Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Toy manufacturers in Hong Kong, who exported HK$54.9 million ($7.2 million) of toys in the first nine months of this year, may see their sales fall next year as demand from the U.S. and Europe stagnates, according to the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.
The decline may be “within a few percentage points,” Yeung Chi-kong, a member of the FHKI and executive vice- president of the Toys Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, told reporters today in the city. The toy industry “will worsen because of unstable economic conditions globally,” he said.
Toy exports from Hong Kong to the U.S. dropped by 25 percent in the first nine months of the year, from a year earlier, according to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. Exports to Europe rose 17 percent in the same period.
The export outlook for Hong Kong is “austere” as expanding sales from emerging markets won’t be enough to offset falling sales in Europe, Japan, and the U.S., the council said today.
In a survey of toy companies released today by the FHKI, over 60 percent of respondents said sales this year worsened from last year and 57 percent said they expect business to “further deteriorate in 2012.”
Over 90 percent of survey respondents said that new safety standards imposed by the E.U. in July may have increased their production cost. “Salaries and material costs will continue to rise,” Yeung said. “The yuan will definitely continue to appreciate although the pace might slow,” he said.
Further appreciation of the yuan against the U.S. dollar will erode competitiveness of Hong Kong’s exports, the trade council said. The yuan has strengthened 3.4 percent against the dollar this year.
--Editors: Mohammed Hadi, Ovais Subhani
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