(Yicai Global) Oct. 10 -- With the recovery in overseas consumer markets, the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu, known as the world’s small goods capital, has seen Christmas orders this year return to pre-pandemic levels, according to a local merchant.
In fact, the volume of export orders from our big clients has almost doubled, Jiang Jiangping, who has been selling clothing for Christmas for almost 20 years, told Yicai Global recently.
“Our orders suffered an outright 50 percent decline in the first year of the Covid-19 outbreak before recovering to about 70 percent of the pre-Covid-19 level last year,” he pointed out. “And this year, the orders have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with big overseas clients almost doubling their orders.”
As the world’s biggest source of Christmas supplies, Yiwu, located in Zhejiang province, exports 20,000 kinds of Christmas items to over 100 countries and regions every year. In the first seven months, the city exported CNY1.75 billion (USD245 million) worth of Christmas items, up 88.5 percent from same period in 2021, data from local customs showed.
The sustained recovery in overseas consumer markets has significantly increased the demand for Christmas supplies this year, Xu Jun, head of a company that makes Christmas decorative lighting, told Yicai Global.
Not only that, the local government also organized chartered business flights to pick up overseas purchasers, bringing new orders for local merchants.
Besides increased orders, overseas clients have placed orders earlier this year. Xu pointed out that after experiencing container shortage and a sharp increase in freight rates last year, overseas merchants this year have chosen to place orders one or two months earlier than in previous years.
This allowed a large number of Christmas supplies to be sent overseas before Yiwu was put under ‘static management’ in August due to local Covid-19 cases.
The local administration enforced control measures from Aug. 11 after the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in Yiwu, effectively suspending most production and logistics activities before basically returning to normal on Aug. 20.
Large-scale diversion of export orders to Southeast Asian countries or India is unlikely to happen as Yiwu boasts long-accumulated industrial advantages, specifically with regards to production efficiency and quality, despite rising labor and raw material costs in recent years, Jiang said in answer to a question.
Yiwu’s exports and imports increased 33.8 percent on year to CNY268.2 billion (USD37.5 billion) in the first seven months, with exports up 29.1 percent at CNY244.4 billion and imports surging 115.4 percent at CNY23.7 billion (USD3.3 billion), data from local customs showed.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Peter Thomas