A panic attack is the worst ally to solve a crisis. And the coronavirus has already caused several episodes among citizens. One of the main ones is the hoarder rage, which can lead to shortages of stores and supermarkets. It has already happened in countries where the health crisis has fully impacted, such as China, Italy, Australia or Germany. Not so in the case of Spain. Our dependence on foreign countries in food and basic products is minimal, so much as consumers do, it would be «practically impossible a collapse of the supply chain or a generalized shortage. There may be problems in products and specific cases. Nothing else. And they would not extend much in time ». So reassuring are shown the large distribution companies, which have confirmed to LA RAZÓN that the supply is assured, since most products have national origin and replenishment is fast. “Until now there has been a much higher demand than normal for disinfectant products, latex gloves or toilet paper, but the replacement in the lines has been almost immediate.”
Other sectors do not enjoy the same tranquility. Pharmaceutical, technological, textile and automotive companies have already begun to implement contingency plans before the descent of its stockings, the partial cut in the supply of components and raw materials, and the blocking of some products by the industrial closure in China. Unlike distribution companies, companies in these sectors warn of possible short-term shortage problems if the blockade continues over time and production stops. They estimate that the first serious effects will begin to be noticed from next month, when the accumulated reserves in the stores of the companies do not cover all their material needs.
Some sectors have an almost total dependence on the Asian giant. In the case of the pharmaceutical sector, a large number of the components of the medicines manufactured in Europe come from the Chinese factories. For this reason, the employers’ association Farmaindustria has already asked its associates to report any anomaly they have in their orders, in addition to evaluating the current situation of shortage of some medications, which has been chronicled over the last months. «Right now, more than 15,000 references are marketed in Spain and there are problems with 500 of them, just 3%. But this situation can worsen very quickly if production is not restarted in China or new suppliers are not sought, something that is not easy, ”they explain from the employers.
Fernando Simon, director of emergency coordination, confirmed this week that «Now there are no problems to acquire medicines»Although he acknowledged that there are “specific dysfunctions” with masks and some medical devices – not only in Spain, but also in other countries, the sectors dependent on new technologies and electronics, the problem is that the arrival has been cut off of components and raw materials of the EU–. To try to alleviate it, Brussels has proposed a centralized purchase formula that facilitates price control and avoids speculation in the process, but this model must be ratified by each of the member countries.
In the sectors dependent on new technologies and electronics, the problem is that the arrival of components and raw materials has been cut off, but also of final products, such as mobiles, computers, tablets and other electronic devices. The closure of the Chinese factories has caused this vacuum that, for the moment, does not affect the consumer, but whose effects can be noticed “in a month”, sources in the sector point out.
In the case of the automotive industry, the problem is that the dependence on the outside is maximum, since most components and parts that are assembled in Spanish factories arrive from abroad. From the Anfac management, they have appealed to tranquility, although they have also warned that «the automotive industry is very sensitive to market changes». They ensure that, “today, no short-term supply problems are anticipated, because the main suppliers are European.”
More black see it the logistics companies, which date the first shortage problems in mid-April, mainly in textile products, high technology, components and household items.