Mattel, Hasbro leave it later to wrap up 2020 toy imports — Panjiva
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Mattel, Hasbro leave it later to wrap up 2020 toy imports

China 2918 Cons. Discr. - Durables 462 Cons. Discr. - Retailing 426 U.S. 5260

Chinese toy manufacturer and retailer Pop Mart has completed an initial public offering of its shares that has given it a valuation higher than that of Hasbro and Mattel, the South China Morning Post reports. The firm’s success has been grounded in the expanding Chinese retail market which may reduce the need for China’s toymakers to rely on export markets. In that regard the expansion fits with President Xi’s “dual circulation” strategy discussed in Panjiva’s research of Nov. 10.

That’s not to say that Chinese toymakers will be withdrawing from the market. Panjiva’s data shows that China accounted for 67.2% of global toy exports in the 12 months to July 31. That compared to 69.3% in 2016. The industry has faced the challenge from declining global exports with a drop of 17.1% in the past 12 months compared to a year earlier. The latter does, however, include off-peak season disruptions caused by the pandemic.

China remains the dominant force in global toy production

Chart segments global exports of toys by origin.   Source: Panjiva

The largest importing nation globally remains the U.S. which in turn retains a reliance on supplies from China despite four years of trade disputes between the two. While pressure on China is likely to continue under the Biden administration, toys are likely to continue to avoid the rigours of tariffs and other restrictive actions.

The toy industry in the U.S. has experienced a later than normal surge in traffic. Panjiva’s data shows that U.S. seaborne imports of toys climbed 18.3% in November after rising 8.5% year over year in October. The recovery followed an 8.4% drop year over year in Q3, the early part of the peak shipping season. Taking the July to November season as a whole, imports were unchanged compared to a year earlier.

Late surge leaves U.S. peak season toy imports unchanged

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports of toys by month.   Source: Panjiva

Most of the major toy importers have deployed an apparent ship-later strategy, though for some deliveries may be too late for the peak buying season – especially given the ongoing congestion at many ports. U.S. seaborne imports linked to Spin Master climbed by 14.3% year over year in the July-to-November season as a result of increases of 72.5% in October and 34.8% in November.

Similarly, shipments linked to Tomy and Mattel increased by 10.8% and 4.0% respectively over the five month period with gains throughout the past three months. Hasbro by contrast has left shipments much later with imports down by 9.5% in the five month period despite a 20.2% increase in November alone.

Spin Master leads peak season expansion

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports of toys by consignee.   Source: Panjiva

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