Top 10 Imports from China
Top 10 Imports from China and finding niche products in China.
Last week we had Dragon boat festival here in China, I didn't see a single boat in Shanghai. There was enough rain water for boating in most places - so let's hope they were there somewhere. This week has seen the humidity set in - "real" summer has arrived. Anyway enough about the weather! Today we are looking at the following:
- The most popular products being exported from China.
- Why being popular is not always cool?
- Research tips on finding your niche product?
- Tips on finding niche products in China.
1. Most popular products being exported from China
China is still the world's workshop and despite some shrinkage in the volume of exports it is still the default go to when sourcing or outsourcing manufacturing. Here is the top 10 list of product categories by USD value.
1. Electronic equipment: US$600.3 billion (26.3% of total exports)
2. Machines, engines, pumps: $364.5 billion (16%)
3. Furniture, lighting, signs: $98.7 billion (4.3%)
4. Knit or crochet clothing: $83.8 billion (3.7%)
5. Clothing (not knit or crochet): $78.5 billion (3.4%)
6. Medical, technical equipment: $73.8 billion (3.2%)
7. Plastics: $65.8 billion (2.9%)
8. Vehicles: $62.7 billion (2.7%)
9. Iron or steel products: $60.6 billion (2.7%)
10. Footwear: $53.6 billion (2.3%)
These are quite meaty areas so the good people at World's Top Exports went one better and drilled into them a bit more.
1. Phone system devices: US$213.2 billion (HTS code 8517)
2. Computers, optical readers: $137.3 billion (8471)
3. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $70.1 billion (8542)
4. Lamps, lighting, illuminated signs: $35.8 billion (9405)
5. Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools: $34.0 billion (9013)
6. Solar power diodes/semi-conductors: $33.6 billion (8541)
7. Miscellaneous furniture: $29.2 billion (9403)
8. Computer parts, accessories: $28.9 billion (8473)
9. Automobile parts/accessories: $28.3 billion (8708)
10. Cases, handbags, wallets: $28.3 billion (4202)
11. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $28.2 billion (8528)
12. Electrical converters/power units: $26.6 billion (8504)
13. Women's clothing (not knit or crochet): $25.9 billion (6204)
14. Footwear (rubber or plastic): $24.6 billion (6402)
15. Seats (excluding barber/dentist chairs): $23.7 billion (9401)
16. Insulated wire/cable: $21.4 billion (8544)
17. Printing machinery: $21.1 billion (8443)
18. Cruise/cargo ships, barges: $20.4 billion (8901)
19. Jerseys, pullovers (knit or crochet): $19.7 billion (6110)
20. Women's clothing (knit or crochet): $19.4 billion (6104)
2. Why being popular is not always cool?
This is about understanding whether or not you can have any slice in the massively popular product genres in the lists above or have the big boys got them all sewn up? For the most part they will have them pretty locked down. That is, they have the best suppliers, the best prices and can budget for marketing in a way you can't. That does sound pretty grim when I put it like that but there is always a way even within these categories there are points of differentiation you can make on existing product types or look to simply brand something better than it has been done thus far. I hear you, easier said that done but actually if you focus and drill into products 1 at a time and build a small range it is highly achievable. That's right there is some good old fashioned hard work involved.
The problem for SME's and online sellers is one both should relate too. Both need to find areas to be competitive and avoid getting into battles they cannot win.
To get started first look at what exactly the big boys sell in a category of interest, genuine interest mind you - please don't do the "yeeeeah that might sell well" and get tunnel vision on it being the answer. Research is very important so check your perceived completion, where you might want to fit in the market. Is that a nice place? So in my view going after the most popular products per the lists above is very difficult, not cool and if...
- You have not established a small or medium sized business in the area already.
- You are intending to compete just because big companies are selling well - you will need more than just a hot market.
Note: if you have a business already in product X and are interested in buying from China direct.
Start thinking about....
Your capital or lack of