Pressure Continues for the Chinese Fireworks Industry
February 2023 by Peter Rogoz – The fireworks industry in China continues to face challenges even as the burden brought on by COVID measures has eased.
As late as mid-November, mass closures of production facilities, cities, and regions, in accordance with the Zero COVID policy, were still the standard operating procedure when COVID cases were discovered, forcing unpredictable factory closures and shipping disruptions to ripple through Chinese and global markets.
Facing mounting economic pressure, Chinese officials in early December announced a sudden reversal of the Zero COVID policy, repealing most of the testing procedures, isolation requirements, and travel restrictions that had been in place for nearly three years. In the weeks since, a devastating wave of COVID cases has swept the nation as tens of millions of Chinese residents have contracted the virus for the first time.
Though no longer dictated by official policy, production lines, factories, and domestic shipping lanes have been forced to close for most of December and January as the majority of workers have been battling COVID infections. Most factories opted to close early for The Chinese New Year holiday, which officially began on January 22, and have remained closed until early February.
While some officials claim that COVID infections in China have peaked, experts warn that unrestricted travel and gatherings for the Chinese New Year, which are permitted for the first time in three years, will accelerate the spread, especially in rural areas that are home to the majority of fireworks factories. It is likely that mass COVID infections and factory closures will continue to be a factor for fireworks production through February and into March of 2023.
Beginning March 5, the CCP will be hosting the 14th National People’s Congress in Beijing, once again forcing fireworks production to be shut down during official proceedings. This leaves just four to six weeks of production before the 4th of July shipping window closes for the USA.
Additionally, Chinese officials have permitted the use of fireworks, which were also restricted as part of the Zero COVID policy, during celebrations and gatherings throughout most of China. This sudden policy shift has sparked unprecedented demand for the Chinese domestic fireworks market as residents are celebrating birthdays, weddings, and the Chinese New Year with fireworks for the first time in three years.
What does this mean for the USA market? We will be monitoring the situation closely and reporting on developments, but as always, Spirit of ‘76 advises our customers to buy fireworks they need or want whenever they are available. High demand in the Chinese domestic market combined with tightened production is likely to create shortages and force price increases in the future. While ocean freight prices have gone down, material costs and product prices have risen as production windows and availability have been reduced. Those waiting for a price reduction are not likely to see one, and some product categories, including small fountains, novelties, and roman candles, may offer limited selections.
The good news is that Spirit of ‘76 is currently stocked with a large variety of fireworks and we are currently running a 30% off shipping special on orders shipped by March 28 (simply use code SHIP30 at checkout).
As always, all of us here at Spirit of ‘76 will continue to work hard to find the best possible fireworks at the best possible prices for your shows. Please visit https://shop.76fireworks.com/ to browse our large selection of currently available fireworks and stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks!
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