Swense Tech

Best Solution For You

China Covid Lockdown: Here Are New Shortages You Might See Soon

If you feel like you have been living under a metaphorical umbrella the last few years, I recommend keeping it open.

China, in keeping with its zero-tolerance policy amid recent Covid-19 outbreaks, has effectively neutered Shanghai, not only a city of 25 million people but also the world’s largest seaport for container traffic.

It has also enforced full or partial lockdowns in some 23 cities affecting more than a fifth of the Chinese economy, according to one estimate.

So, from a trade perspective, it’s not just Shanghai since China is home to seven of the world’s top 10 busiest seaports for container traffic. Names well-known to the global shipping community — Ningbo, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Tianjin.

Add on the Russian war on Ukraine and the heightened inspections along the Texas-Mexico border and Mexican trucker blockade, and, well, we all know what this means: More shortages. The potential for greater inflation, already at a four-decade high.

Almost 80% of all U.S. imported cell phones come from China, almost 81% in a broad children’s toy category, more than 78% of video game consoles, and 85% of computer monitors.

Even though China is only accounting for slightly less than 19% of all U.S. imports this year, up slightly from last year, it does account for 72% of all non-electric ranges and stoves, more than 70% of imported brooms and mops, 54% of ceramic sinks and toilets, and almost 70% of fishing rods and tackle.

It is accounting for slightly more than 57% of curtains and blinds this year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data through February, the most recent data and data that predates the impact of these lockdowns.

While China is accounting for 48.21% of U.S. computer imports, it is accounting for better than 90 percent of portable ones — laptops and tablets. Mexico is the dominant U.S. importer of desktops, accounting for about 78% of the total through February.

The Beijing decisions made beginning last month to quarantine and otherwise restrict peoples’ movement is now meeting with some resistance in Shanghai, the nation’s financial capital as well as its shipping capital — and starting to lead to difficulties affecting companies like Apple

, Tesla

and many others, including manufacturers for multinationals.

As to that metaphorical umbrella to stave off the impact of Covid-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Mexican trucker blockade, better not absent-mindedly leave your real one behind anywhere.

That’s right, your umbrella is probably from China as well since 96.55% of them arrive on U.S. shores stamped Made In China.

Of course, the United States doesn’t get everything from China.

Looking at the most valuable U.S. imports, China is accounting for just 1.5% of U.S. imported passenger vehicles, none of U.S imported oil, slightly more than 2% of U.S. primary medicine category (largely in pill form), none of the country’s imported gasoline and other refined petroleum products, and just 5.6% of U.S imported computer chips. These are all top 10 U.S. imports.

China accounts for less than 1% of U.S. diamond imports, commercial vehicles imports, and natural gas imports. These are among the top 20 U.S. imports, which are accounting for fully 40% of all U.S. imports this year.

When you view the data by the top U.S. imports from China, rather than from the world, you can see some other imports where the lockdowns in Shanghai and elsewhere could have an effect: 31.68% of furniture, 40.95% of seats,

And let’s hope the Chinese lockdowns get resolved soon or we’re looking at a July 4th that might fizzle rather than sizzle. On that most American of holidays, we look to China for fireworks, just under 97% of them, in fact.