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US faced with ‘expensive’ Christmas due to Port Jams

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ but the upcoming Christmas holiday season is expected to be the ‘most expensive’ since the pandemic, due to the ongoing gridlocked shipping ports and surging inflation, market watchers have revealed.

Despite long-distance shipping rates between US and China thankfully dropping from historic peaks, they still sit at around $14,000 - $16,000 due to transportation capacities.

High costs for freight, bulk commodities and labour continue to contribute to keeping the prices for Christmas goods and other home products at a high level, industry insiders have revealed. The situation is unlikely to ease for the rest of the year.

“Importers certainly welcome the decline in freight rates, but due to port congestion, low inventories and high consumer demand, prices may still be much higher than normal,” a logistics insider told the Global Times.

Cai Qinliang, secretary-general of the Industry Association of Christmas Supplies in Yiwu, told the Global Times that most of the Christmas-related orders sent to Yiwu, East China’s Zhejiang Province, the world’s supermarket of small commodities, faced price rises of 5-10 percent over the last year.

Several companies based in Yiwu and South China’s Guangdong Province told the Global Times that in order to process their old orders and cut losses, some companies have stopped taking new orders for this year.

Despite high prices, the resilient demand for Chinese goods has persisted ahead of the holiday season. Orders for Christmas-related goods from Yiwu for the whole year are expected to increase by 20-30 percent, Cai revealed, and international orders this year have recovered by 80 percent, compared with 2019.

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Source: Global Times