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Imports Drop 6.3% in Third Quarter

...in value compared to the same period one year ago. This latest decline follows a drop of 9.4% in the second quarter and marks the first consecutive quarterly decrease reported in this column since 2008.

U.S. demand for ukuleles showed no signs of slowing in the latest quarter. Importers brought in 407,227 units for the quarter, a 20.9% increase from one year ago. The market for higher-priced acoustic guitars posted a slight decline of 1.7% for the quarter but is still up 7.3% for the year. Mexico is now the top source for these instruments, accounting for 76% of the market. Lower-priced acoustic guitars declined 19.7% for the quarter as measured in units. Electric guitar imports dropped 6.3% for the quarter to 384,084 units compared to 409,883 units in 2015.

The acoustic piano market notched declines in most areas with vertical pianos falling 7.3% and grand pianos off 26.6%. The entire acoustic piano category is down 10.3% through September 30.

Imports of school music products slowed in all areas, notching a 19.3% unit decline for the quarter. Drum imports dropped as well, down 10%, while imports of cymbals rose .8%.

Lower priced portable keyboards (<$200 retail) continue their surge this year, rising 32.8%. Higher price keyboards declined 7.6% to 107,012 units. Imports of synthesizers declined 16% to 20,671 units compared to 24,614 in the same period one year ago.

The pro audio category showed mixed figures with the following results: power amps -2.2%, microphones +10.7%, speaker enclosures -7.7%.

For complete Q3 import data, order the new Import Tracker report!

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