The export center is progressing to meet the demand for the World Cup

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

The Journey, the official match ball for the FIFA World Cup Qatar from Adidas, is photographed in Doha, Qatar, March 30, 2022. [Photo/VCG]

As the 2022 soccer World Cup approaches, Chinese companies are rushing to fill their shipping containers with merchandise ranging from soccer balls and toys to virtual reality helmets for the event, which will take place in Qatar in November and December.

The tournament, which takes place every four years, has boosted the growth of the global sports economy by creating jobs for export-oriented companies. Orders for products related to the big event, scheduled for November 20 to December 18, have been pouring into Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, the world’s largest small commodity distribution center, since April, according to local exporters.

The Yiwu Sporting Goods Association has estimated that the city accounts for about 70 percent of the peripheral goods market for this year’s World Cup, providing items from whistles to themed cups and pillows.

Wu Xiaoming, Chairman of Yiwu Aokai Sports Goods Co., a licensed football manufacturer for the World Cup with a production capacity of 800 footballs per day, said.

The third quarter is usually a quiet period in town for small commodity exports, he said, but the World Cup has turned it into a busy season this year. The company saw its soccer exports rise 70 percent year-on-year between July and September.

Qin Xianchun, sales manager of Yiwu Jinzun Stationery Co, which produces sports trophies, medals and key chains, said her company’s take-out, which was mainly placed by clients in the Netherlands, Germany and the Republic of Korea, was up nearly 50 percent year on year. year in the third quarter.

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic affected retail trade and factories in Yiwu in early August for a short period, this prompted exporters in Yiwu international trade market to expand their online sales ratio,” Chen said, adding that her company completed all orders related to the cup the scientist.

“Many customers have contacted us online. Materials and patterns of products can be shown to them through live broadcast,” she said. “Our workload has increased, sales are up and overseas demand remains strong.”

Thanks to the increased demand from the World Cup, businesses in Yiwu exported 3.82 billion yuan ($537 million) worth of sporting goods and 9.66 billion yuan of toys in the first eight months of 2022, according to data from Yiwu Customs, a branch of Hangzhou Customs.

On the other hand, the city’s exports to Spain increased by 95.8 percent year on year, to Argentina by 67.2 percent and to Brazil by 56.7 percent, according to customs statistics. All three countries are among those sending teams to Qatar.

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

In addition to the exports of low value-added products, the global demand for China-made VR helmets, HDTVs, projectors and home theaters, as well as other high-end customized products, which are driven by the demand for the World Cup, said Zhang Yongjun, a researcher at The Beijing-based China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said the rise was notable.

For example, China’s exports of LCD TVs grew 16.8 percent year on year to 61.13 million units in the first eight months of 2022, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

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