ECONOMY: Ugandan traders in panic over goods stock-outs

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The outbreak of Coronavirus in China has thrown the business community in downtown Kampala into panic as they anticipate stock-out of goods imported from China.

The effects of the outbreak of Coronavirus on the market has been made worse by stringent Chinese visa conditions that traders have to meet. Coronavirus has claimed more than 700 lives and left 34,000 infected in Wuyan, China
Some traders have started contemplating finding alternative sources of goods should China fail to find a solution to the virus soon.
According to an online resource for international trade, Uganda imports goods worth $1.15b from China annually.

Production shutdown
“The virus broke out when workers in factories were on holiday, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus nobody can return to work,” Mr Sam Ssemugenyi, a dealer in jean trousers from Guangzhou, told Sunday Monitor last week.
The Chinese holiday runs from January 10 to February 28.

Ms Rehema Naava, a businesswoman dealing in women clothes at Ham Shopping Centre in Kampala, said her Christmas stock could only last her one more month.

“We will increase our prices if we finish this stock,” Ms Naava said, adding that she bought it before the outbreak of the virus.
On Friday, the wholesale price of women’s jean trousers rose from Shs24,000 to Shs25,000.
One woman dealing in baby’s clothes at one of the arcades in downtown was considering hoarding her products in anticipation of price increase.

Traders expressed concern that factories in China were worried there was no end in sight to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Officials at GNM Cargo Limited on Nabugabo Road, who ship for different traders, said they were expecting only eight containers of shoes and clothes from Mombasa.

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