U.S. Travel Goods Imports Turned the Corner in First Five Months of 2021
For the first time in over a year, U.S. travel goods imports (as described under HTS Heading 420 — click links to get specific import data on luggage, backpacks, flatgoods, handbags, business cases/laptop bags, and travel bags) actually increased (4.1% by volume) in the first five months of 2021 (versus January-May 2020) thanks the end of lockdowns in the spring and the resurgence in travel this summer. While U.S. backpack imports (-22.7%) remained significantly down in the first five months of 2021, U.S. luggage imports were essentially flat (-0.1%) and U.S. imports of business cases/laptop bags (+19.2%), handbags (+35.9%), personal leather goods (+6.2%), and travel bags (+2.1%) actually saw increases. The latest import numbers continue the accelerating trend away from China. In January-May 2021, U.S. travel goods imports from China slipped 1.5%, with China accounting for only 52.8% 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 (+15.8%), #3 Cambodia (+1.2%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (+28.2%), and #5 India (+9.6%) all grew in the first five months of 2021. Most top suppliers continued to gain import share from China, with U.S. travel goods imports from Vietnam now accounting for 21.2% of all U.S. travel goods imports, followed by #3 Cambodia (8.0%), #4 Burma (Myanmar) (5.1%), and #5 India (4.0%). U.S. imports of travel goods account for approximately 99% of the U.S. travel goods market.