Textile Imports: Cambodian clothing exports to Thailand

Textile Imports: Cambodian clothing exports to Thailand

Thailand’s apparel industry is witnessing a significant boost in textile imports from neighboring Cambodian, with a remarkable increase of 6.5 per cent, amounting to over $527 million in the first half of 2023. However, the country is experiencing a slowdown in fabric imports, a crucial component of its garment manufacturing sector. This article delves into the latest trade statistics, highlighting the changing dynamics between the two countries.

Rising Apparel Exports to Thailand:

Clothing exports from Cambodia to Thailand have followed an upward trajectory. In the first quarter of 2023, exports surged by a staggering 80 per cent, reaching $20.936 million. By the end of the first four months of the year, shipments had already totaled $25.450 million. These figures represent substantial growth compared to previous periods, such as the $17.875 million export value in Q4 2022 and $11.636 million in Q1 2022.

Consistent Growth in Previous Years:

The remarkable growth in apparel exports is not confined to 2023 alone; the trend has been consistent in recent years. In 2022, Cambodia’s exports to Thailand reached $57.604 million, showcasing significant progress from the $41.010 million recorded in 2021. However, the trade experienced a dip, falling to $73.986 million in 2020, and further declining to $41.010 million in 2021. The highest export value to Thailand was noted in 2019 at $95.806 million.

Limited Apparel Imports from Thailand:

While Cambodia does import apparel from Thailand, the volume remains relatively limited. In the first four months of 2023, apparel imports amounted to $6.387 million. The import value was higher in the preceding year, reaching $11.567 million, compared to $7.099 million in 2021.

Declining Fabric Imports:

Fabric imports, which are crucial for Cambodia’s garment industry, have shown signs of decline. During the first quarter of 2023, fabric imports from Thailand were valued at $31.350 million, a slowdown compared to $33.390 million in Q4 2022 and $43.669 million in Q1 2022. The overall value of fabric imports between January and May 2023 was reported as $42.887 million, as per TexPro data.

Annual Fabric Import Trends:

Examining the annual textile imports values reveals a mixed pattern. In 2022, Cambodia imported fabric worth $156.588 million from Thailand, a notable increase from $123.131 million in 2021. However, the numbers were lower in 2020, with imports valued at $108.670 million, and slightly higher in 2019 at $133.145 million.


Cambodia’s apparel exports to Thailand have experienced remarkable growth in recent times, showcasing the strength of the garment industry in the country. However, a slowdown in fabric imports indicates potential challenges for the sector. As trade dynamics continue to evolve, it remains essential for Cambodia to strike a balance between exporting apparel and ensuring a steady supply of fabrics to sustain the industry’s success.