Virus Hitting Metal Exports, China Trade Council Warns

Beijing, 19 February (Argus) —

China’s exports of metallurgical products have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. With shipments halted to some customers and others requesting a suspension of deliveries, said by the China council for the promotion of international trade (CCPIT).

Some customers outside of China in Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and elsewhere have stopped receiving metal exports from Chinese companies or asked for suspensions.

Some Indian customers are requiring their Chinese suppliers to pay liquidation damages, as they say Chinese companies are unable to make deliveries in time because of traffic disruptions resulting from the coronavirus crisis.

Many buyers outside of China are hesitant to place orders because delivery dates are uncertain and local customs agencies are likely to restrict Chinese goods because of said concerns that the coronavirus could develop into an epidemic.

The customs declaration process has also been slowed by the lunar new year holidays, which the Chinese government extended in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This has delayed deliveries under many deals that were concluded around the holiday period.

Ports have resumed operations in the past few weeks, but efficiencies have been hit by the health crisis, which has affected delivery dates. Many overseas ports are likely to strictly control the berthing of ships from China, which could lead to prolonged berthing times and complicated procedures if the coronavirus outbreak worsens. All these factors could raise freight costs sharply, the council warned.

A lot of contracts that are under bids or inquiries, as well as face-to-face technical and business exchanges, have been interrupted. The CCPIT noted that March is the final month of India’s fiscal year and a time at which companies typically make purchasing plans for the upcoming 12 months. This means Chinese companies are likely to suffer heavy losses.

The council is calling on the government to take measures to help exporters overcome difficulties during this epidemic.

Chinese export prices for some metals including antimony, manganese, and tungsten have risen in the past couple of weeks in response to lower supplies caused by production cuts during the virus outbreak. Higher freight costs and shipment delays could also underpin short-term upside in prices.

Apple warned yesterday it expects the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in China to prevent it from meeting its revenue guidance and limit availability and consumption of some minor metals

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This article was retrieved from Argus Metals