The slump in U.S. orders from China, according to some experts, indicates that the West is relying less on Chinese products.
CNBC cited the latest data from Supply Chain Heat Map showing that U.S. manufacturing orders in China have plummeted by 40%.
Due to the decrease in orders, China’s factories are forecasting they will cease operations two weeks earlier than usual for the Chinese Lunar New Year festival, which falls on January 21, 2023.
And because of the weakening demand, the number of container ships from China to the United States has dropped sharply since late summer.
Supply chain research firm Project44 said that the total number of containers shipped from China to the U.S. shrank as much as 21% between August and November.
Consequently, freight forwarders have also been forced to suspend services.
In a noteworthy point, though the United States has been reducing purchases of Chinese goods, it has already imported more goods from Europe.
According to Project 44, this is a big shift from the 2010s.
U.S. imports from Germany surged almost 50% year-on-year in September.
The latest Chinese Customs data on November 20 shows that Chinese exports to the U.S. fell by 12.6 % to $47 billion in October.
It means the year-end shopping season and a weakened yuan could not help China’s exports.
And experts said that the West no longer relies too much on China.
Xie Tian is a professor at the Aiken School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He said that the decoupling from China is increasing, and the China-U.S. trade has begun to weaken.
Xie said that some importers and suppliers in the U.S. had actually started cutting orders from China even at the beginning of this Christmas, an early shopping season.
He said this is actually a trend in the United States; to leave China and turn to Europe.
Taiwanese financial expert Huang Shicong said that the COVID lockdowns, geopolitical, and other factors have led other countries to find ways to reduce their dependence on China.
Huang said that, in the past, the European supply chain or the European market was deeply connected with China. However, after the Russia-Ukraine war, Europe began to buy natural gas from the U.S., and strengthened an economic exchange. The EU is also reducing orders from China.
Huang also thought this is a trend.
Xie added that because of the shortage of orders, unemployment in China would increase sharply, and this has been going on for some time now.
According to Huang, though China may change its “zero-COVID” policy, many foreign companies, including Apple, have already been hurt. They have decided to increase production in other countries and this situation cannot be turned back.
Huang said that the withdrawal of many foreign investors from China, and the weaker demand for Chinese goods, this will definitely affect the country’s overall performance.