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Trade Deficit in Table Tennis

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zeio View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01/06/2017 at 11:45pm
This, again, should've been posted last year.

Last year, for the first time Japan Customs released to the general public the Import/Export Report for Table Tennis Equipment. It is one very detailed report, with data from as early as '88.

In simple English, Japan is losing sheet tons of money every friggin' year to China and Germany(you'll see why Germany is larger). So stop for a second next time before cursing at Butterfly for grabbing your hard-earned cash, fellas!

Click to enlarge:

Both exports and imports increase by more than 30% year-on-year in 2015.

Exports have increased for the third consecutive year, while imports have increased for the fifth consecutive year. Both are the largest ever.

Both exports and imports increased rapidly with China and Germany.

Tokyo customs accounts for 90% of exports and 50% of imports.

The JTTA membership base sees a steady increase from 2009-2014.


General information about table tennis equipment.

Major countries of origin are:

Japan and China for Balls,
Japan, China, and Germany for Rubbers,
Japan, China, and Sweden for Blades,
Japan, China, and Germany for Tables.

Here is one interesting tidbit on the table color. It used to be deep green but the color blue was first introduced in 1991. The reason behind the change was to improve the image of table tennis. As to how it happened, head over here to find out.


Exports on the left, imports on the right. Unit in 100 million yen. It is said 2014 WTTTC Tokyo was a huge boost to Japan table tennis, after the Women's team got a silver medal in 31 years. Increases in multiple age segments, especially middle-age and senior, led to more demand on equipment.


Exports/imports by countries and regions.

Exports left: China - South Korea - Germany - Taiwan - US

Imports right: China - Germany - Sweden - Taiwan - Hungary

The increase in exports to China has no specific cause but simply more demand for Japanese goods. For Germany, the jump is said to be a result of the plastic ball. In addition, Germany is an export hub for European countries.

For imports, the primary demand for China is rubbers, blades, and tables, whereas for Germany it is mostly rubbers. Sweden came in third, mostly for blades.


Exports/imports by ports.

For exports, Tokyo Port - Narita Airport - Yokohama Port - Osaka Port - Nagoya Port

For imports, Tokyo Port - Nagoya Port - Chubu Airport - Narita Airport - Osaka Port - Kobe Port - Kansai Airport - Yokohama Port

Essentially, the majority of table tennis gears travel in and out of Japan by sea. ~13% travel out and ~30% travel in by air.


Lots of numbers to crunch.

Japan recorded the first-ever trade deficit in 1995, then from 1999 to 2006, then 2012 till now.

On the top right are the exports/imports charts by countries and regions for 2015.

For exports(green), China, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, US, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Sweden, Others.

For imports(orange), China, Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, Hungary, Others.

If one were to take both the weight(in kg) and value(in thousand yen) into account, Germany would be making the most profit, mostly by selling rubbers.

Edited by zeio - 01/07/2017 at 8:36pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Victor_the_cleaner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Victor_the_cleaner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 12:29am
well its hard to determine who makes more profit... too many variables include there. But interesting info. Do u know if Japanese pay the new sales tax on German purchases?
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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 1:18am
There's no mention of it. What's it about?

Edited by zeio - 01/07/2017 at 1:18am
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CraneStyle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 6:36am
Zeio - Very detailed and interesting find...

Thanks for sharing...
1. Mizutani Jun ZLC, FH T80, BH T05
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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 12:47pm
Fixed some wording and formatting.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 6:03pm
How do you find this stuff?  It's interesting, but really, how do you find it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 8:21pm
For this one, I just came across it by accident. I was crawling the web for any PDF documents with the keyword 卓球, the kanji for table tennis, and it came up a few pages in.

Of the ones that have met my eyes, this is the first of its kind that focuses on the economical aspect of table tennis.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 8:25pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

How do you find this stuff?  It's interesting, but really, how do you find it?

I secretly suspect that zeio is an immortal, who's been alive since atleast as long as ping pong's been around.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 9:55pm
Originally posted by rocketman222 rocketman222 wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

How do you find this stuff?  It's interesting, but really, how do you find it?

I secretly suspect that zeio is an immortal, who's been alive since atleast as long as ping pong's been around.

Zeio was born about ten thousand years ago--
There ain't nuthin' in the world that he don't know.
He saw Peter, Paul and Moses
Playin' triples 'neath the roses, (against Abraham, Isaac, and the now 600 years old Adam)
And he'll whup the guy whut says
It isn't so.

If you have access to an early edition of The Table Tennis Collector, you'll find an article by zeio about the great trade global pong deficit of 1904, resulting in a shortage of parchment (vellum) for "banjo bats", hiking prices for a single Jaques autograph battledore to an unaffordable 10 pounds per bat, which competitive players, not being professionals, could not afford.  Thus the sport fell into disarray, not to arise again until the erudite though politically naïve and later treasonous Mr. Montagu founded the International Table Tennis Federation in 1926.


Edited by berndt_mann - 01/07/2017 at 10:01pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/07/2017 at 10:02pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 8:36am
I secretly suspect that zeio is an immortal, who's been alive since at least as long as ping pong's been around.

There can be only one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 9:01am
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

Ther can be only one.

Zeio.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 12:39pm
But does he speak with a Scottish accent?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rocketman222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 2:29pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

But does he speak with a Scottish accent?
Does he also carry a longsword in his ping pong bag, just in case?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote haggisv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 6:24pm
Awesome post zeio! Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/08/2017 at 9:24pm
Originally posted by rocketman222 rocketman222 wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

But does he speak with a Scottish accent?
Does he also carry a longsword in his ping pong bag, just in case?

Zeio does indeed speak with a hieland (highland) brogue, with just a hint of Mandarin in it.  And of course he carries a longsword in his ping pong bag, a William Wallace Autograph Claymore, just in case he runs into any Sassenach who would try to give him grief.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/09/2017 at 2:06pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skip3119 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/09/2017 at 5:22pm
zeio:  Just wander if you are a shake-hand or a penhold player?  Have you ever played in the USA?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/09/2017 at 5:58pm
Both. Started out with Cpen, then switched to Jpen for a while, before moving on to shakehand. Yes, I have.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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