Coronavirus outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December, 2019. Before reading in detail about the impact, first, let us study about coronavirus.

Coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illness. It ranges from the common cold to more severe diseases like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The novel coronavirus is a new strain of virus that has not been identified in human so far.

WHO is working closely with global experts, governments, and other health organisations to provide advice to the countries about precautionary and preventive measures.

We can’t ignore the fact that the outbreak of COVID-19 in China is expected to have a significant impact on the economy globally including economic slowdown, trade, supply chain disruption, commodities, and logistics.

The GDP of China is expected to decelerate by 1-1.25 percentage points over 2020 because of less production. In China, various cities and provinces are in lockdown mode. China accounts for approximately 19.71% of global GDP at purchasing power parity and obviously it will impact the economy globally. Therefore, it is estimated that the global GDP will suffer an impact of around – 0.5%.

In terms of trade, China is the world’s largest exporter and second-largest importer. It accounts for 13% of world exports and 11% of world imports. The lockdown will affect around 500 million people in the country that will deeply impact its consumption of goods.

Impact of Coronavirus on the Indian Economy

Up to a large extent, it will impact the Indian industry. In imports, the dependence of India on China is huge. Of the top 20 products (at the two-digit of HS Code) that India imports from the world, China accounts for a significant share in most of them.

India’s total electronic imports account for 45% of China. Around one-third of machinery and almost two-fifths of organic chemicals that India purchases from the world come from China? For automotive parts and fertilizers China’s share in India’s import is more than 25%. Around 65 to 70% of active pharmaceutical ingredients and around 90% of certain mobile phones come from China to India.

Therefore, we can say that due to the current outbreak of coronavirus in China, the import dependence on China will have a significant impact on the Indian industry.

In terms of export, China is India’s 3rd largest export partner and accounts for around 5% share. The impact may result in the following sectors namely organic chemicals, plastics, fish products, cotton, ores, etc.

We also can’t ignore that most of the Indian companies are located in the eastern part of China. In China, about 72% of companies in India are located in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, provinces of Guangdong, Jiangsu, and Shandong. In various sectors, these companies work including Industrial manufacturing, manufacturing services, IT and BPO, Logistics, Chemicals, Airlines, and tourism.

The most affected sectors include precision instruments, machinery, automotive and communication equipment.

Among the most affected economies are the European Union (USD 15.6 billion), the United States (USD 5.8 billion), Japan (USD 5.2 billion), South Korea (USD 3.8 billion), Taiwan Province of China (USD 2.6 billion) and Vietnam ( USD 2.3 billion).

India is among the 15 most affected economies due to the coronavirus epidemic and slow down in production in China, with a trade impact of 348 million dollars. The trade impact for India is less as compared to other economies such as EU, the US, Japan and South Korea. Trade impact for Indonesia is 312 million dollars.

It has been seen that some sectors of India have been impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus in China including shipping, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, mobiles, electronics, textiles, etc. Also, a supply chain may affect some disruptions associates with industries and markets. Overall, the impact of coronavirus in the industry is moderate.

According to CLSA report, pharma, chemicals, and electronics businesses may face supply-chain issues and prices will go up by 10 percent. The report also says that India could also be a beneficiary of positive flows since it appears to be the least-impacted market. Some commodities like metals, upstream and downstream oil companies, could witness the impact of lower global demand impacting commodity prices.

According to CII, GDP could fall below 5% in FY 2021 if policy action is not taken urgently. It is said that the government should take some strong fiscal stimulus to the extent of 1% of GDP to the poor, which would help them financially and also manage consumer demand.

In the third quarter (October-December) growth is slowed down to 4.7% and the impact of COVID-19 will further be seen in the fourth quarter.

FICCI survey showed 53% of Indian businesses have indicated a marked impact of COVID-19 on business operations. And 42% of the respondents said that up to three months could take for normalcy to return.

Let us have a look at the sector-wise impact on Indian industry

For India, the trade impact is estimated to be the most for the chemicals sector at 129 million dollars, textiles and apparel at 64 million dollars, automotive sector at 34 million dollars, electrical machinery at 12 million dollars, leather products at 13 million dollars, metals and metal products at 27 million dollars and wood products and furniture at 15 million dollars.

“Besides its worrying effects on human life, the novel strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) has the potential to significantly slowdown not only the Chinese economy but also the global economy. China has become the central manufacturing hub of many global business operations. Any disruption of China’s output is expected to have repercussions elsewhere through regional and global value chains,” UNCTAD said.

 Chemical Industry: 

Some chemical plants have been shut down in China. So there will be restrictions on shipments/logistics. It was found that 20% of the production has been impacted due to the disruption in raw material supply. China is a major supplier of Indigo that is required for denim. Business in India is likely to get affected so people securing their supplies. However, it is an opportunity. US and EU will try and diversify their markets. Some of the business can be diverted to India which can also be taken as an advantage.

Shipping Industry: 

 Coronavirus outbreak has impacted the business of cargo movement service providers. As per the sources, per day per vessel has declined by more than 75-80% in dry bulk trade.

Auto Industry: 

Its impact on Indian companies will vary and depend upon the extent of the business with China. China’s business no doubt is affected. However, current levels of the inventory seem to be sufficient for the Indian industry. If the shutdown in China continues then it is expected to result in an 8-10% contraction of Indian auto manufacturing in 2020.

Pharmaceuticals Industry: 

Despite being one of the top formulations of drug exporters in the world, the pharma industry of India relies heavily on import as of bulk drugs. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it will also be impacted.

Textiles Industry: 

Due to coronavirus outbreak, several garments/textile factories in China have halted operations that in turn affecting the exports of fabric, yarn and other raw materials from India.

Solar Power Sector:

 Indian developers may face some shortfall of raw materials needed in solar panels/cells and limited stocks from China.

Electronics Industry: 

The major supplier is China in electronics being a final product or raw material used in the electronic industry. India’s electronic industry may face supply disruptions, production, reduction impact on product prices due to heavy dependence on electronics component supply directly or indirectly and local manufacturing.

Tourism and Aviation:

 Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the inflow of tourists from China and from other East Asian regions to India will lose .This will impact the tourism sector and revenue.

The lockdown in India will have a sizeable impact on the economy mainly on consumption which is the biggest component of GDP. 

Reduction in the urban transaction can lead to a steep fall in the consumption of non-essential goods. It can be severe if disruption causes by the 21-day lockdown and affect the availability of essential commodities.

Due to weak domestic consumption and consumer sentiment, there can be a delay in investment which further add pressure on the growth.

We can’t ignore that post-COVID-19, some economies are expected to adopt de-risking strategies and shift their manufacturing bases from China.

 Presently, Japan has earmarked $2.2 billion of its record economic stimulus package to help its manufacturers shift production out of China as the coronavirus disrupts supply chains between the major trading partners.

 This can create opportunities for India.

However, opportunities will largely depend on how quickly the economy recovers and the pace at which the supply chain issues are addressed.

KPMG India Chairman and CEO Arun M Kumar said: “Apart from providing robust safety nets for the vulnerable, a focus on ensuring job continuity and job creation will be imperative”. “And there is urgent need to mobilise resources to stimulate the economy for increased demand and employment”.

An outbreak of COVID-19 impacted the whole world and has been felt across industries. World’s second-largest economy China became standstill. Its outbreak is declared as a national emergency by the World Health Organisation.

In India the three major contributors to GDP namely private consumption, investment and external trade will all get affected.

World and Indian economy are attempting to mitigate the health risks of COVID-19 with the economic risks and necessary measures need will be taken to improve it.



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March 2024