>>>Click into related special : 98th Canton Fair
The total value of contracts signed at the 98th Chinese Export Commodities Fair by Wednesday was US$6.7 billion, a rise of 8 percent year on year, as the first phase of the fair concluded Thursday.
However, the number of visitors attending the fair dropped by 8.8 percent to 95,200.
The organizers could not specify the reasons for the decline, but said they would contact the related government departments and Chinese embassies in foreign countries to find the cause.
The second phase of the fair, which will showcase furniture, porcelain products and toys, will be staged Nov. 25.
The total value of contracts for mechanical and electrical products reached US$4.1 billion, 60.8 percent of the total. It was an increase of 17.9 percent over the previous year. The textile and apparel product contract volume reached US$750 million, up by 8 percent.
The EU, the Middle East and the United States were the three largest importers, while imports to ASEAN countries and Japan slumped by 10.4 percent and 13.9 percent respectively.
Guangdong companies signed the largest amount of contracts, with deals worth US$2.25 billion by Wednesday, followed by Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces.
The fair organizers received 96 complaints over patent and trademark infringement and 131 companies were found guilty of infringement, mainly in electrical, household appliance and cars part products.
Dalian Golden Sun Import and Export Co. was found exhibiting duplicate goods and was disqualified for the coming six fairs.
A shortage of taxis, rampant false tickets, fake products and skyrocketing hotel rates were the main complaints about the fair. Buyers and experts say Guangzhou should provide better facilities and environment.
A delegation head from Northwest China said many of his companies were scared away with high hotel prices. A British buyer complained that his hotel rate was 2,300 yuan (US$287) a day, much higher than in Hong Kong.