Coronavirus having widespread effect on timber industry26 February 2020
Timber distributors may be forced to draw up contingency plans for shipments. Major shows and events are being postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
It was hardly surprising when the China International Furniture Fair (CIFF) and China International Furniture Machinery & Furniture Raw Materials Fair 2020 (CIFM Interzum) due to take place in March were postponed indefinitely as these are hosted in the Guangdong province of China.
With the outbreak now seriously affecting Northern Italy, Salone del Mobile.Milan, the international furniture and design show has also been postponed until June 2020.
UK timber distributor James Latham recently commented “We are aware of and monitoring the position in China with regards to Coronavirus and any supply issues that might be caused. We are in regular dialogue with our suppliers in these regions and monitoring our shipments closely, we will advise affected-customers of any delays, but we are well-positioned for stock in the UK and at this stage do not predict any serious disruption.”
The UK Timber Trade Federation has reported that the virus was cause for concern in the Asian timber markets and was expected to reduce China’s GDP by one whole percentage point with Japan also facing a slowing economy.