“El Salvador and Honduras will also post strong growth, after achieving the fastest volume growth in 2010. ”

“.Significantly, Bangladesh, Cambodia, El Salvador and Honduras —
along with Pakistan — were the cheapest of the USA’s leading ten
clothing suppliers in 2010, and their success reflects the fact that US
buyers continued to seek out low cost supplies as the recovery in the US
economy remained tentative .”

“.Moreover, all four countries have continued to achieve success in the
first two months of 2011. Bangladesh was the fastest growing supplier
as US imports from the country soared in value by 39%. Cambodia was the
second fastest growing supplier as US buyers increased their purchases
by 31% .”

“.Impressive growth was also recorded in the case of El Salvador and
Honduras with supplies to the USA up by 23% and 19% respectively. But
growth in the case of El Salvador was slower than in 2010 and in the
case of Honduras it remained the same — which is a sign that buyers are
placing bigger orders with manufacturers in Asia as consumer confidence
returns .”

“.All four countries appear to have achieved growth in 2010 by
supplying the US market at lower prices than their competitors — and
this looks set to continue in 2011 .”

“.Admittedly, all four countries increased their prices in the first
two months of 2011 — but so did their competitors, in response to the
recent surge in raw material prices. In fact there was an increase in
the average price of US clothing imports as a whole, following price
falls in the previous four years .”

“.Prices are expected to increase for much of 2011. Although the cotton
price started to fall in April 2011, many clothing buyers have placed
forward orders at prices which reflect the high cotton prices prevailing
in 2010 and early 2011 .”

“.With margins stretched to the limit, all participants in the supply
chain will cut costs wherever they can in an attempt to absorb the
increase in raw material costs but it seems inevitable that much of it
will be passed down the supply chain to the consumer .” ”