Manufacturing in UK sees a Coronavirus boost

The Coronavirus has had a negative effect on companies around the world, and much of the macro-economic damage to national economies is yet to be seen. There has, however, been a positive, and surprising, impact on some parts of the UK manufacturing sector.

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Chinese companies have been hard hit since the first recognised outbreak of the disease in the city of Wuhan. The break in the supply chain to car manufacturers has been well reported, but fashion retailers are also being hard hit.


In recent years, retailers have abandoned UK textile manufacturers and garment makers in favour of cheaper imports from the Far East. The emergence of the Coronavirus has, however, closed that market, with factories there closed and the movement of goods severely restricted. Key delivery times can be as short as eight weeks, and consequently, retailers are now having to look to UK companies to fill the gap. Some industry experts believe the potential pandemic could have as big an impact on the fashion industry as the Sars virus did a decade ago.

Other sectors, such as medical suppliers of pathogen isolation chambers, are also expected to see sales increase for their products, as they did during the Ebola crisis.

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In fact, there is no reason why a whole host of UK-based firms will not see increased sales. Many are in competition with firms who export to the UK, including many servicing the engineering sector in areas such as pneumatic conveying. UK-based providers of these systems can be found widely online, at sites such as

Global market values

Ironically, this news comes at the same time as the world’s stock exchanges tumble amid fears of the spread of the Coronavirus. In the final week of February, $5 trillion was wiped off global market values, the worst weekly fall since the financial crisis of 2008.

The crisis has exposed how fragile the global supply chain is, and how a rupture in it can seriously impact world trade. In the construction industry, there is concern about how the supply chain could lead to a spread of the virus in the workplace, and the pressure on all companies to explore local providers is increasing.

In some sectors, a product can reach the end user in half the time it would take to access it from an overseas provider.