Yiwu’s Christmas product export business gradually recovered to pre-epidemic levels

Reporter | Wu Rong Zhao Xiaojuan

Editor | Ya Han Xiang

According to the previous rhythm, there are still two months before Christmas. In Yiwu, Zhejiang, the world’s largest Christmas supplies distribution center, the order has basically been completed. However, this year, there are still overseas customers placing orders in November.

Lin Tao, a Yiwu merchant who sells products such as Christmas and Chinese New Year, told Jiemian News that before the epidemic, generally speaking, overseas customers placed orders from March to June every year, shipped from July to September, and basically ended orders in October. But so far this year, there are still orders.

Nowadays, the sales cycle of Christmas products is prolonged, mainly due to the instability of the epidemic.

This summer, the social control during the epidemic in Yiwu blocked the local supply chain and had to slow down production and logistics. “After the epidemic in August, we began to speed up delivery. South America, North America, and Europe basically shipped in the order in which they were placed. Southeast Asia, South Korea, etc. are also shipping.” Lin Tao said.

Merchants including Lin Tao are now receiving orders, mostly from neighboring countries in Asia, “The uncertainty brought about by the epidemic has caused customers to postpone orders, and after the development of logistics, it is now too late to receive orders, as long as there is stock or factory. If there is no epidemic, power outage, etc., the time to transport to neighboring countries is enough.”

In addition, there are also orders that customers are preparing for Christmas next year.

“These customers usually have no pursuit of style, and basically they are basic models that do not follow trends.” Lin Tao said that placing orders in advance is also to prevent risks such as delays in shipments caused by the epidemic next year, and increased freight for intensive shipments.

80% of the world’s Christmas products come from China, and 80% of China’s Christmas products come from Yiwu. Although orders for Christmas supplies in Yiwu have been hit since the outbreak, they are now gradually recovering.

Lin Tao told Jiemian News that in terms of their company’s overall order volume, “the worst time in 2020 was half of the orders. Last year, it gradually recovered. This year, it has slowly recovered to about 70% of the 2019 level before the outbreak.”

Image source: cfp

The improvement of Lin Tao’s business is also the epitome of the recovery of Yiwu’s foreign trade Christmas supplies industry.

Cai Qinliang, secretary-general of the Yiwu Christmas Products Industry Association, said that in the first year of the epidemic in 2020, overseas orders for Yiwu Christmas products fell by about 50%. In 2021, the market will be difficult to climb, and it will probably recover to 70% to 80% before the epidemic. By 2022, it will basically recover.

According to data from the Huajing Market Research Center, from January to August 2022, the export value of China’s Christmas supplies was 57.435 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 94.70%, of which Zhejiang Province’s export value was 7.589 billion yuan, accounting for 13.21% of the total export value.

Data from Yiwu Customs also shows that from January to July 2022, the export value of Yiwu Christmas supplies reached 1.75 billion yuan, an increase of 88.5% year-on-year; among them, the export value in July was 850 million yuan, an increase of 85.6% year-on-year and a month-on-month increase of 75.8%.

The recovery of Christmas business, in the opinion of Wang Jianjun, general manager of Yiwu Shopping Platform, is mainly related to the loosening of overseas epidemic restrictions. Since the first half of this year, many overseas countries have begun to gradually lift restrictions on gatherings due to the impact of the epidemic, and restrict cross-border travel. With the loosening of these restrictions, people move and gather more frequently, and the demand for Christmas atmosphere, whether it is businesses or individuals, has gradually returned to before the outbreak, which has led to an upturn in Yiwu Christmas business.

According to data provided by Wang Jianjun to Jiemian News, up to now, orders including Christmas products on the Yiwu Go platform have increased by 20% year-on-year. In the past week, the search volume of “Christmas” on the Yiwu Go Index has risen, and the search volume from October 24 to October 25 has reached 200% month-on-month.

“Yiwu has been finding new customers online all these years, and the outbreak of the epidemic has accelerated the process of accessing the Internet.” Wang Jianjun said that as far as the entire Yiwu market is concerned, 90% of customer purchases are made online to reduce The impact of the epidemic.

In the Yiwu International Trade City where Lin Tao is located, there are also many merchants who have launched live broadcasts on multiple online platforms such as Yiwugou and Yicaibao to introduce their products. Since 2020, foreign customers have become accustomed to online video viewing. After they have a certain understanding of the manufacturer’s production capacity, process features and prices, they will first place a small order, and continue to add more after the market is well sold.

In addition, in order to stabilize customers, Lin Tao and his colleagues have made a lot of efforts, including making products keep up with people’s Christmas needs and trends under the epidemic, mainly focusing on product categories, product mix and cost performance.

For Christmas in 2020, everyone is more willing to spend the holidays at home. Small Christmas trees of 60 cm and 90 cm are the most popular among overseas orders. Lin Tao said that they also followed up in time at that time, and this year “there is no such obvious hot sales data for small Christmas trees”, but it has roughly returned to the normal before the epidemic.

This requires merchants to update according to the trends on foreign social platforms.

“For example, the checkerboard printing element is popular this year, and Christmas tree decorations have also absorbed this element; there are more festival parties in restaurants, and the decorations in the dining area and around the table also have a trend of returning to the pre-epidemic popularity.” Lin Tao said, in addition, products The price range will also be widened to meet the needs of different consumers. “The unit price of Christmas elk ornaments ranges from 0.5 yuan to 5 yuan.”