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Fashion Buying in the Age of COVID-19

fashion

Fashion Buying in the Age of COVID-19

Fashion buying has always been a complex task. But in the age of Covid, getting hold of the right stock has become even trickier for boutique owners. With many supply chains severely interrupted and some businesses on the verge of collapse, fashion indies now have the added worry of whether the right products will reach their stores at the right time – says Mina Melikova, CEO of TradeGala.

Some retailers canceled much of what they originally planned to carry at the start of the lockdown, while others are waiting with anticipation to see if their full orders make it to their stores. Much-loved brands could go into administration before the season ends while others might not be able to deliver their full collections.

Some indies are planning to order more products in-season than they would have done pre-pandemic. There are many benefits to buying this way including versatility, guaranteed stock, immediate deliveries, and being able to react to the weather and consumer demand. Short order buying also means paying for stock as you go along, which can help with managing the business’s cash flow.

But it’s not always easy to find suitable brands that offer in-season collections. And with most major trade shows now canceled for the rest of the year and recommendations against non-essential travel, finding new brands and stock to buy in the middle of the season is even more problematic for retailers.

The digitalization of the wholesale model is offering a much-needed alternative for boutique owners and brands. Thanks to a new wave of B2B marketplaces such as TradeGala – the B2B online marketplace it is now possible for buyers to hunt out new products and place orders from the safety of their computer, tablet or smartphone. Many buyers are already used to scouring for new brands online via social media platforms such as Instagram. TradeGala takes it one step further by allowing buyers to browse entire collections and then place orders – all on one convenient site.

TradeGala’s roster of brands is ever-expanding and the marketplace offers a comprehensive line-up to suit myriad tastes and budgets. Standout pieces available to buy via its site include on-trend printed midi and maxi dresses by Zibi London, Liquorish and Hoxton Gal, party dresses, and jewelry from Haus of Deck, and affordable sustainable young fashion designs by Nesavaali. Buyers can choose from casual yet elegant womenswear pieces from Figi and Lenitif, sparkly heels by Glitz Shoes, fashion trainers from JR Artisan Fashion, and intelligent underwear designs by Magic Bodyfashion. There are also beautiful occasionwear pieces such as flowing gowns and bridesmaid dresses from City Goddess and Goddiva.

With a simple order process, retailers can make product selections with just a few clicks. Buyers can refine their search using the site’s in-built filters to find particular colorways, styles, or prices – making it easy to curate unique and harmonious collections from a range of brands. Each product also has its own detailed page with professional photographs and in-depth information, which makes it easy to select the right pieces. And because TradeGala is in operation 24/7, retailers can research and choose products whenever and wherever it suits them.

TradeGala also offers centralized customer service and payment protection so buyers can feel confident when ordering. Many of its sellers offer low minimum order stipulations and sell single garments, so boutiques can make a small trial order to test the brand’s viability with their customer base with very little risk. For brands, TradeGala offers greater visibility and access to new international markets and the latest technologies with minimal commitment. Smaller, independent brands are able to take their first steps into the wholesale market, which may have previously seemed too daunting.

The fashion wholesale world will probably never be fully digitalized given the tactile nature of buying. However, as the country gets to grips with living through a pandemic, TradeGala offers a great way for retailers to access stock safety, conveniently and cost-effectively. This year has been difficult for so many reasons.

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Mina Melikova is the CEO of TradeGala

fashion

COVID-19: The Fashion Store That Stands Out of the Crowd

When things get tough it’s often hard to remember why you started. When you’re drowning in paperwork, figures and the latest sales initiatives it can be hard to see beyond the next task at hand. Whether you own a fashion retail chain or a small independent boutique, it’s safe to assume that you started out with a desire to share your love of fashion with the world.

Unfortunately, it’s often all too easy for that dream to get lost along the way. This may seem like a minor issue, a simple fact of life when faced with the reality of running a business. But if you’ve lost sight of who you are and why you do what you do, you could actually be damaging your chances of success, particularly during a worldwide crisis where retailers must stand out from the crowd in order to triumph over the competition. Maybe now is the perfect time to go back to basics and remember what makes you unique?

When calculating sales targets and budgeting stock, it’s often difficult to see beyond the line of figures in the cashbook. But if we want to convert sales it’s vital to connect with our customers on an emotional level. Let’s go back to why you started. Perhaps you wanted to curate the perfect selection of stunning occasion wear dresses, to share with your customers the fun of dressing for a big event or a special day. Perhaps you wanted better options when buying clothing for your kids and decided to source childrenswear brands in line with your vision to help make parents’ lives easier and children’s clothes shopping fun. You more than likely imagined yourself as the customer – how you would feel as you browsed the ranges, or what you would think as you entered the door. Things seemed simpler then (then again, didn’t everything?)

