IMPORTS of raw materials for garment manufacturing surged 45 percent in the first five months of 2010, compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Commerce yesterday.
Data indicated that imports increased 44.81 percent to US$794.29 million (210,286 tonnes), from $548.48 million (102,464 tonnes).
Cambodia Chamber of Commerce Director Deneral Nguon Meng Tech said the increase was linked to the recovery in demand for garments.
“Normally when our exports grow, the [raw material] imports also follow, as we don’t have our own textile or fabric factories to supply the sector,” he said.
Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia Secretary General Ken Loo said the price of raw material had recently increased, but that sales had not grown in proportion with the cost.
“I think this is the big problem for the industry,” he said.
But Nam-Shik Kang, managing director of Injae Garment Company, said his raw material imports had gone up 15 to 20 percent compared to the same period last year because of increased demand in foreign markets.
Total garment and textile exports rose by 11 percent to $1.06 billion in the first five months of 2010, up from more than $953 million last year.