Containers of toys imported through U.S. ports showed a slight decline in the fourth quarter of 2012, the first year-over-year decline since the first quarter of 2012. Imports edged down 1.5 percent to 160,203 20-foot-equivalent units from 162,710 TEUs in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Imports showed mixed shifts throughout 2012. Toy imports inched up 0.6 percent in the third quarter, 1.7 percent in the second quarter, and imports fell almost 5 percent in the first quarter, according to data from PIERS, a JOC sister company. The fourth quarters of 2012 and 2011 both showed year-over-year declines. The drop in 2011 was by 11.3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2010.
The toy import volume for full-year 2012 was 524,644 TEUs, down 1 percent or 4,768 TEUs from 529,412 TEUs in 2011.
Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, continued to dominate the market with an 81.7 percent share of imports, although its share was down 1.2 percentage points year-over-year. Other top countries of origin for U.S. toy imports in 2012 were Hong Kong, with 6.6 percent, down 0.3 percentage points; Vietnam, 1.5 percent, up 0.1 percentage points; and Taiwan, 1.4 percent, up 0.1 percentage points.
Toy imports from Germany and Israel saw a jump in 2012. Imports from Germany rose 43 percent from 3,690 TEUs in 2011 to 5,291 TEUs in 2012. Imports from Israel in 2012 totaled 3,390 TEUs, 35 percent more than the 2,507 TEUs imported in 2011.