Japan’s problems extend to the world

 Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.The China Post

Updated Monday, April 11, 2011 11:10 pm TWN, By Allison Jackson, AFP

 Factories face shortages due to Japan quake

BEIJING — Electronics and auto makers in China are facing a severe shortage of components after Japan’s twin disasters disrupted production, but the full impact will not be felt for weeks, analysts say. The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeastern coast on March 11 shattered infrastructure, caused power outages and forced temporary factory shutdowns — meaning shipments of key parts to China also stopped. 

“As many Chinese manufacturers have started drawing down inventories of components, more significant output loss … shall start showing in the next couple of weeks,” IHS Global Insight senior analyst Ren Xianfang told AFP.

Japan is a key supplier of components and equipment used in the assembly of cars, laptops, iPods, refrigerators and flat-screen televisions, and the country accounts for about 14 percent of China’s imports, according to UBS.

“Given the importance of Japan in the supply chain of some electronics, chemicals and machinery products … we expect China’s related exports to the world might be affected as well,” UBS economists said in a research note.

The full impact of the supply problems will start to be seen in the coming weeks as electronics and automakers use up the parts in stock and Japanese assembly lines remain idle or operate well below capacity, analysts say.

Some electronics companies have reported shortages due to the disasters, and prices of computer memory chips and semiconductors have risen sharply in the past month due to the supply crunch.

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