Whether you import Housewares, Appliances, Hardware or Technology, shipping, ports and trucking are affected by all imports. Understanding your suppliers’ home country better can reduce costs, identify non-competitive shipping partners and new opportunities.

 Quiz: How well do you know Canadian imports? 

 

Country of Origin
(#1 supplier)

  • Cast iron bathtubs
  • Plastic buckets
  • Knife blades
  • Candles

 

Products
(#1 supplier, quantity)

  • Turkey
  • India
  • France

 

Total Value
Canadian Dollar

  • Wall/Ceiling covering PVC
  • Bed linens 
  • Sundry stuff made of plastics

 

Quantity of Imports

  • Glass vases (millions)
  • Facial tissue, Toilet paper and paper towels (million kilos)  

  Answers at the end of the article.

“Importers, manufacturers and shipping companies use trade statistics to monitor import penetration and, identify market opportunities, monitor commodity price and volume changes, and examine transport implications of trade flows.” Stats Can

Planning

Start your planning with high level economic and trade factors for Canada and your suppliers home country. If we have learned anything over the past 3 years, it is that we need to broaden our planning and risk analysis.

The Canadian exchange rate is forecasted to fall 1.18% in 2023 (.72 – .73 USD).

Deteriorating exchange rates may be a boon for exporters but are the Achilles heel of importers. You can do everything right and still face significant price increases due to global currency exchange rates. No matter who does the exchange (manufacturer, importer or retailer) the shelf price and your business will be affected by multiple exchange rates.

Foreign manufacturers need to pay their expenses in local currency. Foreign manufacturers will try to compete in USD terms until they run out of local currency and collapse. A contract in USD is worthless if the manufacturer goes out of business.

Argentina hit a 100% inflation rate in March 2023. $1.00 US dollar = 202.5 Argentina Pesos

Argentina has already defaulted on $500M and another $66 billion will need to be restructured. What changes will be needed? How will this affect their exports?

Canada

The Bank of Canada’s inflation target is 1 to 3% annually and they have the power and resources to make it happen.

You will not significantly beat a 3-5% increase in unit price or volume without an exceptionally good reason. The extra 2% is for great marketing.

2022 – 2023 Import Report Format has been updated to include new features to meet demands of changing markets. Our data base includes products by country of origin and Major Canadian Importers.

Data Reports

We have added several new features to our semi-annual report on Canadian Imports.

  • Economic factors: sheets cover 64 countries
  • Countries-top 5: import data (unit cost, quantities and values) lists imports by country
  • CAGR=Compound Annual Growth Rate: the calculations smooths the historical data, omits the effect of volatility, and implies steady growth.
  • Forecasts: 4 year exponential smoothing market volatility over the past 3 yers.
  • Unit Cost (USD): unit costs are expressed in USD to illuminate fluctuations USD-Canadian dollar exchange rate.

Diversification

Diversification is less a problem for housewares as production is more widely distributed than other products where production is concentrated in China and USA. See Data Sheets: Quantities.

Production can more easily be expanded if a country has an establish production and distribution system for a particular product. Commercial buyers need to be more sensitive to economic challenges in supplier countries.

Economic factors may play a more important role in decisions to diversify sourcing. Buyers may need to hedge their bets on suppliers from at risk countries.

Houseware

Every product has its own unique story.

Most Houseware products have been around for 1,000s of years: bathtubs, cutlery, linens, blankets, carpets etc.  Houseware and many Hardware products are both essential and fashion statements. Traders must combine quality, efficient manufacturing and distribution with the fashion sense of Ralph Lauren and Giogio Armani.

One person’s luxury is another’s essential.

Today Korea and Malaysia produce electronic, heated, warm water bidet toilet seats costing upwards of $500. Note: This is not the toilet, just the seat.

Because of these competing objectives unit prices can vary from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. As such low-cost producers like China can’t simply compete on price. This is also the reason that production is more widely distributed around the world.

Canadian import twice as much on glass vases as they do on drinking glasses.

Imports

Quality often takes president over price. Japanese blade sharpness is a result of their higher carbon content – the more carbon in the steel leads to a harder steel which can be sharpened to a finer edge. Western high carbon blades usually have less than 0.8% carbon – making them relatively softer

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Sample Reports

Economic Factors

 

 

 

 

 

Economic Factors 2

Quantities

 

Unit Cost (USD)

 

 

 

 

 

Houseware Data Sheets

CHPTA members can download the full report and latest data sheets (2019 – 2023) that CHPTA Analyst Bob Smith has prepared for Housewares Products, plus other reports and data, at the CHPTA Resource Library on the CHPTA website. 

Please email Michael Jorgenson at mjorgenson@chpta.ca for a password to access the Resource Library.

Reports and data on other product categories will be available over the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about the reports or data or would like to have your own special reports developed, please email Bob Smith at rsmith@chpta.ca.

 

Country of Origin
(#1 supplier)

  • Cast iron bathtubs = Portugal
  • Plastic buckets = Germany
  • Knife blades = Japan (not swords)
  • Candles = Vietnam (20 million kilos but half the value of imports from USA half volume)

 

Products
(#1 supplier, quantity)

  • Turkey = Carpets (40 million square meters) and bath towels (19 million kilos)
  • India = Table linen (47 million kilos), tablecloths (16 million kilos) and cotton curtains and drapes (5 million kilos)
  • France = 24 million pocket lighters 

 

Quantity of Imports

  • Glass vases (millions) = 70 million glass vases in 2022, down from 98 million in 2021. 70% comes from the US
  • Facial tissue, Toilet paper and paper towels (million kilos)  = 173 million kilos, over 95% from the USA (about 17,000 53 foot trailers)  

 

Total Value
Canadian Dollar

  • Wall/Ceiling covering PVC = China $600 million
  • Bed linens = India $100 million
  • Sundry stuff made of plastics = USA $1 billion (double China)