U.S. Travel Goods Imports Surged in First 8 Months of 2021
U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 4202 — luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) surged 13.7% in the first 8 months 2021 (versus January-August 2020) thanks to the resurgence in travel this summer and return to school and work. Yet imports numbers remain below 2019 levels. All categories saw a surge in the first 8 months of 2021 — luggage (+25.9%), flatgoods (+18.4%), handbags (+43.0%), business cases/laptop bags (+12.3%), and travel bags (+11.2%) — except for backpacks, which fell another 14.8%. The latest import numbers continue the accelerating trend away from China. From January-August 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from China only grew 6.1%, with China accounting for only 54.2% of total U.S. travel goods imports. For comparison, in 2016, China accounted for 84.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports. U.S. travel goods imports from #2 supplier Vietnam (+26.5%), #3 Cambodia (+15.4%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (+29.6%), #5 India (+40.7%), #6 Indonesia (+14.8%), #7 the Philippines (+14.7%), and #8 Mexico (+13.7%) all grew in the first 8 months of 2021. Most top suppliers continued to gain import share from China, with U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now accounting for 20.7% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (8.0%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (4.2%), and #5 India (3.9%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.