Coronavirus crisis grinds Chinese exports to a halt

Coronavirus crisis grinds Chinese exports to a halt
WatchCOVID-19 is now not only a health concern, but it's also disrupting economies around the world. But the concern for many islanders? A factory slowdown in the 'workshop of the world', China. Kori Sidaway explains.

Around the globe, COVID-19 is grounding planes, cancelling events, and closing factories.

On Vancouver Island, some stores are having trouble getting stock and supplies in from China, as manufacturing grinds to a halt because of coronavirus.

“All we can do right now is backorder and hope for the best,” said Kris Schellenberg, parts specialist at Key 2 Auto Parts.

“We used to get to three skids per week, now we’re down to about one.”

China is known as the workshop of the world.

READ MORE: New coronavirus case in British Columbia may be first case of community spread

Roughly $50 billion in exports come from China into Canada, every year. $500 million of those exports is construction material.

“I think the longer this goes on, certainly we’re seeing the impact of exports coming out of China,” said Rory Kulmala, Vancouver Island Construction Association

“It’s going to mean that construction companies aren’t going to have the materials to do the construction projects.”

But there’s one business in town right now that’s booming.

“It’s surprising but we’ve had a drastic increase in hand sanitizer sales. It’s been quite significant,” said Sasha Prior, co-owner of Nezza Naturals.

Demand for disinfection at Nezza Naturals in Victoria has quadrupled.

Nearby stores and others are buying by the gallons. But even this industry, isn’t bulletproof.

“We’re good for a while, but if things continue on the way they do, and our suppliers get affected, that will eventually affect us,” said Prior.

“The production that comes out of China is so relevant to so many industries,” said Kulmala.

“Whether it comes to your phones, electronic devices, or a part for your car, all those are going to be impacted. We’ll see a bigger collapse of a larger market.”

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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