China’s Export of Christmas Products Saw Grave Slowdown

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European debt crisis has generated a severe impact on toys and gift industry. At present the toy orders have dropped by 10%, the gift orders fell by20% -30 %. In some companies the percentage even decreased by 70 %.

China is the largest producer and exporter of Christmas products. Many cities in Zhejiang provinces even rely on Christmas items export as one of the local pillar industries. With the spreading European debt crisis and the ongoing U.S. economic downturn, the domestic industry has also felt the Christmas chill. Although this year's Christmas exports maintained an upward trend, the customs statistics still show that the growth is apparently slowing down.

As shipment, shelving and arrangement would take 2-3 months, generally the boom season of the domestic Christmas products exports is from June to October. Yiwu’s Customs statistics show that in the first three quarters this year, the Christmas products exported from the Yiwu Customs reached 1.6 million tons, worth $ 88,940,000, scoring year on year increases of 44.7% and 4.4% respectively. Mr Wu, an owner of a gift processing enterprise said that although the price of most Christmas products has increased by 5%-10% and the Christmas trade orders in Yiwu are usually settled in Renminbi and therefore not influenced by the appreciation of the currency, however, due to the rise in the labor and material costs, the related gross profit margin still down by 2%. According to Mr. Wu, as prices of the disposable low-end Christmas products like candles and artificial Christmas trees are relatively low, even in 2009 when the economies are plagued by the economic crisis, the order for these products was still very stable. However, the demand for products of excellent workmanship and relatively high prices are not as strong. In the economic recession, these products tend to suffer.



According to Qingdao, Fujian, and Ningbo Customs statistics, during the peak of the Christmas export this year, the total exports from these three customs compared with were up by 15.9%, 10.3% and 63.7 % respectively. From these specific cases we can see that the debt crisis's influence on the exports is obvious. In the first three quarters this year, the total volume of Christmas supplies exported to the EU from Qingdao Customs was $ 5,043,000, a year on year increase of only 2.1%. from January to October, the total export volume from Ningbo to EU was 130 million U.S. dollars, up by 2.7%; while the Christmas supplies exported to the U.S. exports amounted to $ 81,570,000 , an increase of 5.3% ; the growth rate of a similar low level.

According to Ningbo Customs statistics, European debt crisis has generated a severe impact on toys and gift industry. At present the toy orders have dropped by 10%, the gift orders fell by20% -30 %. In some companies the percentage even decreased by 70 %.

In accordance with industry practice, each year after Christmas season, the enterprises will go on to take orders and stock products for the next year. It can be found that the clustering areas of traditional Christmas products have been quietly preparing for the market transformation. Recently, the Xitan village of Ruian City spent 500 thousand RMB on organizing a Christmas Gifts Festival, attracting many domestic buyers. Statistics shows that 200 of the 600 Xitan household make a living out of export Christmas gifts, hence the name "Christmas Village." Director of village committee revealed during the interview that he wish want to expand the domestic market through the exhibition. Chen Jinlin, secretary-general of Yiwu Christmas Industry Association also said that in recent years, the Christmas items Yiwu exported to emerging markets like Russia and Brazil has been on the rise, the total trade volume of which is expected to exceed that of U.S. and European markets. Besides, the domestic market share accounts for 20 percent and is keeping on snowballing.

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