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Import Tracker: Imports Decline 1.1% In Third Quarter

...declined 1.1% compared to the same period one year ago. School music and professional audio products posted strong gains for the quarter, far outpacing all other categories tracked in this report. Imports to the USA of professional audio products during the third quarter including power amps, microphones, and speaker enclosures surged 26.9% to $738 million compared to $582 million in 2014. For the year (January-September), imports of professional audio products are up 9.1%. Imports of school music products, including brasswinds, clarinets, saxophones, flutes, and stringed instruments, increased 7.7% from 299,027 units to 322,170.  This collection of products is up 7.8% for the year. Imports of drums are on the rise again this quarter, reversing two years of declines. For the quarter, drum imports advanced 17.5%. Cymbal imports were down 14.3% this quarter, led by a 43% drop in imports from Germany.

Ukulele imports once again show no sign of slowing down, advancing 29.1% for the quarter to 336,750 units. For the full year, the ukulele category is up 18.8%, registering 828,829 units compared to 697,933 in 2014. Imports of acoustic guitars showed a 2.6% increase for the third quarter, advancing from 503,358 units to 516,678 units. Imports of electric guitars declined 13.8% during the quarter from 475,491 units to 409,883 units. Imports of acoustic pianos recorded another quarterly drop, falling 10.4% from 8,299 units to 7,435. Numbers for the full year reveal a 13.5% decline from 25,708 units to 22,227 units. For the year, imports of vertical pianos are down 14.6% and imports of grand pianos are off 11.8%.

Imports of accessory products rose during the quarter led by a 9.3% increase in music cases and a 3.1% increase in music strings.

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