China’s Factories Get Desperate as Orders Drop

With orders sharply down this year, Chinese exporters are mass mailing potential customers in the hope of selling their overstocked goods. From AP:

The early signs are pointing to a bleak year. The phones aren’t ringing. Web sites aren’t getting clicks. Old customers aren’t visiting plants.

Companies are already complaining that orders are sharply down. Industry experts say thousands of factories are idle or haven’t even bothered to open since the Lunar New Year holiday ended in late January — which usually marks the start of the busy season. Millions of migrant workers are jobless, especially here in southern Guangdong province — one of the world’s biggest manufacturing hubs and the source of one-third of China’s exports.

[...] Goodwin said his firm deals with about 400 Chinese suppliers, making everything from T-shirts and hunting knives to ceramics and lapel pins. But after the Lunar New Year holiday, he said 15 percent to 20 percent of the factories closed or are in the process of folding and can’t take orders. But Goodwin believed China’s 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package would begin to kick in by the end of the year and provide a boost.

March 19, 2009 10:44 AM
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