But perhaps we need to simplify things once more in order to get to where we want to be. It’s all very well using the latest window dressing or SEO techniques, sending out carefully worded newsletters, and offering sales and coupons. But customers know when they’re being sold to, and more often than not, it’s a major turn-off. How many times have you deleted yet another sales email from your inbox, or avoided a store assistant’s pushy sales techniques? It’s time you put yourself back in the customer’s shoes. Who are they? What do they want? How do they want to be treated? Talk to them if you have the chance and find out what the problem is that only you can solve. They may just remind you why you started out in the first place.

The fashion and trade sector is always changing and every few months retailers update their stock, bringing out the summer dresses or stocking up on jumpers and scarves. The bell-bottoms that were ubiquitous years ago have been relegated to the backs of wardrobes to give way to the skinny or the wide leg. But it’s not just trends that change. Are you the same person that you were when you started your business? Is society in the same place as it was when you started out? Even if you launched your business just a year ago, the answer to these questions is more than likely to be “no”. And as situations change, if we continue to do what we always have done, we’re likely to get left behind. But how does that fit with going back to where you started? If we’re supposed to constantly be changing and adapting, how can we stay true to our original goals? The key, as always, is to strip things back to the essentials.

Let’s go back to the occasion to wear example. If your original vision was to offer stunning party wear but people are no longer buying glitzy dresses perhaps now is the time to consider what led you to your choice in the first place. Was it the glitter and sequins that attracted you? Maybe you could consider introducing a range of casual wear, but with a touch of your signature bling to stay true to your brand and bring a little sparkle to your customers’ everyday lives? If the reason you went into occasion wear was more about dressing your customers for their special events, you may simply need to reassess the mood of the moment – if sustainability and slow fashion are the buzzwords of the day, perhaps you could source more classic designs which will last a lifetime, or consider an offering a hire service to help your customers live more sustainably while still fulfilling their fashion fantasies? Consider what your original vision can offer to your customers today and be ready to step outside of your comfort zone.

Ever had the feeling that you’re stuck in a rut? Haven’t we all. It’s often easier to source your collections from the same brands year after year – you’ve built up a relationship, you know what to expect, it’s quick and easy. But ease can be an enemy of progress and relying on those tried and tested habits can lead you away from what you originally set out to achieve. If you’ve gone back to basics you should already have a good idea of exactly what you want to offer your clients. Whatever it is you decide, one of the major factors is likely to be “something they can’t get anywhere else”. We all want to be original, and when the competition is sky-high we need to be able to set ourselves apart from the crowd. “Building your own special identity is a long-term process, but it’s worth all the effort.” – says Mina Melikova, CEO of TradeGala and chief executive of occasionwear brand Goddiva.

If your customers can find the same styles in another perhaps more local store, or they keep seeing those same old favorites in your storefront season after season, they’re likely to look elsewhere. Do what you did when you were just starting out – trust your instinct and branch out with the up-and-coming designers you happened across at the last trade show. Take a risk on a new international brand you discovered recently on your travels. If you want to be faithful to your brand personality you shouldn’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd – it’s the key to success after all.

We know that sourcing brands and purchasing stock can be time-consuming, and can take you away from that all-important time with your customers. This is why we created TradeGala – the B2B online marketplace we do the legwork, sourcing emerging and well-established fashion brands from around the world, with something to cover your every fashion need. New brands are added every week so there’s always something new, something to inspire! Revisit your vision and find the brands to help you achieve it at TradeGala.

menswear

The Popularity of Menswear Continues To Rise: 5 Trends You Need To Know For 2020

Traditionally, when we think about consumers who prioritize fashion and style in their spending habits, women tend to be the target market that comes to mind. Slowly but surely, though, the times are changing, and we’re seeing a shift towards the growing popularity of menswear.

In fact, by 2021, menswear is expected to surpass womenswear in revenue, meaning not only is it good practice to pay close attention to this ever-expanding market, but it’s also not a bad idea to stay on top of the latest menswear fashion trends.

In doing so, we can better predict the styles, brands, and fashion niches that will see success in 2020.

All that being said, here are five menswear trends we’re expected to see pop up in 2020:

1) Bold Ties

While streetwear has been taking over in the menswear department for multiple seasons now, many will be happy to learn that men’s suiting is stepping back onto the scene as well. Don’t be fooled, though. We’re not talking about your standard black suit and skinny tie. Instead, in 2020, trend reports are showing that wide, thick, patterned ties will make a comeback, along with monochromatic suits, done in various colors other than black.

