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Growth of toy exports hit hard by global financial crisis

CHINA'S foreign sales of toys grew at a much slower pace in the first 11 months of 2008, due mainly to shrinking demand from major markets in the ongoing global financial crisis, the General Administration of Customs said today.

Between January and November 2008, China sold abroad 8.04 billion US dollars worth of toys, up 2.5 percent on the same period of 2007. The growth rate was 17.8 percentage points below the year-earlier level.

In November alone, the toy exports were valued at 700 million US dollars, down 8.6 percent.

Of the total exports in the January-November period, 47.4 percent, or US$3.81 billion worth, were sold by foreign-funded companies, up 2.7 percent. The growth rate was 22.2 percentage points lower.

Registered toy exporters numbered 4,211, a decline of 3,829, or 47.6 percent, from a year earlier. Most of those retreated were smaller businesses.

Apart from weakening demand, lingering pressure from safety-related product recalls in 2007 and ensuing heightening security threshold also contributed to the slackened sales, the customs administration said.

The United States and European Union were the leading two markets of China's toy exports, accounting for 67.1 percent of the total.

From January to November 2008, China exported 3.34 billion US dollars worth of toys to the United States, down 2.4 percent against a 13.7-percent growth a year ago. It sold 2.06 billion dollars worth of toys to the European Union, up 9.5 percent. The growth rate was 20.8 percentage points lower than the year-earlier level.


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