I became concerned when I read this Friday (Jan. 24, 2014) that the currencies of several, fast growing toy importing countries had fallen sharply in value. Of particular concern, were the currencies of Argentina, Russia, Turkey and India. Why, because, according to Utku Tansel, in his address to the World Congress of Play last September; Argentina, Russia, Turkey and India were among the toy industry’s fastest growing markets in 2012.
How bad was it? According to a Wall Street Journal article, “Investors Flee Developing Countries”:
- The South African rand fell to a record low against the Euro
- Argentina’s Peso is falling the fastest since 2002
- The Turkish Lira sank to a record low against the U.S. dollar
- The Russian ruble hit record lows
With their currencies losing value, the consumers and importers in those countries could suffer from a reducion in buying power. Reduced buying power could in turn mean a reduction in toy sales and therefore imports in those countries.
Whatever the reasons, softening in these markets could have a negative impact on a global toy industry that has depended upon these countries to make up for soft sales in developed nations.