Back to the complete issue
Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Signs of supply shocks in Egypt amid covid-19 disruptions

Signs of supply chain disruption in Egypt: Egypt’s supply of consumer electronics and sanitary ware is being hit by China’s manufacturing woes, leading to expectations of a new wave of consumer price hikes, the local press reports, quoting several business leaders.

As Chinese component makers fail to make deliveries amid factory shutdowns, local electronics assemblers have started cutting production and holding excess stock in anticipation of higher prices. This is expected to lead to a supply shortage and cost-push inflation in the market by no later than early April, B-tech Chairman Mahmoud Khattab said. The price of television sets and refrigerators could increase by 3-5%, Emad Ragab, who leads the sales team at another major electronics producer, says.

Importers and retailers of sanitary ware and plumbing fixtures are also feeling the pinch, suggesting cost-push inflation has led prices to increase by 10-20% since the outbreak erupted. Egypt imports up to 80% of its sanitary ware needs from China and produces virtually none, head of the plumbing and sanitary wares division of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Matta Bishay said. And even if we pivot to manufacturing, which Bishay said his division is currently working to promote, local producers will still have to rely on Chinese copper imports, an issue that Gamal El Shahawy, chairman of sanitary ware importer Horus Trade, points out.

Why has the world become so dependent on China? There’s no better way to drive this point home than stressing that, as the Wall Street Journal eloquently says, “China’s shadow has grown so long that even industries that have shifted production … can’t wriggle [out] of its grip on supply networks.” The problem will persist so long as the epidemic does. This is because factories all around the world are now desperately expending resources in the search of supply chain alternatives.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.