Throw some suspenders into the mix to go with your new suit and tie, and you’ll be unstoppable with this menswear trend on your radar.

2) Patchwork Prints

If suiting doesn’t exactly speak to you, you’ll be pleased to know that streetwear-inspired apparel is still alive and well in menswear. In particular, throwing a little patchwork into your look is a surefire way to stay on trend in 2020.

Not only will the addition of patchwork give an outfit an edgier and slightly grunge-inspired feel, it’s also an easy print to pull off, no matter what your typical style preferences. We’re certain that consumers will be gravitating towards any garments that make use of patchwork.

3) Leather Jackets

No, this isn’t a reference to your traditional motorcycle jacket. In 2020, we’re expected to see men start to favor sleeker, modern lines from their leather. That’s right, you don’t need bold chains, zippers, and all the bells and whistles to pull off a leather jacket in 2020. Keep it simple when it comes to leather.

4) Vests

While a more formal vest is always a closet staple for men, in 2020, don’t be surprised if you see more outdoor-inspired vests popping up. Whether it be something sleek and light for spring, or it be a puffer vest for the cold months, vests are taking the proverbial style cake in menswear for 2020.

5) Crossbody Bags

And lastly, while crossbody bags have been on the rise in womenswear season after season, this year the popular trend is crossing over into menswear.

Yes, you read that correctly. While we might not traditionally think of a crossbody bag as something a man might wear, more and more, men from all over are embracing this convenient (and stylish!) option for their wardrobes.

Bottom line: Menswear continues to be on the rise, with no end in sight. No longer is style just for women. Style is something that is accessible to all, and that means staying up-to-date with the latest consumer trends in menswear, so that both men and women can have access to the style items they crave.

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Josh Newman is an entrepreneur with a broad business and marketing background having worked with major brands as well as starting several boutique e-commerce companies like JJ Suspenders. Marketing and business aside, Josh also has a love for design. Despite having no fashion experience prior to co-founding JJ Suspenders, his aesthetic eye quickly helped him learn what worked and what didn’t in the fashion world, be it color combinations, packaging, and customer experience. His motto: build a remarkable product and the rest will follow.

fashion

TradeGala Set to Revolutionize Wholesale Fashion

TradeGala is the brainchild of Mina Melikova and Kuganeswaran Thangarajan, built to support the ever-changing wholesale market, and provide fashion suppliers the chance to meet new heights at a click of a button, especially through these more challenging times in retail.

TradeGala is a simple concept, a seamless service that connects wholesale fashion vendors and buyers from all over the world. It is an online marketplace that helps retailers find innovative styles at competitive prices from the best suppliers in the business while helping sellers expand their reach and increase sales.

Companies no longer need to invest the time, money and resource in traveling to appointments or attending trade fairs in order to make new business connections. The advance of technology has allowed TradeGala to create a cutting-edge platform which in turn allows brands to showcase their products, analyze trends and adapt to maximize business growth; while introducing a huge range of international fashion brands and suppliers to buyers, with products constantly updated to reflect the latest in fashion.

The site launches with 24 brands across accessories, activewear, casual dress, evening wear, and footwear, including Goddiva, City Goddess, Marc Angelo, KDK London, Gypsy Clothing, Conquista Fashion, Gold Lunar, Haus of Deck, Hugz Jeans, Lindy Bop, Looking Glam, Geniris Paris, Glitz Shoes and Versa Forma.

This sophisticated platform has a dedicated web platform and app to ensure orders or new content can be updated even when you are on the move.

How it works? Suppliers simply sign up to TradeGala and register online, then choose a platform that suits their needs. They have the option to choose one of the three plans – basic, premium or exclusive, and once registered upload their products and list them for sale. The quickest process to sell yet.

Our wholesale buyers place orders via the website and app, and receive order notifications via SMS, app alerts and email. The order is then packed and shipped directly from the seller, saving on time and shipping costs.

The TradeGala.com platform offers new suppliers the chance to reach 40,000 sales leads and 3,000 registered wholesale buyers immediately in over 90 countries.

Each buyer is 100% pre-screened and the team behind this platform already boasts an 87% customer satisfaction rating. With over 15 years of B2B experience in fashion and a network that is extensive and continuously growing, this platform is one of the best new opportunities for brands to establish a new business in the UK and internationally through a simple registration process and stock upload.

Other benefits include extensive marketing budgets, international SEO campaigns, heavy pay per click investment both nationally and internationally, presence at trade shows, tailored marketing campaigns, and seasonal photo shoots and fashion shows featuring your products. Plus, weekly and monthly newsletters, popular products and featured suppliers, not forgetting educational blog and vlog posts for wholesalers and retailers.

