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Toy exports expand slowly

EXPORTS of China's toys grew by a substantially slower 1.8 percent year on year to hit US$8.63 billion last year, the General Administration of Customs reported on Saturday.

The growth rate was 18.5 percentage points lower than that in 2007 as 49 percent of the country's export-oriented toy companies shut.

The decline was mainly the result of shrinking demand amid a global economic downturn, the Customs said.

"Toys are not a life necessity, so demand for such products fell in the face of a grim economic situation," the Customs said.

Steps taken by some countries in raising product safety standards and tightening quality supervision also prevented some Chinese toys from overseas markets, the report said.

The United States and the European Union were the biggest toy export destinations for China. Exports to those two regions were US$5.79 billion, accounting for 67.1 percent of the total toy export value.

Toy exports to the US were worth US$3.58 billion last year. The year-on-year growth dropped to 3.1 percent from 14.2 percent in 2007. Toy exports to the EU were worth US$2.21 billion, a rise of 9.3 percent year on year. The growth marked a drop of 21.1 percentage points from 2007.


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