The effects of the pandemic have never been more apparent than the recent fuel crisis in the UK, when pumps across the country ran dry. With supply chains across the globe facing increasing challenges, China is currently amid a drastic energy crisis that could create shockwaves that effect the rest of the world.
China is renowned as one of the world’s leading manufacturers, and recent electricity shortages could cause the production of popular toys, clothing, and technology to be halted in the lead up to the Christmas period.
With most of China’s energy coming from coal, recent climate goals coupled with increased demand have left this energy source in short supply.
In a recent interview, Trinh Nguyen, a senior economist for Emerging Asia at Natixis investment managers was quoted as saying that: “China produces a lot of its coal domestically, but because of its climate change goals it’s also reduced some of its capacity,”.
In response to the crisis, the Chinese government has ordered coal production be increased and have announced they are allowing energy prices to rise to encourage miners to comply.
Very few other countries have the capacity to take on the massive production quantities that the Chinese manufacturing industry accounts for, so this recent shortage is likely to cause a knock-on effect for supply chains around the world.
Christmas shoppers in the UK hoping to get their hands on popular gifts such as Mattel’s Barbie, Adidas clothing, or a Microsoft Xbox could instead be greeted with empty shelves this holiday season. Much larger companies such as Apple and Tesla have also been affected due to the shortage and have had to adjust their acquisition methods accordingly.
The ongoing shipping container crisis also means that even those products that do make it through production may struggle to find their way to European shores.
Those within the industry have strongly advised shoppers in the UK to stay one step ahead of the crisis by buying their Christmas gifts early this year to avoid disappointment.