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Global Supply Chains Continue to Face Widespread Risks from COVID-19

Outbreak has disrupted global supply chains across most industries, though impact on individual firms varies

Published on March 20, 2020

The impact on supply chains has been widespread with autos, electronics, capital goods, commodities, and apparel sectors experiencing a slowdown in sales and availability of parts in their supply chains, according to the latest research by Panjiva, the supply chain intelligence unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The report, which draws on over 50 research articles from Panjiva to analyze COVID-19 impact on different sectors, highlighted 11 emerging themes on an event-driven basis.

“Many companies are applying lessons learned during the trade war between the U.S. and China,” says Chris Rogers, Supply Chain Research Analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence. “While many firms are using expedited deliveries to maintain their supply chains, second-order effects are also emerging with the apparel industry now seeing a shortage of materials due to an earlier lack of supplies from China. Global supply chains are expected to take an extended period to fully recover.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Logistics sector has slowed down rapidly as U.S. seaborne imports from China fell by 21.5% year over year in February
  • The chemicals, autos and technology hardware industries appear to be the most preoccupied with the impact of the virus based on recent company conference calls
  • Tariff lessons come in handy as companies are accelerating their supply chain restructuring efforts
  • Expedited deliveries particularly using airfreight have become more prominent
  • Second order effects are also emerging with the apparel industry now seeing a shortage in materials for manufacturing outside of China
  • Asian revenue exposure seems to matter less than supply chain exposure in the retail sector
  • Healthcare sector should in theory benefit from a global health emergency, but upstream supply shortages can curtail the ability of firms to actually profit from the trend
Finance Reporter