This is a new wave business tool that helps both young and well-established suppliers reach clients and markets beyond their means, it improves and fast-tracks their visibility to market and supports steady brand growth, taking away much of the traditional overhead costs.

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For further information on working with TradeGala please contact:
Yathu Kanagaratham – Yathu@citygoddess.co.uk
New Business Development Manager

Amber Domenech Patey – Amber@Citygoddess.co.uk
Project Manager

TradeGala

Online Wholesale B2B Marketplace TradeGala Makes Buying Even Easier

Chances are you’re already a regular online marketplace customer. With popular sites such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy conveniently bringing together a range of sellers, buying goods through the wholesale fashion marketplace is now as common as popping to the supermarket.

Just as we now think nothing of picking up our groceries alongside a new dress in Sainsbury’s, the majority of us also want to order what we need in one fell swoop online. The popularity of marketplace sites is hard to ignore: Amazon first launched its version 20 years ago and it now makes up over 50 percent of its overall sales – that’s $118.57 billion in 2018 alone. Many shoppers today use it as their first port of call when searching for goods to buy – even before Google.

Over in the independent fashion sector, small brands and retailers selling through such marketplaces is also becoming increasingly popular – particularly with the likes of Farfetch and Trouva gaining household name status. These sites offer access to all the best brands in one place, meaning you don’t have to venture far to find the sort of pieces that were once only available in brick-and-mortar boutiques.

However, when it comes to B2B marketplaces, there’s been a distinct lack of places where boutique buyers can make their in-season and forward order selections. That is, until now.

Step forward TradeGala, the fashion marketplace that connects independent retailers with international brands. Much like visiting a trade show or showroom, the site makes it easy for fashion buyers to source global labels in the same place online. Some of the labels on its roster are also exclusive and can’t be bought as wholesale elsewhere.

Ordering through TradeGala means buying professionals can save time and money. With a simple order process, buyers can make their store selections with just a few clicks, completely eliminating the need for complicated line sheets. It also offers centralized customer service and payment protection – meaning retailers can rest assured that they’re in safe hands. Plus, because the site is in operation 24/7, you can research and choose products whenever it suits you.

For brands, TradeGala offers greater visibility and access to new international markets and the latest technologies with minimal commitment. Smaller, independent brands are able to take their first steps into the wholesale market, which may have previously seemed too daunting. The site launched with 24 brands across accessories, active wear, casual dress, evening wear, and footwear, including Goddiva, City Goddess, Marc Angelo, KDK London, Gypsy Clothing, Gold Lunar, Haus of Deck, Hugz Jeans, Lindy Bop, Looking Glam, Geniris Paris, Glitz Shoes, Paradox London, and VILDNIS.

So, is this the future of fashion buying? It looks highly likely. Marketplaces won’t necessarily replace the more traditional methods of sourcing and purchasing, however, they’re a valuable tool in an ever more competitive industry. The most forward-thinking brands and retailers are already taking advantage of the opportunities on offer – perhaps now is the time for you to consider joining them.
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Visit TradeGala’s official website: https://www.tradegala.com for more information

knit fabric

U.S. Knit Fabric Market Rose 2.6% and Reached $2B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Knit Fabric Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2018, the revenue of the U.S. knit fabric market rose 2.6% and reached $2B, due to accelerated growth of imports. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price).

Over the period under review, knit fabric consumption, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 19% year-to-year. In that year, the knit fabric market reached its peak level of $2.3B. From 2015 to 2018, the growth of the knit fabric market remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Knit Fabric Production in the U.S.

U.S. knit fabric production amounted to 144K tonnes in 2018,  -2.4% against the previous year. Overall, knit fabric production continues to indicate an abrupt downturn. Over the period under review, knit fabric production attained its maximum volume at 206K tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, production stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, knit fabric production totaled $1.2B in 2018.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, approx. 9.3K tonnes of knit fabrics were exported from the U.S.; declining by -5.9% against the previous year. In general, knit fabric exports continue to indicate a dramatic slump. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 when exports decreased by -5.9% year-to-year. Over the period under review, knit fabric exports reached their maximum at 42K tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, knit fabric exports stood at $93M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, knit fabric exports continue to indicate a drastic decrease. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 when exports decreased by -5.6% y-o-y. Exports peaked at $276M in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

Exports by Country

Nicaragua (2K tonnes), Honduras (1.5K tonnes) and Guatemala (1.1K tonnes) were the main destinations of knit fabric exports from the U.S., together accounting for 50% of total exports. Mexico, France, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Australia, Chile and China lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 33%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by Australia, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Honduras ($18M), Nicaragua ($13M) and Mexico ($8M) were the largest markets for knit fabric exported from the U.S. worldwide, with a combined 43% share of total exports. These countries were followed by Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Australia, France, China and Chile, which together accounted for a further 35%.

