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China's share of global apparel export value 2000-2019

In 2019, China accounted for 30.8 percent of the global clothing export value, representing a decrease from 36.6 percent in 2010. China remained the world's largest apparel exporting country that year.

The world’s factory

China was considered the world’s factory for decades, especially for the production of machinery and industrial products. Each year, over two trillion U.S. dollars worth of goods were shipped from China to the rest of the world. As the world’s largest merchandise exporter,China accounted for 13.2 percent of global goods exports in 2019. Furthermore, China was the origin of more than 30 percent of the world’s apparel exports, more than all 28 EU counties combined. China’s apparel export industry benefited from its cheap labor costs and the lowering of the trade barrier. However, China’s apparel exports faced many uncertainties in recent years, resulting from increasing production costs and fierce global competition.

Amid the pandemic

The outbreak of coronavirus brought negative effects to China’s apparel exports in 2020. The international demand of clothing plunged due to the ongoing lockdown. In 2020, China’s export value of garments and accessories was worth 137.4 billion U.S. dollars, representing a 8.6 percent loss compared to the previous year. However, thanks to the country’s success in controlling the virus, China’s domestic apparel retail market has gradually recovered and reached a positive year-on-year growth as of December 2020.

China's share of global apparel export value in selected years between 2000 and 2019

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

2000 to 2019

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Statistics on "Apparel industry in China"

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