Star Wars Inspires Trade Boom


Containerised toy imports are set to boom by around 10.9% year-on-year in the US after a surge in demand was seen recently for Star Wars action figures and lightsabers, according to the Journal of Commerce.

The upcoming Star Wars film Episode VII – The Force Awakens is set to be one of the biggest in the space opera series, and will be released on December 18, 2015.

Mario O. Moreno, Senior Economist for the Journal of Commerce, said: “US containerised imports of toys began to rebound in the second half of 2014, partly because of strong demand for Disney’s ‘Frozen’ gear.”

Chinese manufacturers are expected to produce the majority of plastic aliens and droids, and increase its dominance as the biggest source of US toy imports.

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China had 83.9% of the market year-to-date through September, 2015, which was the equivalent of a 0.4% increase compared to 2014.

Total US toy imports have risen for five straight quarters year-over-year beginning in the H2, 2014, which reverses a three-year decline.

As the trend for children opting for tablets and consoles increase, Moreno expects US toy import growth to drop by around 3% in 2016.

On the whole, US ports are performing significantly better in comparison to the congested period in early 2015 as a result of multiple port shutdowns along the US West Coast.

In September, 2015, Pacific Ports handled more than 50% of imports coming into the US.

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