Well, it’s official. The coronavirus has well and truly come to India. At the time of writing, the Health Ministry has confirmed as many as 28 cases of the virus. With many more quarantined and the disease has spread to all parts of the country, the pandemic surely will have a great impact on India.
By this point of time, everyone is aware of the coronavirus. You know what it is, how it spreads, what the symptoms are. But apart from the virus affecting the health of humans, it’s also indirectly causing damage to several industries.
Here’s a list of the industries that are worst affected by the coronavirus in India:-
Rumours and fake news are extremely bad for businesses. One wrong piece of information spread and you could be looking at losses worth millions. Well, that is exactly what has happened with the poultry industry in India.
Over the last month, poultry sales have been rapidly declining on account of rumours spread by social media claiming that chickens are linked to the coronavirus. Industry-wide weekly sales have plummeted at least 47% in the past three to four weeks, while prices have slumped almost 60%.
Chicken prices at farm gates have slipped to as low as 30-35 rupees/kg, from their usual price of 80-85/kg. The industry has been so severely affected, that farms have to sell the chicken at a price which is lower than their production cost of 75 rupees.
With India’s poultry industry pegged at $14 billion, it plays a crucial role in the economy. It provides indirect employment to 5 million people, at the same time supporting more than 25 million farmers.
All this has happened in spite of no conclusive evidence being found that chickens can cause the virus to spread. If this carries on for long, the poultry India could be in for some tough times ahead.
If you have got to do anything with cars, any form of transport or fuel in general, the coronavirus has officially cut down your fuel costs. We’re not saying the virus is a good thing, but the auxiliary impact it has had on the petroleum industry has been immense.
Even India is seeing its effects. Crude oil slumped to a 13-month low on Thursday to about $52/barrel on fears that the coronavirus outbreak may take a heavy toll on global economic growth and oil demand. This has led to Domestic rates of petrol and diesel, being reduced by as much as Rs 4/litre since mid-January.
Falling oil prices could good for heavy energy consumes like India that imports 85% of its oil needs. Lower oil prices can help tackle rising inflation and cut current account deficit by decreasing import costs.
The automobile industry in India just can’t catch a break. The past year has anyway been tough for India's auto industry, with falling sales and piling inventory. However, with the coronavirus, the industry is expected to face another blow.
India depends on China for 27% of its automotive part imports. But as the country shuts down its ports and suspends shipments due to the coronavirus, tough times may be ahead for the automobile industry.
While the domestic sector has components stocked up to meet the shortage in demand for 30-60 days, any further delay in supply could be detrimental for the already weak automobile sector.
As China is responsible for supplying several critical components such s printed circuit boards for cars in India, supply chain constraints are expected to be the cause for future downgrading of the growth rate of the automobile sector According to a report released by the Fitch Solutions recently, vehicle production in India is likely to contract by 8.3 per cent in 2020 following an estimated 13.2 per cent decline in 2019.
If you were looking to buy a TV or a refrigerator, the coronavirus comes at the worst time for you. This is because Consumer electronics companies plan to increase prices of refrigerators, air-conditioners, microwave ovens and washing machines from March due to higher component prices amid short supplies from coronavirus-hit China.
The consumer electronics industry is heavily dependent on China for component supplies. All key parts such as compressors for ACs and refrigerators, washing machine motors and plastic parts are imported from China. Around 70-75% of materials based on value are imported.
You could expect a price increase of anywhere between 3,000-4,000 on all appliances as all large manufacturers including LG, Voltas, Samsung, Haier and Panasonic have decided on a 3-5% price increase across models.
Some of the components worst affected would be television, as the country expects a shortage in supply of its main component LED television panel owing to the decrease in imports.