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Year of the OX "bit of a mixed bag"

Speaking to our contacts, friends and clients, there are many sectors especially in the Home improvement and DIY sector that have just come through a strong year of sales but are having real difficulty keeping up good stock levels. This is a global issue speaking with some of our American clients. But there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Our source in China confirmed yesterday that the China Government has suggested (and this is likely to be enforced) that workers stay near the place that they work for this CNY (to be COVID safe). We have also heard that some factories will remain producing through CNY…so if you haven’t asked your factories if they will remain open call them now.

Whilst this will help with product availability it does nothing to help with the issues when shipping. Many were hoping that CNY would allow the container availability issue to calm which has been an issue for many months. Right now to ship product from the Far East is difficult due to poor availability of containers and the costs have jumped from $2,500 to over $10,000, and in some cases as high as $14,000. Increased demand after the lockdown, bottleneck’s in the UK, idle ships, empty containers in the wrong place, demand outstripping supply are some of the many reasons given, but the result is securing shipping at a reasonable cost is like gold dust. This will take some time to resolve it.

There is a glimmer of hope that the exchange rate may help matters, well a little anyway. The pound to the dollar seems to be working its way through the 1.30’s and we hear that it may reach the heights of 1.45 sometime soon…..back to the levels we last saw ahead of the Brexit vote in 2016, and beyond we hear many of you say.

How are you weathering this storm let us know

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