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IMPORTS STRONG IN JANUARY

 WASHINGTON, March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Commerce Department released trade figures today for January, which show:
 -- January textile and apparel imports were the seventh largest in history, at 1.24 billion square meters, despite a relative decline from January 1992, the second-largest month in history. The textile and apparel trade deficit, $2.4 billion, was 38 percent of the overall U.S. merchandise trade deficit.
 -- In the January figures, imports from most major Far Eastern producers dropped, compared to January 1992, while imports from Mexico, the Caribbean Basin Initiative countries and Canada increased 10 percent, 12 percent and 7 percent respectively.
 -- In an emerging trend, imports from North America slowly appear to be recapturing market share. Since 1988, imports from Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Basin Initiative countries have increased their market share by 32 percent, rising from 15 percent of all imports to 20 percent. Imports from North American producers are much more likely to contain domestic fabric inputs. During the last year, imports of goods made from U.S. fabric increased 35 percent, reaching 428 million square meters.
 "With congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the United States will be positioned to take advantage of growing market opportunities in Mexico, and eventually, in the Caribbean," said M.L. Cates Jr., Arkwright Mills, president of ATMI.
 A summary of the Commerce Department figures follows:
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 January Pct
 1993 1992 Chg.
 TEXTILES 641.8 682.8 -6.0
 APPAREL 595.0 647.1 -8.0
 TOTAL 1,236.8 1,329.9 -7.0
 TEXTILES BY PRODUCT
 Yarn 102.0 114.6 -11.0
 Fabric 346.9 354.9 -2.2
 Misc. 192.9 213.3 -9.6
 TOTAL 641.8 682.8 -6.0
 TOTAL BY FIBER
 Cotton 602.8 632.3 -4.7
 Wool 9.9 9.9 0.1
 MMF 575.1 635.8 -9.6
 Other 48.9 51.9 -5.6
 TOTAL 1,236.8 1,329.9 -7.0
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS January Pct.
 1993 1992 Chg.
 Textiles 634 665 -4.6
 Apparel 2,536 2,558 -.8
 TOTAL 3,170 3,222 -1.6
 EXPORTS Janaury Pct.
 1993 1992 Chg.
 Textiles 463 452 2.5
 Apparel 320 269 19.0
 TOTAL 783 721 8.6
 BALANCE January Pct.
 1993 1992 Chg.
 Textiles -171 -213 -19.7
 Apparel -2,216 -2,289 -3.2
 TOTAL -2,387 -2,501 -4.6
 -0- 3/18/93
 /CONTACT: Christopher Bonner of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, 202-862-0553 or, home, 703-356-9594/


CO: American Textile Manufacturers Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: TEX SU:

BR-RA -- AT014 -- 7637 03/18/93 16:31 EST
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Date:Mar 18, 1993
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