The number of containers of toys imported through U.S. ports increased 1.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013. This is only the second year-over-year increase in the past eight quarters, the other being a 2.4 percent increase in third quarter 2012.
The U.S. imported 149,409 20-foot-equivalent units in the first quarter of 2013, up from 147,396 in the same quarter of 2012, according to data from PIERS, a JOC sister company. The toy import volume for the first quarter of 2013 fell 36 percent from fourth quarter 2012’s volume of 234,355 TEUs, due to seasonality. The third quarter of 2012 had seen the highest volume since the fourth quarter of 2010 at 275,788 TEUs.
Mainland China, not including Hong Kong, continued to dominate the market with a 79 percent share of imports, although its share did inch down 0.1 percentage point year-over-year. Other top countries of origin for U.S. toy imports in the first quarter were Hong Kong, with 5.6 percent, down 0.3 percentage points; Taiwan, 3.7 percent, up 0.3 percentage points; and Vietnam, 1.4 percent, up 0.1 percentage point.
Toy imports from Indonesia and Thailand saw significant volume growth this quarter. Imports from Indonesia jumped 24 percent year-over-year to 1,438 TEUs in 2013, moving them up two spots to become the fifth-largest supplier of U.S. toy imports. Imports from Thailand climbed 16 percent versus the same quarter last year, to 1,422 TEUs, and that country as a result captured the sixth supplier spot. Imports from Israel fell 17 percent to 1,266 TEUs this quarter, dropping it below both Indonesia and Thailand to seventh place among top source countries.