The Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in an estimated export loss of $1.5 billion in the textile and apparel industries, WWD reports. The UN has estimated that the slowdown of manufacturing in China could result in a total $50 billion loss in global chain exports.
On Wednesday, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, director for international trade at the UN's Conference in Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said the global effects of Coronavirus are so significant that "even if the COVID-19 is retained within China, which it hasn’t been, it will still have a continuous impact because of China’s impact into the overall value chains of world production."
In particular, UNCTAD economy analysis experts have estimated that the most-affected region is the European Union, with a $538 million decrease in textile and apparel imports. The EU is then followed by Vietnam ($207 million), Turkey ($164.2 million), Hong Kong ($107 million), Taiwan ($102 million), and the US ($80 million).
Alessandro Nicita, a UNCTAD international economist, told WWD the EU sector "is very integrated with Chinese suppliers," especially countries such as France, Italy, and Spain. Nicita explained that China is a very important intermediate for fabrics and yarns, along with zippers, buttons, and other accessories.
"If the spread of the virus outbreak is unable to be contained, it could turn out to be a disaster for the world economy," he told WWD. Nicita admitted that the Coronavirus could possibly trigger a global recession. He pointed out that if the outbreak is contained, however, the global economy would recover.