How China’s Lockdown Could Bite American Consumers Thru to Christmas

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the global energy crisis, China's latest round of lockdowns will deliver yet another hefty blow to global supply chains. Business leaders are warning that some high-value products could still be missing from the shelves at Christmas.

Scenes of panic buying have broken out in Beijing as shoppers fear the Chinese capital city will be next to go under.

With the Chinese government adamant about keeping cases as close to zero as possible, widespread lockdowns across the country look likely throughout 2022.

Shipping Delays

Despite the Chinese government's attempts to lower the impact on industrial output, at the Port of Shanghai – the world's largest – about one-third of all goods remained held up at the end of April.

Yet even if production ramps back up to normal levels in the coming weeks, congestion from the delays will carry across the Pacific and create further bottlenecks outside the already swamped ports in North America.

Cars and Smartphones

With around half of the tech giant's 200 top suppliers having production facilities in and around Shanghai, expect lengthy delays.

Insiders warned it could take another business quarter for production to get back on track as Apple's suppliers scramble for access to all kinds of inputs, from cardboard boxes to truck drivers.

Besides top-end brands, regular items will also be hit. Despite attempts to restore manufacturing in recent years, the U.S. economy still relies heavily on Chinese imports. The U.S. imports around 20 percent of all goods and 35 percent of electronics originate in China.

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