Vietnam's textile-garment exports down 10.3 pct in nine months

Vietnam's total textile-garment export value in the first nine months of this year dropped 10.3 percent year on year to US$22.06 billion.
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Textile-garment is among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Vietnam Investment Review

Vietnam's total textile-garment export value in the first nine months of this year dropped 10.3 percent year on year to US$22.06 billion, the General Statistics Office unveiled.

Its largest export markets included China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the European Union, and the United States. In September alone, the country's textile-garment exports fell 1.3 percent year on year to US$2.8 billion.

Textile-garment is among the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with tourism, aviation, leather, and footwear, according to a recent report by Bao Dau Tu (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper.

At this point of time in previous years, textile-garment businesses would have received orders for the rest of the year. However, due to the decreasing demand amid the coronavirus pandemic, they were receiving orders only on a monthly or weekly basis, the report said.

There have so far been almost no export orders for high-value products like high-end shirts and suits for the fourth quarter, according to the report.

As one of the world's biggest textile-garment exporters and producers, Vietnam recorded an export turnover of roughly US$32.6 billion in 2019, up 6.9 percent from 2018, according to the statistics office.

Textile-garment exports to continue declining

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The industry and trade ministry forecasts that Vietnam's textile and garment export value this year would reach 33.6-36 billion USD. (Photo: haiquanonline.vn)

The Vietnam Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) forecasts the country’s textile and garment exports will continue to decline during the closing months of this year.

The group also said the total textile and garment export value for this whole year is estimated to hit about US$32.75 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 16 percent.

According to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), the second quarter was the most difficult quarter for the textile and garment industry because customers in major export markets such as the US and EU cancelled 30-70 percent of orders because the markets were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strong reductions in orders have caused higher inventories and increased pressure to pay workers, bringing more and more difficulties to textile and garment companies.

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Photo: Vietnambiz

Meanwhile, face masks and personal protective equipment, which are considered major products for many garment enterprises, have sharply decreased due to global oversupply.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said nobody knows when the pandemic will end so by this year-end, textile and garment enterprises need to pay attention to demand on the domestic market due to lower export orders. At the same time, they should manage production costs and maintain product quality to minimise the decline in revenue.

In addition, the businesses need to provide jobs and income for workers who have accompanied the enterprises during a difficult period.

At present, 80 percent of enterprises in the textile and garment industry have cut their labour force while most businesses have slashed operation capacity by 50 percent, the association said.

The ministry forecasts Vietnam’s textile and garment export value this year would fall by 10-15 percent to US$33.6-36 billion compared to last year. This value is higher than the Vinatex forecast, Viet Nam News said./.

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