How is New Zealand coping while the world’s leading trade nation- China, takes drastic steps in the wake of the Coronavirus.

10 Mar 2020

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By Shahan Engineer

Electronics, iPhones, clothes, and raw materials are in short supply and could take much longer to get here as the novel coronavirus outbreak slows global trade.

More than 60 countries now have cases of Covid-19, with the outbreak limiting travel, trade, and shipping. According to Stats NZ, the virus may have cost as much as $300 million in lost exports to China in the past month. Factory closures in China because of the coronavirus outbreak have left New Zealand outlets short of vacuums, televisions and iPhones. Stock levels across businesses have been running low, unable to be replenished as shipping routes slow and change around the virus. In addition, shipping ports in Shanghai are reported to be at capacity, affecting exports from various companies like New Zealand’s largest livestock processing and marketing firm Silver Fern Farms, whose ships have been unable to unload there.

Retail group giant, The Warehouse Group has been closely monitoring the effect of Covid-19 on its supply chain. Certain shipments from China like winter clothing are expected to be delayed by upto eight weeks, meanwhile such retail groups have started sourcing goods elsewhere.

Clothing factories have been looking to source their raw materials from outside of China as well considering trade has been restricted for a month and businesses were running out of stock. Other sectors like food, groceries and plastics for packaging, food and medical supplies have been facing similar problems.

China is a major trading partner for New Zealand, accounting for 28% of total exports on an annual basis. Temporarily procuring goods and raw materials from other sources outside of China seems to be the only option for corporations while they ride out this storm.



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