According to Chinese Customs statistics, Guangdong's toy exports increased by a steady 5.9% over the previous year to US$4.81 billion in 2006, accounting for 68.2% of the national total. However, the outlook for this year is grim.
For a start, the EU is Guangdong's second largest export market after the US and it seems certain that the successes of last year, when the province exported toys worth US$900 million up 7.2% year-on-year accounting for 16.6% of the province's total toy exports, will fall substantially short where it comes to the EU market in 2007.
New environmental protection rules introduced by the EU are particularly expected to impact on Guangdong's toy exports. As from this year, the EU bans the sale of toys containing over 1% of phthalate and five other chemicals.