Exporters fear costs impact on Xmas orders

Finance | Staff reporter 15 Sep 2021

Exporters in Hong Kong are worried that rising transportation costs may dim overseas Christmas orders, according to a Trade Development Council survey.

Only 20.2 percent of Hong Kong businesses polled in the third-quarter survey anticipated an increase in Christmas sales this year, compared with 38.7 percent who foresaw no change and 41.1 percent who predicted a decline.

The council also announced yesterday that its export index for the third quarter fell 9.7 points to 39, after rising for five consecutive quarters.

The survey is conducted every quarter, covering 500 local exporters from six major industries - machinery, electronics, jewelry, watches and clocks, toys and clothing - to gauge confidence in near-term export prospects.

"The key issues seen as affecting Hong Kong's export performance in the coming six months continued to be the pandemic and softening global demand," said director of research Nicholas Kwan. Regarding pandemic-induced problems, 53.6 percent are worried about increased transport costs while 59.5 percent have been faced with reduced order sizes and 28 percent have been affected by order cancellations.

An increased number of companies also reported difficulties in sourcing raw materials, parts and components, which suggests that supply chains may have been affected, Kwan said.

That came as Deputy Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin said China's small-to-medium enterprises are facing pressure from high shipping fees and expensive material costs, and Beijing will launch supportive policies.

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