Among the main countries of destination, Australia experienced the highest growth rate of exports, over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average knit fabric export price stood at $9,974 per tonne in 2018, remaining constant against the previous year. Over the last five years, it increased at an average annual rate of +8.8%. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 when the average export price increased by 22% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average export prices for knit fabrics reached their peak figure in 2018 and is expected to retain its growth in the near future.

There were significant differences in the average prices for the major foreign markets. In 2018, the country with the highest price was China ($16,066 per tonne), while the average price for exports to France ($5,365 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to El Salvador, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, approx. 108K tonnes of knit fabrics were imported into the U.S.; increasing by 9.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, knit fabric imports, however, continue to indicate a mild decline. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when imports increased by 14% year-to-year. Over the period under review, knit fabric imports attained their peak figure at 130K tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, imports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, knit fabric imports totaled $501M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Overall, knit fabric imports, however, continue to indicate a temperate deduction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2014 with an increase of 11% year-to-year. Imports peaked at $647M in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2018, imports failed to regain their momentum.

Imports by Country

China (46K tonnes), India (25K tonnes) and Israel (14K tonnes) were the main suppliers of knit fabric imports to the U.S., together accounting for 79% of total imports.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by India, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, China ($195M) constituted the largest supplier of knit fabric to the U.S., comprising 39% of total knit fabric imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Israel ($80M), with a 16% share of total imports. It was followed by India, with a 15% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value from China totaled -6.6%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Israel (+6.0% per year) and India (+25.0% per year).

Import Prices by Country

The average knit fabric import price stood at $4,631 per tonne in 2018, dropping by -1.9% against the previous year. Overall, the knit fabric import price continues to indicate a mild curtailment. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 when the average import price increased by 2.4% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average import prices for knit fabrics attained their maximum at $5,073 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, import prices remained at a lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Taiwan, Chinese ($7,981 per tonne), while the price for India ($2,979 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Taiwan, Chinese, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Guilford Mills, Siny Corp., McMurray Fabrics, Ssm Industries, Fisher Textiles, Hornwood, Jif-Pak Manufacturing, Adele Knits, Commonwealth Home Fashion, Fab Industries Corp., Metritek Corporation, The Tenenblatt Corporation, Gehring Tricot Corporation, Rebtex, Westchester Lace & Textiles, Mocaro Industries, Albahealth, McComb Mill Manufacturing Company, Lace Lastics Company, Clover Knits, Mohican Mills, Sas Textiles, Somerset Industries, Charbert, Hampton Industries

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

automation

Automation Won’t Destroy Trade – It Might Even Boost It

Alarm bells are ringing

Many industry observers are sounding alarms about the looming impact of automation, robots and 3D printing, which they fear will destroy jobsdisrupt value chains and maybe even reduce the need for international trade. Developing countries are particularly concerned because trade has been an avenue to economic development and growth for them. But a recent report released by the World Bank shows that the data and evidence don’t support the hype. Instead, automation, robots and 3D printing might actually increase trade as trade costs continue to fall.

Some business analysts have warned that automation and robots could disrupt and shorten global supply chains. The thinking behind the concern is that, if a computer can design it and a 3D printer can make it, then we won’t need to source it from countries abroad that have more abundant low-cost labor than we do. Instead, companies will drastically shorten their value chains, which could reduce international trade.

The anxieties have gotten the attention of development economists and developing countries. Trade and economic growth go hand-in-hand, both in economic theory and in practice. Multiple studies have shown that firms in developing countries that participate in global value chains outperform their local peers that solely focus on domestic markets. If robots eliminate the need for global value chains, this important avenue for economic development could be threatened.

Anxiety over automation may be overblown

Scare tactics about economic change are attractive because they get our attention. About 15 years ago, we saw headlines about “white collar outsourcing” (once attorneys were added to the list of jobs that could be moved offshore, the panic even spread into boardrooms). Some lawmakers called for restrictions on offshoring, and some of those calls are still alive today. But the mass exodus of white collar jobs did not occur.

The World Bank is a multilateral development agency that makes grants and loans to support capital projects and economic growth in the poorest countries. Anything that reduces the need for trade and global value chains would hit those developing countries hard, putting the automation concerns squarely on the World Bank’s radar.

