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No jingle bells for exporters

[ 2009-12-14 13:21]     字号 [] [] []  
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Inside Wang Qiaoling's store, a toy Santa croons the song Last Christmas into a tiny gold microphone. Wang is feeling equally nostalgic, even though it's the worst year for her business since Yule Sun Christmas Toys Co was founded 10 years ago.

Wang runs a wholesale store for Yule Sun in Yiwu International Trade City - a gargantuan wholesale market selling everything from buttons to golf bags.

Usually Yule Sun sells goods worth 12 million yuan ($1.76 million) annually, but this year sales will total approximately 7 million yuan. The factory has laid off 40 of its 100 workers, said a Guardian report.

"Because of the economic crisis, we have taken a big hit," Wang said. "Many of the items bought by Europeans and Americans last year didn't sell out. So when they came to shop this year, they bought comparatively less and they were very cautious. They feared that they couldn't sell all of the goods in this climate."

In the past, every day was Christmas in Yiwu.

Half of Europe's Christmas products are made in or traded through this eastern Chinese city, said local officials, and even more products sell to the United States.

To ensure they are shipped to stores in time, Western buyers traditionally arrive between June and August each year.

But this summer was different.

"The orders have become smaller, less frequent and with a shorter period of delivery," said Hu Yifan, chief economist at Citic Securities. "The orders are not continuous like before."

Hu added that he expects the recovery of exports to stabilize


1. How many of Europe’s Christmas products are made in this market?

2. When do Western buyers arrive each year?

3. How many people have been laid off in the down turn?


1. Half of that.

2. Between June and August each year.

3. 40 of its 100 workers.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

No jingle bells for exporters

About the broadcaster:

No jingle bells for exporters

Linda Kennedy is a presenter and writer. She has reported and commented extensively on BBC TV, and was a correspondent for "News at Ten" on ITV. She also wrote a column for The Scotsman newspaper.