Hong Kong Int’l Lighting Fair Offers Optimism for 2015

Attendees and exhibitors report LED business steadily increased in 2014, with no signs of slowing in the coming year.

During a rooftop gala for special guests at the Fair, executives at the HKTDC toasted to another successful lighting fair.

The 16th HKTDC Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition), organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), finished strong, with participants expressing optimism about the year ahead.

During the fair, the HKTDC commissioned an independent survey which interviewed buyers and exhibitors about their views on market prospects for the year ahead. According to the preliminary results, more than 90 percent of those interviewed expect overall sales for their respected companies to improve or remain about the same next year. The markets with the most promising growth prospects are the Chinese mainland, followed by Western Europe, and North America.

In addition, the survey agency, CAP Strategic Research Limited, asked 1,600 exhibitors and buyers at the trade organization’s lighting and electronics shows to weigh on industry trends and market prospects. While the results found that industry players were prudently optimistic, those surveyed expressed cost pressure concerns for the coming year. Of the exhibitors interviewed, 59 percent expected production or sourcing costs to rise next year, while 36 percent expected an upward adjustment of the selling price. Among the buyers surveyed, 48 percent anticipated that sourcing prices will rise in the year ahead and 42 percent expected retail prices to go up.

“These figures indicate that some of the exhibitors and buyers do not expect that the additional costs can be passed on to the customers next year. That is bound to put more pressure on business,” noted HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.  In terms of the prospects for electronics and lighting products in the next two years, 61 percent and 59 percent of the respondents, respectively, viewed North America and Western Europe as having promising growth prospects among the traditional markets. Among emerging economies, the respondents were most bullish about the prospects of the Chinese mainland (74%) and ASEAN countries (49%).

In the electronics sector, it comes as no surprise that 90 percent of those interviewed forecast upward momentum for smartphones, and 85 percent anticipated growth for tablet devices. Other areas of increasing interest are battery chargers for these devices along with accessories and wearable electronics. When it came to lighting, the majority of the survey respondents expected LED and “green” lighting products to see the highest sales growth in 2015, followed by commercial lighting and then household lighting. With LED products becoming more widely used globally, the buyers interviewed said they expected the retail price of LED lamps to decrease by 8 percent within a year.

One of the most popular venues at the fair was the Small-Order Zone, which was introduced by the HKTDC in 2012.  This area features 430 suppliers offering 1,000+ products for retail (i.e. specialty LED light bulbs and other electronic gadgets) that do not need to be ordered in large amounts, allowing smaller distributors to compete with mass merchants.

The four-day lighting fair welcomed nearly 37,000 buyers from 135 countries and regions with buyer attendance from some individual countries and regions such as France, Switzerland, Italy, the U.K., and the U.S. having  grown, as well as emerging markets including India, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam Turkey having significant representation from buyers.

The 2015 Hong Kong International Lighting Fair (Autumn Edition) is slated for October 27-30, and the Spring Edition will be held April 6-9. Both Fairs will be the Hong Kong Convention Centre. ?

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