HANGZHOU, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) –:Exports of sports products registered a robust growth in the first half (H1) of 2023 in China’s small commodities hub of Yiwu, as the approach of 19th Asian Games brings in more overseas orders.
Customs data shows that Yiwu, in east China’s Zhejiang Province, exported 3.52 billion yuan (about 488 million U.S. dollars) of sports goods in H1, an increase of 22.5 percent from the same period in the previous year.
With the 19th Asiad, scheduled from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 in Zhejiang’s provincial capital Hangzhou, just around the corner, orders from other Asian countries are mounting.
“We’ve witnessed a boom in the sales of ball games-related products thanks to the upcoming Asian Games, with a growth rate of more than 30 percent year on year,” said Xiang Lili, who runs a sports equipment store in Yiwu.
According to Xiang, overseas customers now tend to place smaller orders for higher-quality products, so related companies are investing heavily in R&D and original designs for high-margin products.
“The Asian Games, to be held in China this year, has also created a sports craze in Pakistan. I’m here to purchase basketballs and other peripheral products, and to seek more cooperation opportunities with Chinese suppliers,” said a Pakistani buyer.
Hu Fangjun, general manager of a sports goods manufacturer in Yiwu, also feels the spike in interest around sports. The factory where Hu works can produce more than 1,000 footballs daily, but that still falls far short of demand.
“Our overseas orders will take us up to the end of this year,” Hu said, adding that the number of orders from emerging markets has surpassed that from the European and American markets, with the fastest growth registered in regions such as Southeast Asia and South America.