Coronavirus scare affects Chinese goods market in UT

Delhi importers stop buying products from the country

Photo for representation only.

Jammu, February 18: The trade blockade between India and China due to the coronavirus (CoV) has led to an increase in the prices of the Chinese items in Jammu and Kashmir as traders are taking the advantage of the shortage of products.

As the deadly coronavirus has created fear among the people, the Chinese products have gone out of stock in the markets here.

The Chinese products such as electronic items, stationary, toys, clothes, food items and furniture are in demand in Jammu and Kashmir and the traders buy the items from Delhi and other import depots of the country.

For the last one month, the supply of most of the Chinese products has been stopped as the importers are not importing products from China due to the spread of coronavirus in China. Whatever products they have in stock are being sold at higher rates.

“Most of the Chinese items are unavailable with the dealers in Delhi and whatever they have, they are selling it at higher prices,” said Nikhil Sharma, a stationary shop owner in Jammu. “Most of the stationary items come from China. The pen, which cost us Rs 6 earlier, has been increased to Rs 9 now,” he said.

On the one hand, the supply is low and the prices have been increased for the Chinese item, but on the other hand, people have also started avoiding Chinese items after the coronavirus started spreading to other countries. A few Chinese online shopping websites such as Club Factory, Alibaba and Ali Express are popular in Jammu and Kashmir, but have witnessed a major slowdown in their sale in the past one month.

“People have stopped ordering products from the Chinese websites as they feel that the product might be infected with the virus. We have returned many products as the customer refused to accept it,” said Abhinav Dogra, a manager in a courier company in Jammu. “The fear can be seen in the eyes of the customer and they behave so strange when our courier boy arrives at their doorstep to deliver the product ordered from a Chinese website,” he said.