Factory lockdowns in China are starting to affect export trade of stationery and office supplies to Australia, reported the Australian online publication Office Products News.
As coronavirus spreads, the economic impact on Australia is starting to take hold, said OPN on 25 February.
Stationery and office supplies have been included in an expanding list of products expected to be in short supply as the virus continues to disrupt the Chinese manufacturing sector.
Australian retailers and suppliers have shown concern that consumers will begin to experience shortages of products ranging from iPhones to batteries.
While travel and tourism operators are suffering already, some retailers say it is too soon to see a significant impact on stock, but they are preparing for shortages in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for Coles told business media that stores were working with suppliers and transport partners to minimise the impact on product availability.
“Like most retailers, we have been impacted by the extension of Chinese New Year, which saw factories closed for longer than planned and delays in production due to staff requiring government permits to return to work,” she said.
“Products such as antibacterial hand washes and hand sanitiser products are already low in stock and there are shortages forecast for non-food items like stationery, clothing, and electrical goods,” the spokesperson added.