In its annual World Development Report, the latest released on October 8, the World Bank does not take a definitive stance on the overall effects of automation, and it does not make any bold predictions. But it does make one thing clear: The anxiety over automation hindering trade is not supported by the data and evidence. In fact, the authors show that sectors with the largest increases in automation have also been those with the largest increases in trade. Yep, that’s right: We’re experiencing the opposite phenomenon to what so many are worried about.

Automation actually helping to expand trade

Specifically, the report shows that the percentage change in imports of parts from developing countries from 1995 to 2015 is higher in industries that are more automated. Agriculture and textiles are among the least-automated industries and have the smallest change. Metal, rubber and plastics, and automotive sectors have the highest rates of automation and the largest increases in trade.

Automation in industrial countries has boosted imports from developing countries

Why? Because automation, like robotic assembly and 3D printing, leads to an expansion in output and demand for material inputs. Automation can also lead to the creation of new tasks. So while it brings labor market adjustment pains — like technology and progress always do — automation will not necessarily reduce trade or shorten global value chains.

Meanwhile, investments in digital technologies continue to lower the costs of coordinating across long distances. These lower trade costs are expected to promote trade and lead to a continued expansion of global value chains, particularly for developing countries.

The big picture

Here’s the big picture: Change is the one thing in the economy you can count on. Improvements in how we make things and advanced production technologies are likely to continue, and workers and firms that adapt and embrace these changes are likely to outperform those that do not. But a wide-sweeping elimination of trade and global value chains due to automation and robots? Don’t believe the hype.

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The original version of this article was published in The Hill.

ChristineMcDaniel

Christine McDaniel a former senior economist with the White House Council of Economic Advisers and deputy assistant Treasury secretary for economic policy, is a senior research fellow with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

This article also appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

fabric

U.S. Broadwoven Fabric Imports Bounced Back in 2018 Due to Rising Supply from India

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Broadwoven Fabric Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the broadwoven fabric market in the U.S. amounted to $3.6B in 2018, remaining constant against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, broadwoven fabric consumption continues to indicate a measured drop. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 with an increase of 3.7% y-o-y. In that year, the broadwoven fabric market attained its peak level of $4.3B. From 2015 to 2018, the growth of the broadwoven fabric market remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Broadwoven Fabric Production in the U.S.

In value terms, broadwoven fabric production amounted to $3.5B in 2018. In general, broadwoven fabric production continues to indicate a measured downturn. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 3.9% against the previous year. In that year, broadwoven fabric production reached its peak level of $4.1B. From 2015 to 2018, broadwoven fabric production growth failed to regain its momentum.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of broadwoven fabric exported from the U.S. stood at 251 tonnes, shrinking by -56.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, broadwoven fabric exports continue to indicate a drastic contraction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 191% year-to-year. In that year, broadwoven fabric exports reached their peak of 571 tonnes, and then declined slightly in the following year.

In value terms, broadwoven fabric exports amounted to $2.8M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Over the period under review, broadwoven fabric exports continue to indicate a drastic shrinkage. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 with an increase of 100% year-to-year. In that year, broadwoven fabric exports attained their peak of $5.2M, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Exports by Country

Viet Nam (212 tonnes) was the main destination for broadwoven fabric exports from the U.S., accounting for a 85% share of total exports. Moreover, broadwoven fabric exports to Viet Nam exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, China (13 tonnes), more than tenfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Chile (5 tonnes), with a 2% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume to Viet Nam totaled +255.8%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: China (+17.8% per year) and Chile (+186.0% per year).

In value terms, Viet Nam ($2.1M) remains the key foreign market for broadwoven fabric exports from the U.S., comprising 74% of total broadwoven fabric exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by China ($238K), with a 8.6% share of total exports. It was followed by Colombia, with a 3.5% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value to Viet Nam totaled +157.6%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: China (+20.4% per year) and Colombia (+63.4% per year).

Export Prices by Country

The average broadwoven fabric export price stood at $11 per kg in 2018, surging by 21% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the broadwoven fabric export price, however, continues to indicate a moderate shrinkage. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2018 when the average export price increased by 21% against the previous year. The export price peaked at $13 per kg in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, export prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Colombia ($22 per kg), while the average price for exports to Chile ($7.5 per kg) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to China, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.

Imports into the U.S.

Broadwoven fabric imports into the U.S. amounted to 9.2K tonnes in 2018, surging by 2.9% against the previous year. Overall, broadwoven fabric imports, however, continue to indicate a drastic reduction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 when imports increased by 7.1% year-to-year. In that year, broadwoven fabric imports attained their peak of 13K tonnes. From 2016 to 2018, the growth of broadwoven fabric imports failed to regain its momentum.

