Garment imports grew in Colombia during May

Published on 17 September 2019

Consumers demand products from around the world based on their convenience. As a result, in Colombia clothing imports grew significantly in May.

Colombians are big fashion consumers. However, this does not have to be locally manufactured, and even national designers can send their garments abroad if they have access to better operating conditions that allow them to increase their profits, as well as give access to Better prices for consumers.

In this sense, the exchange with Asian countries has allowed access to better cost conditions, both in synthetic fibers and in cotton. The following table shows the value of clothing imports from all over the world during the month of May, and is compared with the same month of the previous year.

As noted, the increase has been significant. In fact, according to references to information from the National Administrative Department of Statistics, clothing represents one of the fastest growing categories of imports in the country.

This advance is based on all types of press. The information of the Veritrade portal allows us to observe what type of product corresponding to each category is acquired in the country, so that the following table has been prepared with information on the types of product brought from abroad.

The main demand is in basic garments such as shirts, jackets and pants. In this sense, department stores are an important sales channel for the convenience they offer for purchases, in contrast to more elaborate decisions such as those corresponding to more complex or higher value garments.

In general, it is expected that Colombia will continue to take advantage of its connection with Asia through the Pacific Ocean, which could be reinforced if the country can be incorporated into APEC, a block in which trade policy is discussed and refined among the main economies of Asia , America and Oceania. In the counterpart, anti-dumping control policies must be rigorous and neutral to defend local and other countries' producers when an undervaluation practice or subsidies that generate unfair competition is identified.

In general, many of the cases of dumping or complaints from local competitors target Asian producers, the main suppliers. But the corresponding follow-up must be depoliticized and respond to technical parameters in order to defend the consumer from unsubstantiated protectionism, in the same way that the producers of unfair practices are defended by other States that defend their exporters.

The low cost of labor and the specialization of Asian producers has led to the point where their quantities and production conditions are difficult to emulate. As it is supposed, the great movement and the long distance with the most outstanding origins also imply that the main route used is the maritime one, although air shipments are also made, as the following table shows.

Colombian consumers can be expected to continue to respond positively to the supply of stores, which find in Asian products, both from third-party brands and their own, a good alternative to have high turnover, a more varied proposal and greater profitability. What happened in May could be repeated repeatedly if the demand persists under the same conditions, and implies the challenge of adapting the local supply to the use of foreign inputs, or to develop efficiency levels that allow maintaining competitiveness with local suppliers.

For more information on imports from Colombia, you can access the Veritrade portal.
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