Where Do Your Christmas Decorations Come From?
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Where Do Your Christmas Decorations Come From?

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Where Do Your Christmas Decorations Come From?

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The World’s Biggest Exporters of Christmas Decorations

Billions of dollars worth of Christmas decorations are exported around the world each year.

And while they adorn many homes across the globe, you may be surprised to know that a majority of these decorations are manufactured in just a handful of countries.

Using data from the UN Comtrade Database, this festive visualization highlights the world’s top exporters of Christmas decor.

Ranked: Top 10 Exporters of Christmas Decorations

China accounts for 87% of global Christmas decoration exports (excluding candles, electric lighting sets, and natural Christmas trees), with a total export value of $6.62 billion in 2020.

Here are the top 10 countries by export volume:

RankCountryMarket Share
Year 2020
Export value
Year 2020
1🇨🇳 China87.61%$6,623,948,022
2🇳🇱 Netherlands3.95%$298,587,959
3🇵🇱 Poland0.91%$68,670,015
4🇮🇳 India0.84%$63,605,927
5🇩🇪 Germany0.83%$63,035,762
6🇺🇸 United States0.77%$58,045,102
7🇭🇰 Hong Kong0.51%$38,344,945
8🇧🇪 Belgium0.43%$32,787,984
9🇹🇭 Thailand0.43%$32,365,786
10🇬🇧 United Kingdom0.33%$24,580,583

China’s market share dwarfs its competitors. Netherlands comes a distant second, capturing only 3.95% of the market, while Poland is third with just 0.91%.

Another interesting fact we can extract from the data is that the top 10 countries own a 96.91% share of the Christmas decoration export market, which leaves just 3.09% of the market to the other 185 countries around the globe.

The Other Side of the Coin: Imports

We’ve covered who the biggest exporters of Christmas decorations are, but this begs the question—which countries are importing all of this festive fare?

Here are the top five countries by import volume:

RankCountryMarket Share
Year 2019
Market Share
Year 2020
Import value
Year 2020
1🇺🇸 United States58.17%57.34%$3,054,607,847
2🇬🇧 United Kingdom5.18%5.07%$270,152,835
3🇨🇦 Canada4.54%5.00%$266,304,196
4🇩🇪 Germany2.69%2.99%$159,401,785
5🇳🇱 Netherlands2.55%2.93%$156,000,611

The United States is by far the biggest importer of Christmas decorations, importing 57.34% of the total market share of Christmas decorations with a total value of $3 billion.

The top five importers have a market share of 73.33% with a total value of $3.9 billion.

Why Are Christmas Decorations More Expensive This Year?

Yiwu, a Chinese city situated 175 miles southwest of Shanghai, is the world’s biggest hub for manufacturing Christmas decorations, accounting for nearly 80% of the Christmas products exported from China.

Factories in Yiwu are suffering a shortage of raw materials which is causing an increase in production costs.

On top of that, since mid-October, Yiwu, like many other cities, has been affected by China’s ongoing electricity shortage, which has forced manufacturers to install power generators or even stop their manufacturing activities altogether.

As if that wasn’t enough, shipping from China has become a lot more expensive in 2021. Over the past year, it’s become 4x more expensive to ship a standard container from China to Europe.

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Misc

Animated Chart: The Rise and Fall of Music Sales, by Format (1973-2021)

50 years in music has seen consumption change from vinyl and cassettes to CDs and streaming. This video highlights sales of music formats over time.

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The rise and fall over music formats

The Rise and Fall of Music Sales, by Format (1973-2021)

We live in a world of music. Whether when driving to work or jamming out at home, people around the world like to have their favorite tunes playing in the background.

But while our love for music has been constant, the way we consume media has evolved drastically. The past 50 years have seen many different music formats used to access these tunes, mirroring society’s shift from analog to digital.

This video, created by James Eagle using data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), highlights sales of different music formats in the U.S. over the last 50 years.

Vinyl

Up until the late 1980s, vinyl dominated the music format industry, earning billions of dollars in sales annually. Records of Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run or Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon were some of the top selling albums available.

Vinyl is said to provide its listeners with analog sounds that reverberate and the warm notes of almost-live music. For vinyl users and enthusiasts to this day, the music produced by these sleek yet massive records is unparalleled.

8-Track

If you’re a millennial (or younger), you may have never heard of the 8-track. But this music format played an integral part in the history of music.

When the booming automotive vehicle industry found it challenging to translate the music experience to cars using vinyl, it looked to the “Stereo 8” eight-track cartridge, better known as the 8-track. This cartridge used an analog magnetic tape and provided 90 minutes of continuous music play time.

8-track carved a niche for itself much before the advent of cassettes and CDs. And through the proliferation of vehicles, 8-track sales climbed to reach a peak revenue of $900 million in 1978.

Cassettes

The era of cassettes pushed 8-tracks into the history of music in the early 1980s. These pocket-sized tapes were more convenient to use than 8Tracks and quickly spread worldwide.

By 1989, the cassette format reached its peak revenues of $3.7 billion.

CDs

First released in 1982, the Compact Disc or CD came into the music market as the successor to the vinyl record.

Developed by Philips and Sony, sales of the sleek and portable CD grew quickly as home and car stereos alike added CD functionality. The format brought in $13.3 billion in revenue in both 1999 and 2000. To date, no other music format has reached the same milestone since.

Digital Music Formats

When it comes to preferred music formats over time, convenience (and cost) seem to have been the biggest catalysts of change.

From the start of the early 2000s, CDs had started to be replaced by other forms of digital storage and distribution. The massive shift to internet consumption and the introduction of digital music, available through downloads, pushed audio CD sales down rapidly.

The launch of streaming platforms like Spotify in 2006 exacerbated this decline, with CD sales dropping by around $4 billion in five years.

Digital sales continued to evolve. Ringtone sales alone brought in $1.1 billion in 2007, and in 2012, the revenues from downloads shot up to a peak of $2.9 billion. But music streaming platforms kept climbing through 2021, and will likely continue to be the future face of music consumption.

RankMusic formatsRevenue in 2021
1Streaming$11.5 billion
2Vinyl$1.0 billion
3CD$0.6 billion
4Downloads$0.5 billion
Other$1.4 billion
Total$15.1 billion

Music streaming and subscription services pushed the accessibility of music to new highs, especially with free ad-supported platforms.

In 2021, streaming secured the music industry a whopping $11.5 billion in sales, good for 76% of the total. If it keeps growing in popularity and accessibility, the format could potentially challenge the peak popularity of CDs in the late 90s.

The Vintage Comeback?

There’s no doubt that digital music formats are getting increasingly popular with every passing year. However, one of our vintage and beloved music formats—the vinyl record—seems to be making a comeback.

According to the RIAA database, the revenue earned by LP/EP sales has shot up to $1.0 billion in 2021, its highest total since the mid-1980s.

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