January 17, 2009

Chinese toy exporters hurt by recalls

Recalls, higher production costs and the global recession are being blamed for the closure of nearly 1,000 Chinese toy exporters in one province.

Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, reported Saturday that 922 toy exporters in Guangdong province closed in 2008. The province still has 2,167 toy exporters.

Li Zhuoming, head of the Guangdong Toy Association, said rising prices for raw materials and labor pushed production costs up 25 percent for most companies.

The news agency reported large product recalls by international toy companies, including Mattel Inc., over lead in toys also hurt the industry.

Xinhua said China is the world's largest producer and exporter of toys. Guangdong province alone contributes about 70 percent of the overall output. In 2008, it exported $6.1 billion worth of toys, up 3.6 percent from 2007.