Garment exports fall 6.6 percent in four months hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The total textile and garment export value in the first four months of this year dropped by 6.6 percent year-on-year to 10.64 billion USD, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (Vitas).

Meanwhile, the total import value was 6.39 billion USD, down 8.76 percent compared to the same period last year.

In April alone, Vietnam’s textile and garment exports decreased by 20 percent compared to March, said Vitas Vice Chairman Truong Van Cam, at an online seminar held by the association on May 4.

Difficulties in production due to the COVID-19 pandemic were blamed for reductions in both textile and garment export and import values, he said.

"Vietnam’s textile and apparel industry has never faced negative growth in both imports and exports like that," Cam said.

Export value dropped by about 6 percent to 8.27 billion USD for garment products, 0.3 percent to 664 million USD for fabric products, 11.5 percent to 1.19 billion USD for yarn products and 6 percent to 354 billion USD for textile materials.

Meanwhile, import value also declined by about 8 percent to 893 million USD for cotton, 2.5 percent to 758 million USD for yarn products, 11 percent to 3.63 billion USD for fabric products and 5.8 percent to 1.11 billion USD for textile materials.

The reduction reflected the industry's lack of export orders, said Cam, adding that those figures are forecast to drop further in May and June because most export orders for those months have been cancelled.

Many enterprises in the industry have bad debts, he said. Many export garment enterprises are operating at reduced capacity because they do not have new orders.

The association reported the cancellation of contracts and lack of new contracts was due to the reduction of demand for textile and garment in the US and EU during the pandemic. Meanwhile, China also has less demand for importing yarn from Vietnam due to the suspension of production during the outbreak.

With a lack of new export orders leading to fewer jobs and pressure in wage payment, the association has proposed many solutions to support enterprises. However, those solutions could not help them maintain production until the end of this year.

Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy Director of Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department, said the COVID-19 pandemic had affected exports of many products, including textiles and garments. Many enterprises had shifted to producing cloth face masks to meet domestic demand and exports.

However, the export value at 63 million USD from face masks from January 1 to April 19 was too small compared to the total export textile and garment value at 10 billion USD in the first four months of the year, according to Vitas.

The textile and garment industry is predicted to have a strong reduction in total export value this year. In the most positive scenario, its export value will reach about 35 billion USD this year, down 10 per cent year-on-year.

In a realistic scenario, the industry's export value is estimated to reach about 33.5 billion USD, while in a bad case, the export value will only hit 30-31 billion USD in 2020./.