In value terms, broadwoven fabric imports totaled $69M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, broadwoven fabric imports, however, continue to indicate a deep contraction. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when imports increased by 3.7% y-o-y. Over the period under review, broadwoven fabric imports attained their peak figure at $97M in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, imports remained at a lower figure.

Imports by Country

China (3.3K tonnes), Pakistan (2.6K tonnes) and India (2.6K tonnes) were the main suppliers of broadwoven fabric imports to the U.S., together accounting for 93% of total imports.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by India, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest broadwoven fabric suppliers to the U.S. were China ($22M), Italy ($17M) and India ($12M), together comprising 73% of total imports.

In terms of the main suppliers, Italy recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced a decline.

Import Prices by Country

The average broadwoven fabric import price stood at $7,535 per tonne in 2018, remaining constant against the previous year. Over the period under review, the broadwoven fabric import price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when the average import price increased by 17% y-o-y. The import price peaked at $8,246 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Italy ($61,521 per tonne), while the price for Pakistan ($4,146 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by China, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced a decline.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Milliken & Company, Tk Holdings, BGF Industries, BP Amoco Chemical Company, Glen Raven, Albany International, Polartec, Astenjohnson, National Presto Industries, Culp, Burlington Industries, Xerium Technologies, Propex Operating Company, Westpoint Home, Jay Franco & Sons, Cone Denim, The Hallwood Group Incorporated, Galey & Lord, Hyosung Usa, R B Pamplin, Westpoint International, Collins & Aikman Products Co., Nvh, Nouveau Verre Holdings, Itg Holdings

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

fabric

U.S. Coated Fabric Market Amounted to $4.5B in 2018, with Accelerating Expansion of Imports

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Coated Fabric Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the coated fabric market in the U.S. amounted to $4.5B in 2018, picking up by 4.6% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +5.5% from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 9.8% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the coated fabric market reached its peak figure level in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

Coated Fabric Production in the U.S.

In value terms, coated fabric production stood at $2.6B in 2018. Overall, coated fabric production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when production volume increased by 4.4% year-to-year. In that year, coated fabric production attained its peak level of $2.7B. From 2015 to 2018, coated fabric production growth remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Exports from the U.S.

Coated fabric exports from the U.S. amounted to 13K tonnes in 2018, dropping by -3% against the previous year. Overall, coated fabric exports continue to indicate a noticeable descent. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when exports increased by 4.4% against the previous year. Exports peaked at 15K tonnes in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, coated fabric exports amounted to $151M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +4.2% from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2015 when exports increased by 11% against the previous year. Exports peaked in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

Exports by Country

The Dominican Republic (1.9K tonnes), Germany (1.8K tonnes) and the UK (1.7K tonnes) were the main destinations of coated fabric exports from the U.S., together comprising 43% of total exports. These countries were followed by Mexico, China, the Philippines, Australia, Japan, China, Hong Kong SAR, Brazil, Taiwan, Chinese and India, which together accounted for a further 32%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by the Philippines (+69.7% per year), while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest markets for coated fabric exported from the U.S. were the UK ($22M), the Dominican Republic ($22M) and Germany ($17M), together accounting for 41% of total exports. These countries were followed by Japan, China, the Philippines, China, Hong Kong SAR, Australia, Mexico, India, Brazil and Taiwan, Chinese, which together accounted for a further 34%.

Among the main countries of destination, Taiwan, Chinese (+59.2% per year) experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, over the last five years, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average coated fabric export price stood at $12 per kg in 2018, picking up by 7.4% against the previous year. Over the period from 2013 to 2018, it increased at an average annual rate of +7.7%. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015 an increase of 13% year-to-year. The export price peaked in 2018 and is likely to see steady growth in the near future.

There were significant differences in the average prices for the major foreign markets. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Japan ($26 per kg), while the average price for exports to Mexico ($5.6 per kg) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to China, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of coated fabrics imported into the U.S. amounted to 215K tonnes, growing by 9.5% against the previous year. Overall, the total imports indicated a buoyant increase from 2013 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +12.0% over the last five-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, coated fabric imports increased by +76.1% against 2013 indices. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 17% year-to-year. Imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, coated fabric imports stood at $1.1B (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +6.9% over the period from 2013 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 when imports increased by 12% against the previous year. Over the period under review, coated fabric imports attained their maximum in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

In 2018, China (101K tonnes) constituted the largest coated fabric supplier to the U.S., with a 47% share of total imports. Moreover, coated fabric imports from China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, India (38K tonnes), threefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by South Korea (16K tonnes), with a 7.3% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume from China stood at +11.1%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: India (+55.9% per year) and South Korea (+2.2% per year).

