India's toy exports slip to $152.34 mn in FY23-24; GTRI report

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  • May 08,24
Implemented from January 2021, the QCO mandates that all toys sold in India, whether domestically produced or imported, must comply with specific Indian Standards for safety.
India's toy exports slip to $152.34 mn in FY23-24; GTRI report

India's toy exports declined marginally to $152.34 million in 2023-24 from $153.89 million in the previous financial year, according to a report by economic think tank GTRI. The Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) said that India's toy exports did not benefit much from the mandatory quality control orders.

It said that while the domestic measures were primarily aimed at boosting local industry and ensuring safety, they did not significantly enhance India's toy exports.

"From FY'2020 to FY'2022, exports increased modestly from $129.6 million to $177 million. However, by FY'2024, exports decreased to $152.3 million," the report said.


Imports, however, increased to $64.92 million in 2023-24 from $62.37 million in 2022-23.


Ajay Srivastava, Founder, GTRI stated, “ The QCO checked substandard imports from China but did not result in higher exports from India.”

Though India has taken decisive steps since 2020 to curb the inflow of substandard toy imports, especially from China, and strengthen the domestic toy industry, but "India needs to take more comprehensive approach for development of the industry," he said


He suggested steps such as developing a robust domestic ecosystem, encouraging global toy brands to manufacture in India, learning from China, and localise production of key inputs.


"Invest in research and development to foster innovation in toy design and functionality, positioning Indian toys competitively on the global stage. Strengthen partnerships between toy manufacturers and design institutes to continuously introduce innovative products," Srivastava commented.

The report recommended setting up specialised toy manufacturing hubs to reduce costs and increase efficiency; modernising traditional Indian toys while preserving their cultural value to create unique products.


"Support small and medium enterprises in leveraging digital marketing and promote Indian toys at international fairs to establish global connections," it said.

It also asked India to invite international toy manufacturers who operate in China, such as HasbroMattelLegoSpin Master, and MGA Entertainment, to consider setting up production facilities in India.

This move could help shift part of the global toy production market to India.

Further, it asked to reduce dependency on imports by developing local production capabilities for critical toy-making materials and components, such as glass eyes for dolls, beads, imitation stones, various types of plastics, electric motors, and remote control apparatus.

This step will decrease costs and enhance the self-sufficiency of the Indian toy industry, the GTRI said.

"Imports of inputs used for making toys is much higher than import of finished toys. For example, we imported glass eyes for dolls or other toys, beads and imitation stones of value $137.2 million in FY'2024," Srivastava said.

He added that India needs to make separate strategies for each group of toys such as plush toys like stuffed animals (world trade is about $7 billion); educational toys (world trade is about $6 billion); construction toys like LEGO ($10 billion); action figures and dolls ($10 billion); electronics ($15 billion); board games and puzzles ($9 billion); and outdoor and sports toys ($5 billion).

In 2022, the global market imported toys valued at about $60.3 billion.

Dominating this market, China exported toys worth $48.3 billion, securing an 80 per cent share of the global exports.

Other significant contributors to the global toy export market include the Czech Republic with exports of $3.2 billion, the European Union with $2.7 billion, Vietnam with $1.7 billion, and Hong Kong with $1.1 billion.

In contrast, India's share in the global toy export market is minimal, totalling $167 million, which represents only 0.3 per cent of the global exports, ranking it 27th, the report said.

On the import side, India ranks even lower, at 61st, with toy imports amounting to $60 million.

The largest importer of toys is the USA, which alone procured toys worth $22.2 billion. It is followed by the European Union ($9 billion), Japan ($2.8 billion), and Canada ($1.6 billion).

India raised import duties on toys beginning in February 2020. The basic customs duty was increased from 20 per cent to 60 per cent and then to 70 per cent in July 2021.

Implemented from January 2021, the QCO mandates that all toys sold in India, whether domestically produced or imported, must comply with specific Indian Standards for safety.


(Source: Economic Times)

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