Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Garments, footwear, travel goods exports slip 6.48% in Q1

Garments, footwear, travel goods exports slip 6.48% in Q1

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Workers at a garment factory sew material in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district. File Photo/Post Staff

Garments, footwear, travel goods exports slip 6.48% in Q1

The Kingdom exported $2.410 billion worth of garments, footwear and travel goods in the first quarter of this year, shrinking 6.48 per cent from the $2.577 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2020, according to data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.

Analysed by category, garments fell 6.43 per cent from $1.897 to $1.775 billion, footwear slumped 7.33 per cent from $341 to $316 million, and travel goods – including suitcases, backpacks, handbags and wallets – declined 5.89 per cent from $339 to $319 million.

Cambodia Footwear Association president Ly Kunthai told The Post on May 5 that the ongoing global Covid-19 epidemic has forced people to stay indoors and has shut down the tourism sector of each country, resulting in plummeting demand for footwear.

He said, however, that the dip in the volume of exports in the first quarter had not been as steep as in the third and fourth quarters of 2020, though he did not provide any concrete figures.

"The reason for the decline in the value of footwear exports from Cambodia in the first quarter was due to declining demand on the international market, and not related to manufacturing activities," he asserted.

He posited that coronavirus vaccination campaigns around the world, coupled with the gradual reopening of tourism in major countries, would lead to increased orders of Cambodian-made footwear starting in the second half of 2021.

"I am optimistic that orders will pick up in the coming months," he said, claiming that the Kingdom would remain a desirable investment destination, particularly in key sectors such as garments, footwear and travel goods.

Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika could not be reached for comment on May 5.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy noted that a shortage of empty shipping containers has increased the costs of transporting goods abroad from Cambodia since the second quarter of 2020.

Rising shipping costs are more or less affecting all orders, especially to distant destinations such as the US and Europe, he said.

"Since mid-2020, shipping costs have risen steadily, now five times higher to some destinations than in 2019” before the Covid-19 outbreak, Chanthy said.

The Kingdom exported $17.21537 billion worth of goods last year, up by 16.72 per cent from $14.74874 billion in 2019, the Ministry of Commerce said in its 2020 annual performance report.

Broken down by sector, garments ranked first in exports, reaching $7.42028 billion, down 10.24 per cent on a yearly basis, followed by footwear ($1.11673 billion, down 11.69 per cent) and travel goods ($964.7 million, down 10.58 per cent).

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment