The latest data released by the World Health Organization on March 22 showed that there were more than 290,000 confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia worldwide, and more than 210,000 confirmed cases outside China.
Under the epidemic, Keqiao District, Shaoxing City, the “International Textile Capital”, is also experiencing a “shock-style” crisis.
Last year, Keqiao District’s foreign trade exports grew by 15.6%, 10.6 percentage points higher than the national level. Many traders and entrepreneurs have predicted that Keqiao will still have a “big year” for exports this year. However, a new coronavirus epidemic has impacted the “gold, three, silver and four” textile peak season. Just after passing the resumption of work and production, the epidemic broke out on a large scale abroad, resulting in the cancellation of global exhibitions, a decline in overseas demand, and a reduction in the number of orders. In the first two months, Keqiao District’s foreign trade exports were US$1.518 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 20.63%. The export situation is not optimistic…
How is the current situation of Keqiao, a major foreign trade zone? The reporter recently conducted an investigation and visited the “International Textile Capital” that pressed the pause button twice during the epidemic.
Order crises are coming one after another
In mid-March, the resumption of work and production in Keqiao was in full swing: In order to make up for the time delayed by the domestic epidemic, foreign trade companies were busy beating the time difference to connect with customers, and many circular knitting machines, printing and dyeing factories rushed to order orders day and night.
Some foreign traders joked that textile fabrics that have always been shipped by sea now also enjoy air transportation. Feng Jijiang, the person in charge of Shaoxing Yiwei Textile Company, has just shipped a shipment. The air freight has increased from 12.5 yuan per kilogram two weeks ago to 22 yuan. “Originally, this was a cargo shipped by sea at the end of February. In order to rush the delivery, it had to be shipped by air. The freight has almost caught up with the price of cloth.”
Feng Jijiang’s situation is almost It is the projection of the current Keqiao foreign trade enterprises. Since March, everyone has been rushing to make orders from the previous year regardless of costs. One is to maintain customer relationships, and the other is to catch up with the fashion season to prevent orders from being canceled and goods becoming inventory. This is the peculiarity of the textile industry, which follows fashion and has distinct seasons.
What people didn’t expect was that just as the domestic epidemic was about to pass, the global epidemic suddenly struck, and most of the countries and regions where Keqiao textiles were exported were also affected by the epidemic.
“When we went to investigate at the end of February, many companies still had a lot of foreign trade orders. But as soon as the global epidemic broke out, they couldn’t sit still.” Faced with the rapidly changing global epidemic , Tan Ke, director of the Keqiao District Commerce Bureau, is re-investigating and revising the research report these days. “Not long after, the forecast analysis at the beginning of the month is no longer applicable.” He told reporters that with the continuous cancellation of orders and the interruption of new orders in the areas hardest hit by the epidemic, the foreign trade situation in the next few months is not optimistic.
For Keqiao, the domestic epidemic has affected the smooth flow of the supply side, and the losses can be expected. The global epidemic has directly affected the demand side, resulting in a sharp drop in orders, and it is difficult to open up the supply chain. The excitement was immediately dashed.
When the reporter met Luo Haiming, chairman of Shaoxing Kaiming Textile Co., Ltd., he had just finished a meeting with his employees: customers must be repeatedly informed of possible risks before taking orders. From now on, Uncertain orders can no longer be accepted.
Luo Haiming’s caution is not unreasonable. Kaiming Textile’s export volume last year was about 1.2 billion yuan. Based on the current situation, it is estimated that exports will decrease by at least 300 million yuan this year. Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom account for about 50% of the company’s export market share. Since March 10, a large number of orders have been canceled one after another, and orders have been canceled again, which has had a great impact on the company’s cash flow. Luo Haiming said: “Nowadays, customers are generally afraid to place large orders. For us, taking small orders means rising costs, but this is a helpless choice to control risks and maintain customer relationships.”
For this major foreign trade region, the impact of foreign epidemics seems to be greater than the domestic epidemic. Last year, there were more than 4,500 foreign buyers based in Keqiao, but now only more than 1,000 have returned. Many foreign businessmen have not heard from them in the commercial buildings rented by them for a long time; international exhibitions may be postponed or canceled; whether the Shanghai Fabric Exhibition will It is unknown whether it will be held as scheduled. For foreign trade companies, the chances of obtaining new orders are greatly reduced.
The most anxious thing is uncertainty
In the past two weeks, Luo Haiming must do two things every morning: turn on his mobile phone to check the latest progress of the global epidemic; and take turns asking customers in various time zones about the epidemic situation in their respective countries. As the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, the markets he thought were “sustainable” are also falling one by one.
“Two weeks ago, a Bangladeshi customer was anxious to place an additional 200,000 meters of fabric order with us, but today he came to ask if we could cancel it.” This change made Luo Haiming realize, There is a story behind the crisis: Although the current epidemic in Bangladesh is not serious, the local clothing processing factories that import Keqiao textile fabrics are ultimately exported to European and American countries that are hardest hit by the epidemic.
It can be seen that the crisis is by no means limited to the immediate reduction and cancellation of orders. As the COVID-19 epidemic spreads in many countries, it may eventually bring about many risks such as market shrinkage, cash flow depletion, and exchange rate fluctuations. The anxiety caused by these uncertainties is also passed on to foreign traders and entrepreneurs. </pThink innovatively and find new ways. International exhibitions are suspended. Can we organize exhibitions in other ways? On March 20, with the help of the two major platforms of Global Textile Network and Online Textile City, the recruitment of exhibitors for the 2020 Global Textile Cloud Exhibition officially started, attracting more than 40 companies to come online within one day. Exhibitors and merchants can interact two-way through live broadcast. The anchor will display the products to the merchants, and the merchants will allow the company to receive timely feedback through barrage chat, which will facilitate the development of more popular products.
In order to improve the feasibility of cloud exhibitions, Tan Ke also went to a Shanghai store a few days ago Research by testing agencies. “Fabric is a special commodity. Customers must have intuitive experience before they dare to place large orders. We want to see if we can cooperate with testing institutions to find out what products customers are optimistic about online and let third-party testing institutions provide detailed reports such as excellent fastness to help customers boldly Place an order.”
The more difficulties we face, the more we need to show our talents. In response to the plight of foreign trade companies, Keqiao has introduced a series of new policies: the scope of exhibition subsidies for companies has been expanded from key exhibitions to all overseas exhibitions, and companies are encouraged to actively break into markets in areas with less epidemic conditions; the government’s joint guarantee policy of export credit insurance has been implemented to exempt Eliminate the worries of enterprises placing orders during high-risk periods; vigorously promote the development of cross-border e-commerce, encourage enterprises to create overseas trademarks, increase online sales, and participate in online exhibitions to expand the market; accelerate the implementation of foreign trade enterprise policies and resolve the cash flow encountered by enterprises question.
To respond to uncertainty with certainty is the confidence that governments and enterprises have in coping with it. The certainty lies in the many foreign trade entities that are sensitive to market information and capable of responding to crises, and also in the strength of the industry that has been cultivated for many years. Keqiao, the “International Textile Capital”, was formed in international competition. It has a strong industrial chain with relatively complete supporting facilities and complete products. Feng Jijiang gave an example: When an Indian customer places an order for 300,000 meters of fabric, Keqiao can complete the entire process from raw material procurement to printing and dyeing in 15 days, and ship it to the port and warehouse in 30 days. And when an order of this size is placed in India at the same time, But it takes 50 to 60 days. “The price is low and the speed is fast. Keqiao has the world’s best cargo organizers and a ‘well-trained’ industrial chain.” Feng Jijiang said.
Every game and every competition means the beginning of a new journey. </p