In value terms, China ($393M) constituted the largest supplier of coated fabric to the U.S., comprising 36% of total coated fabric imports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($97M), with a 9% share of total imports. It was followed by India, with a 8.6% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value from China totaled +9.6%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Japan (+2.7% per year) and India (+48.2% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average coated fabric import price amounted to $5,009 per tonne, leveling off at the previous year. Overall, the coated fabric import price continues to indicate an abrupt deduction. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2014 a decrease of -0.1% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average import prices for coated fabrics reached their maximum at $6,306 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Japan ($18,533 per tonne), while the price for India ($2,460 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Thailand, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced mixed trend patterns.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Tonoga, The Haartz Corporation, Aoc, Schneller, Beaver Manufacturing Company, Sika Sarnafil, Duro-Last, Shawmut Corporation, Engineered Polymer Solutions, Aberdeen Road Company, Clear Edge Filtration, Holliston, Atlas Resin Proppants, Trelleborg Coated Systems US, Precision Custom Coatings, Adell Plastics, Uniroyal Engineered Products, Dyna-Mix, UIC Maintenance & Manufacturing, Cooley Incorporated, Fiberite, Westlake Pvc Corporation, Dti Leather Solutions, Bondcote Holdings, The Adell Corporation

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

jersey

EU Jersey Market – Consumption Posted Solid Gains, Reaching $26B

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Jerseys, Pullovers, Cardigans And Similar Articles – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the jersey market in the European Union amounted to $26.1B in 2018, growing by 9.2% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, jersey consumption continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2008 when the market value increased by 18% y-o-y. In that year, the jersey market attained its peak level of $28.9B. From 2009 to 2018, the growth of the jersey market remained at a lower figure.

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 229M units of jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles were produced in the European Union; lowering by -3.2% against the previous year. Over the period under review, jersey production continues to indicate a deep curtailment. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 10% year-to-year. The volume of jersey production peaked at 398M units in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, jersey production amounted to $4.3B in 2018 estimated in export prices. In general, jersey production continues to indicate a drastic contraction. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 17% y-o-y. Over the period under review, jersey production reached its maximum level at $7.8B in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

Exports in the EU

In 2018, approx. 1B units of jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles were exported in the European Union; picking up by 2.9% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.8% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2016 when Exports increased by 23% year-to-year. The volume of exports peaked in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, jersey exports totaled $13.3B in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +2.0% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed over the period under review. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 when Exports increased by 15% year-to-year. In that year, jersey exports reached their peak of $13.5B, and then declined slightly in the following year.

Exports by Country

In 2018, Germany (215M units), distantly followed by Belgium (120M units), Italy (119M units), Spain (102M units), France (85M units), the Netherlands (70M units), Poland (68M units) and Denmark (64M units) were the main exporters of jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles, together generating 81% of total exports.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Italy ($3.2B), Germany ($2.7B) and France ($1.4B) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, with a combined 55% share of total exports. Belgium, Spain, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 29%.

Poland experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to exports, among the main exporting countries over the last eleven years, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The jersey export price in the European Union stood at $13 per unit in 2018, lowering by -4.4% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the jersey export price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 when the export price increased by 17% against the previous year. The level of export price peaked at $15 per unit in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, export prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was Italy ($27 per unit), while Spain ($6.9 per unit) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, approx. 2.7B units of jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles were imported in the European Union; growing by 7.3% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2008 when Imports increased by 16% year-to-year. The volume of imports peaked in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, jersey imports stood at $22.6B in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when Imports increased by 19% y-o-y. The level of imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

Germany (598M units) and the UK (473M units) represented roughly 40% of total imports of jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles in 2018. France (305M units) ranks next in terms of the total imports with a 11% share, followed by Italy (9.6%), the Netherlands (6.6%), Spain (4.8%), Belgium (4.6%) and Poland (4.6%).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Germany ($5B), France ($3.2B) and the UK ($3.2B) constituted the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 50% share of total imports. Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Poland lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 32%.

Among the main importing countries, Poland experienced the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, over the last eleven year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The jersey import price in the European Union stood at $8,501 per thousand units in 2018, coming down by -1.7% against the previous year. Overall, the jersey import price continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 an increase of 12% y-o-y. In that year, the import prices for jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles reached their peak level of $10,568 per thousand units. From 2012 to 2018, the growth in terms of the import prices for jerseys, pullovers, cardigans and similar articles failed to regain its momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was France ($10,555 per thousand units), while the UK ($6,731 per thousand units) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform