China’s Craft Gifts Exports Amount in the First Three Months of 2008 Down by 7 Percent over the Previous Corresponding Year.
China’s US $ 4-billion craft gifts industry is experiencing a slowdown in export growth rates, as suppliers deal with high raw material and increasing labor costs. Cuts in export tax rebates and the rising value of the yuan are also adding to the pressure.
Confronted by these challenges, export sales and volume in 2008 are foreseen to dip or at least remain at current levels. During the first three months of 2008, overseas revenue adjusted to US $ 807 million, down by 7 percent over the previous corresponding year. In volume terms, shipments in the same period went up by a mere 0.8 percent.
China suppliers offer an extensive array of craft gifts in different materials, with designs made of porcelain and ceramic, polyresin, metal, glass and crystal, and wood constituting the bulk of exports.
Many suppliers of China are optimistic about sales growth, particularly for metal, and glass and crystal crafts. These product categories are enjoying higher demand than others, partly because they have a stronger contemporary appeal and are deemed more environment-friendly.
Despite rising production costs, many suppliers are optimistic about sales growth, particularly for metal, and glass and crystal crafts. These product categories are enjoying higher demand than others, partly because they have a stronger contemporary appeal and are deemed more environment-friendly.
Gifts & Crafts Products Trends:
While handpainting remains a unique selling point for China-made crafts & gifts, more companies are investing in high-tech equipment, including laser-engraving machines for glass and crystal designs.
With the intensifying preference for “green” products worldwide, environment-friendly designs will be the key trend for China-made craft gifts in coming months. Plant-based dyes and certified materials with low lead content will be used in greater numbers.
In line with expanding design ranges, most manufacturers will boost their capacity by 20 to 50 percent in the next 12 months.
In detail, the following are some of the key trends we see in China’s crafts & gift industry:
– Decorative craft gifts such as tabletop figurines, miniature replicas, decors and wall hangings made of ceramic and porcelain, metal, polyresin, glass and crystal, and wood. Functional products such as photo frames, clocks and candle holders are excluded.
– The rising cost of tin, wood and clay is likely to carry on through the rest of 2008, forcing the major of makers to increase prices. Most companies doing so will cap marks at 5 percent to stay competitive.
– With the intensifying preference for “green” products worldwide, environment-friendly designs will be the key trend for craft gifts in coming months. Plant-based dyes and certified materials with low lead content will be used in greater numbers.
– Designs constructed from combination materials such as wood and metal for tabletop figurines will also be popular in coming months. This technique not only raises the models’ aesthetic appeal but also reduces the product cost.
– In line with expanding design ranges, most manufacturers will boost their capacity by 20 to 50 percent in the next 12 months, mainly via adding more machines and expanding production workshops.
– Craft gifts made of ceramic and porcelain, metal, polyresin, glass and crystal, and wood. The product scope is limited mainly to decorative models such as tabletop figurines, miniature replicas, decors and wall hangings. It does not include functional designs such as photo frames, clocks and candle holders.
Gifts & Crafts Market Opportunities
The line between general gifts and decorative accessories is slowly disappearing, with home furnishings still the dominant category. The home furnishings segment (includes candles, picture frames, tabletop accessories and vases) was valued at US $ 17 billion.
The most important emerging trend in the general giftware sector is the move away from gifts purchased for another person, to purchases increasingly being for the individuals themselves. Important product segments for self-purchases include: home furnishings, aromatherapy products, art candles, Christmas decorations, lamps, linens / throws and plush toys.
Seemingly unlimited access and exposure to new products, materials and resource markets has made US consumers impatient. As a result, Australian suppliers need to have a steady supply of new designs, concepts and / or products available for their distributors and buyers.
American consumers are increasingly using the Internet for purchases. More importantly, consumers are using it as part of their process for learning about and identifying products for purchases made in retail environments. The existence and accessibility of the Internet to consumers becomes a source of legitimacy for the manufacturer. It also becomes an opportunity to communicate information to receptive consumers. The website should be user friendly, providing easy navigation to product information.
Jewelery in particular has sold well over the Internet. Online sellers are often able to sell at lower prices due to fewer middlemen, lower overheads and a 24-hour store front. A search for the keyword ‘jewelery’ on eBay reveals close to 40,000 items.
US gift convention organizers are the most experienced intermediaries between buyers and wholesalers, and some have launched B2B websites (ie. Americas Mart and Dallas Market Center) designed to capitalize on their existing relationships and expertise.
While most B2B gift industry sites market product on behalf of suppliers, the web is also producing a cyber version of the wholesale distributor – a company in the US that will take ownership of the product and resell it to the retailers. Examples include 123giftfactory.com, made-in-china.com and Whereoware.
Source by Krista Qian