Skip to content

Why Your Christmas Ornaments are About to Get More Expensive

  • Factories in Yiwu hit by China electric crunch, rising costs
  • City accounts for roughly 80% of Chinese Christmas exports
A Christmas ornament market in Yiwu.
A Christmas ornament market in Yiwu.Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

This year, the Chinese city of Yiwu -- the world’s biggest hub for the manufacture of plastic reindeer, twinkle lights and other Christmas paraphernalia -- is feeling a Grinch-like pinch.

Factories are being hit by a shortage of raw materials that’s raising their production costs, and once goods are on their way shipping snarls are delaying their journey to the store shelves of the West. Since mid-October, Yiwu has also been affected by China’s ongoing electricity crunch, which has forced manufacturers to hunt for generators, or suspend production altogether.