, while the same was 55.87 per cent in 2019 (January to July period).

When it comes to Bangladesh and India, both the countries took more severe hit as compared to China and Vietnam. Bangladesh’s RMG shipment to Japan valued 27.81 billion yen (US $ 261.76 million) which is down by 40.30 per cent from its own shipment value in January-April ’20 and 29.37 per cent in April-July ’19. Bangladesh’s share to total Japanese import of apparels reduced to 3.78 per cent in April-July ’20 from 4.31 per cent in April-July ’19, owing to COVID-19 mayhem.

India too declined by 43.65 per cent in April-July ’20 period over January-April ’20 period to ship 6.59 billion yen (US $ 62 million) worth of garments to Japan. The fall on Y-o-Y basis as compared to April-July ’19 period was also massive – 48.20 per cent.

In July ’20, Japan imported 212.98 billion yen (US $ 2 billion) worth of garments and fell Y-o-Y as compared to July ’19 by 45.18 per cent. As compared to July ’19, all the countries still remained negative in their respective RMG exports to Japan. China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India fell in their exports to Japan in July ’20 on Y-o-Y basis by 46.23 per cent, 44.95 per cent, 34.73 per cent and 20.64 per cent, respectively.





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