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Import Tracker: Imports Decline In Third Quarter

...the same period one year ago. During the quarter, imports of acoustic guitars slipped 7%, ukuleles dropped 14% and electric guitars jumped 22% to 475,491 units. Year-to-date figures highlight strong growth across the board in the fretted instrument category: acoustic guitars +8.4%, ukuleles +3.6%, and electric guitars +10.7%.

The market for acoustic pianos continues to recover according to this latest round of import data. Overall acoustic piano imports are up 5.8%, driven by a 66% increase of vertical pianos from China. For the first nine months, vertical piano imports are up 11.7% while grand piano imports are down 3.1% as a result of a 15% drop in grand pianos 5' and under. To date, imports of acoustic pianos in 2014 totaled 25,708 units compared to 24,288 in the same period last year.

Imports of school music products are on target to again top one million units in 2014. For the year, overall numbers show a .3% decline to 720,854 units compared to year-earlier figures of  723,144.

The market for acoustic drums has also improved this year with imports advancing 6.9% to 706,236 units. Cymbal figures, which are also tracked in this report, are down 12.8% for the year in spite of a 73% increase in shipments of cymbals from Germany.

The market for portable keyboards will most likely top one million units in 2014, a figure not seen for five years. Portables with a retail value under $200 are up 28% to 414,931 units and those with a value over $200 are up 17.8% to 270,432. Imports of synthesizers are down 6.2% for the year to 60,855 units. The pro audio category posted a decline of 5.9% during the quarter as measured in dollars.

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