China's toy exports have taken a beating from the global financial crisis, with demand shrinking in the key US and European markets, state media reported on Sunday.
In the period from January to November of last year, China's shipments of toys abroad totalled eight billion dollars, an increase of just 2.5 per cent from the same period a year earlier, the People's Daily said on its website.
This compares with the first 11 months of 2007, when toy exports had increased by a blistering 20.3 per cent, the paper said, citing customs authorities.
In November alone, toy exports declined 8.6 per cent from the same month a year earlier, according to the paper.
Registered toy exporters plunged by nearly half last year to 4,211, the paper said, reflecting how weakening overseas demand is wreaking havoc on China's domestic economy.
The paper quoted customs officials as saying that apart from the global slowdown, toy exports had also been impacted by a series of recent product quality scandals.
For example, in mid-2007, US importers of Chinese toys issued recalls after some were found to be coated with toxic lead paint. Similar products were later banned in several countries.
The paper said that the United States and the European Union account for two thirds of China's toy exports.