Fallout from coronavirus expected to have a ripple effect on coal, iron-ore – by Kim Cloete (MiningWeekly.com – January 31, 2020)


CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – The fallout from the coronavirus in China is expected to have a ripple effect on many sectors in the Chinese economy, slow down its economic growth and impact on its coal industry and imports.

Coal trader Noble Resources research head Rodrigo Echeverri says the impact has been severely disruptive. So far, more than 7 700 people have been infected by the virus, which has resulted in more than 170 deaths. Millions of people have been placed under quarantine and are unable to travel.

“It’s very disruptive in the places where supply chains and commodities are located.” Echeverri told delegates at the fifteenth annual Southern African Coal Conference this week.

He said this had impacted heavily on steel mills in coastal China, as well as on manufacturers, many of which had been forced to slow down. Many employees have also been unable to get back to their workplaces in these highly industrialised areas.

“The bad news is that the first quarter of 2020 is going to be pretty bad in terms of business activity in China,” said Echeverri. The virus had unraveled the good position China had been in. Global research and consultancy group Wood Mackenzie (WoodMac) agrees that the restriction of labour movement is likely to have a significant impact on the Chinese economy this year.

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