Mainland exporters are racing against time to speed up deliveries after Shenzhen Customs warned that the Iraq crisis could affect exports. The city's Customs officials issued an alert on February 8 warning that the looming conflict could pose a threat to the region's thriving export industry, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported. Main export items include electronic goods, petrochemical products, computers, clothing and audio-video equipment. An official with Shenzhen-based China Southern Airlines said cargo flights to Los Angeles were full yesterday as companies sought to fill their orders as quickly as possible. Cargo flights to destinations such as Chicago and Liege in Belgium were operating close to capacity. Government departments, such as Customs and the foreign trade bureau, have been discussing measures to accelerate exports in the short term. It is hoped that the plans will help minimise the impact on the city's export trade should war break out, according to an official with the publicity office. The official refused to elaborate on any specific measures being taken. Figures show that more than 100 tonnes of goods were exported on Sunday, about double the daily average. The figures for Monday had not been released by last night. The government spokesman confirmed that the rise in exports was related to the looming threat of war in Iraq. 'The government has instructed us to help exporters deliver their goods before [the conflict begins],' he said. Similar scenarios are being played out in Fujian province's shipping sector, which accounts for a substantial proportion of the local economy. He Zongguang, general manager of the Fujian Foreign Trade Centre Shipping Company in Fuzhou, said cargo ships had been almost fully booked by late last month to prevent exports being affected by a war. 'The possible war is also causing the oil price to rise substantially and we are now under pressure to increase shipping fees,' said Mr He. His remarks were echoed by Zhou Tianyong, an economist with the Central Party School in Beijing, who said a war in Iraq could affect China's economy.