As measures to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus in China (and abroad) remain fluid and changing, the full impact on Australia’s imports and exports remain to be fully realized. Whilst already proving a headache for our mineral exporters, the local construction industry is also cautiously watching with many essential materials and products currently sourced from the country possibly about to dry-up.
Much of the facade, joinery, ancillary smalls and structural steel required by the construction industry has been imported over the past decade as China’s manufacturing industry grew and penetrated the local market. Core products such as concrete, cement, gravel are still largely produced locally and are unlikely to be impacted by any disruption. These other products however are vital components particularly in medium/high-rise residential and commercial developments and may lead to increasing project delays. This means that much of the current civil infrastructure work is likely to be minimally impacted in the short term.
How deep and how long the effects of the outbreak are on the industry is anyone’s guess at this stage.