Export hub steps up to meet World Cup demand

Export hub steps up to meet World Cup demand

By Zhong Nan in Beijing and Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-05 07:18

Al-Rihla, Adidas’ official match ball for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, pictured in Doha, Qatar on March 30, 2022. [Photo/VCG]

As the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches, Chinese companies are rushing to fill their shipping containers with goods ranging from soccer balls and toys to virtual reality headsets for the event, to be held in Qatar. in November and December.

The tournament, held every four years, has spurred the growth of the global sports economy by creating business opportunities for export-oriented companies. Orders for products related to the big event, which is due to be held from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18, have been pouring in to Yiwu, Zhejiang province, the world’s largest small-commodity distribution center, since April, local exporters say. .

The Yiwu Sporting Goods Association estimated that the city accounts for about 70 percent of the World Cup peripheral products market this year, supplying items ranging from whistles to themed mugs and pillows.

“We are in the final stage of exporting the World Cup-related soccer balls. All the goods will be shipped to Qatar by the end of this month,” said Wu Xiaoming, chairman of the board. administration of Yiwu Aokai Sports Goods Co, a world cup authorized football manufacturer which has a production capacity of 800 footballs per day.

He said the third quarter is usually a quiet time in the city for small commodity exports, but the World Cup has made it a busy season this year. The company saw its soccer ball exports jump 70% year-on-year between July and September.

Chen Xianchun, sales manager at Yiwu Jinzun Stationery Co, which produces sports trophies, medals and key rings, said her company’s overseas orders, mostly from customers in the Netherlands, Germany and the Republic of Korea, jumped almost 50% year-on-year. year in the third trimester.

“Even though the COVID-19 pandemic affected retail businesses and factories in Yiwu in early August for a short period, it prompted exporters in Yiwu International Trade Market to increase their sales proportion. online,” said Chen, who added that his company fulfilled all World Cup-related orders.

“Many customers have contacted us online. Materials and product styles can be introduced to them through live streaming,” she said. “Our workload has increased, sales have increased and overseas demand remains strong.”

Thanks to the growing demand sparked by the World Cup, Yiwu enterprises exported 3.82 billion yuan ($537 million) worth of sports goods and 9.66 billion yuan worth of toys in the first eight month of 2022, according to data from Yiwu Customs, a branch of Hangzhou Customs.

Meanwhile, the city’s exports to Spain rose 95.8 percent year-on-year, to Argentina 67.2 percent and to Brazil 56.7 percent, according to customs statistics. The three nations are among those sending teams to Qatar.

Eager to ship scarves, trumpets, stickers and other sporting goods to Qatar as quickly as possible, the city opened the Qatar World Cup shipping line in mid-September. Its products, departing from Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and Shanghai Port, can be shipped directly to Hamad Port in Qatar within 20-25 days.

In addition to exports of low value-added products, the global demand for Chinese-made virtual reality headsets, HDTVs, projectors and home theaters, as well as other high-end personalized products, driven by demand of the World Cup, have notably increased, said Zhang Yongjun, a researcher at the Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

For example, China’s LCD TV exports rose 16.8 percent year-on-year to 61.13 million units in the first eight months of 2022, according to data from the General Administration of China. customs.

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