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Toy exports grow rapidly in 2007
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China exported US$7.07 billion worth of toys in the first 10 months of 2007, representing a growth of 20.1 percent over the same period of the previous year.


Customs sources said the growth was 13.9 percentage points higher than the year-earlier level, despite the fact that Chinese-made products had been smeared more or less by some product recalls.


Sales in processing trade made up US$4.05 billion, or 57.3 percent of the total toy export value. The amount was 18.9 percent higher than a year earlier.


The 10-month period saw China's toy export to European and North American markets recover and that to emerging markets grow rapidly.


Between January and October, China sold US$3.06 billion worth of toys to the United States, up 13.3 percent over the same period of 2006, and US$1.72 billion worth to the European Union, up 29.9 percent.


The growth rate was 11.2 percentage higher for the United States and 24.9 percentage points higher for the European Union. The two markets absorbed 67.6 percent of China's total toy exports.


China also sold US$390 million worth of toys to Latin America, up 42.2 percent.


In 2007, "Made in China" experienced an unprecedented "confidence crisis," triggered by the recall of China-made toys by Mattel Inc. of the United States. This incident was followed by others in which Chinese exporters encountered quality problems with toys, toothpaste and food.


The reasons for the recalls were not just quality defects. Behind them were disputes over standards, technical barriers, trade protectionism and playing-up of media coverage.


Customs sources said China's toy export was beset with some other negative factors, mainly mounting costs.


Price hikes for oil on world markets shored up cost of such raw materials as plastics and chemical fiber for toy production. Since July 1, 2007, export rebates for toys were lowered by two percentage points, which also gave rise to toy production cost.


(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)

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