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How Much Is The Coronavirus Affecting The Music Products Industry?
Since the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China last year end, the highly infectious disease has spread throughout the world in astonishing speed. China sealed off the entire city of Wohan on January 23, but the confirmed cases and death toll rise up day by day. Without any workable medicine and vaccine, the world now confronts hard battle with the harmful disease.
As a result of strict migration control by Chinese government in the epicenter, great parts of economic activities from manufacturing to distribution have halted in one of the largest industrial cities. Just last week, Chinese government announced that the country has gained control over the deadly virus. However, the rest of the world, contaminated and in panic, is unable to see any sign to get back to normal life they have had before.
Japan Music Trades sent a questionnaire by E-mail or fax to 92 manufacturers, distributors and retailers throughout Japan in between February 10 through 18 to know present conditions and how we can cope with the unprecedented difficulties. A total of 56 companies cordially responded to our request. Here is what we have found.
Your business relationship with China
38 companies or about 70% of the respondents are involved in import of some kind of music products and parts from China. They are 33 manufacturers who make products in China at their own factories or with local partners, or OEM base, 22 exporters and 38 importers, 7 companies don’t have direct business relations with China, and 2 companies import materials for production from China. 7 companies are involved in production and import business, and another 7 companies engage in production, import and export businesses.
Current influences in doing business with China
While the responded manufacturers, importers & exporters, and retailers selling Chinese made products reported that their business is not much affected, 32 companies reported some impact on import from China.
4 companies stopped production in China. Many anticipated further slowdown of production in coming weeks as factory workers haven’t returned from new year holidays for fear of the virus.
As of the middle of February, there is not much impact for export to China, but they foresee retail sales decline in China, and more difficulties if delay in customs clearance continues. They also reported cases of unsettled payment.
7 companies reported delay of ordered products. Japanese retailers and manufacturers are increasingly alerted for import from China as shipment of finished products and materials for production delays may cause shortage of inventory at retailers and affect production plans in Japan. (Orders placed before the New Year holidays have been already filled. So far, business goes on with the present inventory in stock.)
6 retailers reported sales down caused by restriction of overseas vacation tours by Chinese government. They worry that it would bring negative impact to Japanese economy. They also concern shortage of inventory in case the Chinese factories remain out of operation and transportation system deterred after March.
How much do you think Japanese music products business will be affected from the present conditions?
. Distribution and sales will deteriorate without products made in China, inexpensive items in particular.
. As China is the fast growing market, companies relying large percent of business on China may be hard hit.
. Chinese products have dominant position in the world market. Factories stop operation in the country, world-wide industries will suffer from unstable supply of products from China.
. Chinese tourists are the largest customer group in the Japanese retail market, and products supply much relies on China. It’s possible that the industry is affected harder than now if the present conditions continue in months.
. Even after we return normal conditions, like other industries, music products industry may accelerate plans to transfer production sites from China to other countries and areas.
Our thanks to the 57 companies responded to our request for the questionnaire.
Aoyama Harp Co., Arai & Co., Inc., Atelier Z Guitar Works, ATV Corporation, Buffet Group Japan Ltd., Bunkyo Gakki Co., Ltd., Canopus Co., Ltd., Casio Computer Co., Ltd., Central Musical Instruments Co., Ltd., DCT Japan Co., Ltd., Devisor Co., Ltd., Duplex Co., Ltd., ESP Co., Ltd., Free The Tone, Ltd, Freedom Custom Guitar Research, Ginza Jujiya Co., Ltd., Hook Up Inc., Hosco Inc., Itoshin Musical Inc., Kanda Shoka Corporation, Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd., Kikutani Music Co., Ltd., Kiwaya Co., Ltd., Kokusai Gakki Sha, Ltd., Komaki Tsu-sho Co., Ltd., Korg Inc., T. Kurosawa & Co., Ltd., Mac Corp., Miki Gakki Co., Ltd., Miyazawa Flutes Mfg. Co., Ltd., Miyachi Shokai Co., Ltd., Muramatsu Flute Mfg. Co., Ltd., Morizono Import & Export Co., Ltd., Moridaira Musical Instrs. Co., Ltd., Nakabayashi Boeki Co., Ltd., Nakano Co., Ltd., Nice International, Niimi Gakki Co., Ltd., Nonaka Boeki Co., Ltd., NOMIX Co., Ltd., Ohashi Industry Co., Ltd., Pearl Musical Insts. Co., Ltd., Prima Gakki Co., Ltd., Roland Corporation, Shecter Corp., Shimamura Music, Shirakawa Sogyo Co., Ltd., S.I.E., Steinway & Sons Japan, Ltd., Takamine Gakki Co., Ltd., TMC Co., Ltd., Taurus Corp., Tombo Musical Instr. Co., Ltd., Yamano Music Co., Ltd., Yamaha Corporation, Yanagisawa Wind Instrument Inc.