Suppliers predict fastener shortages as customers stock up over coronavirus

Forgefix is among the fastener and fixings suppliers issuing warnings over potential fastener shortages further down the line as customers stock up over supply chain concerns.

With significant numbers of fasteners arriving in Europe, the UK and the US from China, the industry has been among those keeping a close eye on the developing situation in the Far East. Factories in China have undergone extended shutdowns following the traditional Lunar New Year closures as authorities have worked to curb the spread of coronavirus, affecting fastener production.

Other fastener suppliers have issued statements to Torque Magazine about the potential implications for the UK fastener industry and now ForgeFix has added its voice to the discussion.

While ForgeFix stressed that it is not experiencing any impact on its ability to supply customers, it did point out that with customers 'stocking up' to avoid being affected if the long-term situation changes, there will "undoubtedly be shortages in our marketplace and customers should consider this when reviewing their own requirements.

The statement also references Brexit. The UK fastener industry has previously seen anecdotal evidence of customers stocking up ahead of the UK's exit from the European Union. While the coronavirus is currently taking much focus, it is credible that UK fastener suppliers are also building stock as the end of the UK's transition period draws near.

Here's the full statement from ForgeFix, issued to its customers and through social media channels:

"There is great concern in the media regarding the coronavirus outbreak and the potential impact on manufacturing and deliveries from the Far East.

"Please rest assured that this current crisis is having little or no impact on our ability to supply to our customers.

"We have already invested in additional stocks as a contingency measure prior to BREXIT and purchase many of our products from multiple sources other than China, and whilst we do not wish to play down the severity and impact of the outbreak on our industry, we remain confident that our own business will be unaffected in the short and medium-term.

"We have however, noted a number of our customers have begun to ‘stock up’ so as not to be affected if the virus has a longer-lasting effect than we are being led to believe. We would therefore suggest that there will undoubtedly be shortages in our market place and customers should consider this when reviewing their own requirements.

"Further updates will be provided if the situation changes.

"We would like to take this time to thank our customers for their continued support.

"Best regards,
Tony Armitt
Commercial Director"

Coronavirus has also hit the tool and fastener sectors with big name shows like Cologne's International Hardware Fair and the Taiwan International Fastener Show both being delayed due to fears around the spread of the virus.