The majority of the drop in container volume was from China. The JOC said it was a strong sign that retailers in the territory are concerned with statistics showing poor consumer confidence, thus keeping inventories low.
The 60,616 20-foot-equivalent units arriving at ports in September, according to measurements by PIERS, marked a 7.6 per cent year-to-date drop – or 30,430 fewer containers – from the same period last year.
"There is a strong inverse correlation between toys imports volume (in 20-foot equivalent units) and toys import prices over the last seven years," said Mario Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS.
"When toys import prices increase, the tendency for demand is to decline ... 74 per cent of the time."
In 2011 year-to-date overall inbound toy shipments, 89 per cent originated in China (including Hong Kong), where labour and material costs are rising as the US dollar value against the Yuan decreases.
China's market share is down two percentage points compared to 2010. Meanwhile, toy shipments from Vietnam have grown 82 per cent between 2001 and 2010.