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COVID-19: Abossey Okai spare parts dealers anticipate increase in prices over reduced imports

Some spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai in Accra, Ghana’s major market place for auto parts and accessories; say they will have no other option than to increase their prices due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.


The dealers say auto factories in the major spare parts producing markets in Asia have shut down their plants making it difficult to restock their shops and sustain their businesses.

What started as an outbreak in China towards the end of 2019; has spread quite quickly to at least 140 countries, with over 7,000 deaths globally, out of 180,000 cases.

The World Health Organisation, WHO, has since declared it a pandemic.

The disease has impacted both social and economic activities such as trade, tourism, financial markets, and manufacturing among others.

In Ghana, there have been six reported cases of the COVID-19, referred to as imported.

Some measures taken by government to control a further spread include the temporary closure of schools, a ban on public gatherings like religious activities, funerals and the restriction of flights from countries with at least two hundred cases of the coronavirus.

Equally, Ghana has not been exempted from the impact of the coronavirus especially in the area of trade, considering the fact that the country’s largely informal sector engaged in trade, imports a lot of goods from China.

At Abossey Okai, one of Ghana’s major market place for auto parts and accessories; some traders say they will have no other option than to increase their prices due to the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The dealers say auto factories in the major spare parts producing markets in Asia have shut down their plants making it difficult to restock their shops and sustain their businesses.

When Citi Business News visited the centre, the usual hustle and bustle was not seen; as traders were seated in their shops, waiting for buyers.

The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), has already warned of possible shortage of goods by May, if the situation does not improve, as their wares run out.

Financial Secretary for the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, and Vice Chairman of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Associations (GUTA), Nana Kwabena Peprah, told Citi Business News that sales have been slow.

“Sales have not been normal as that it has affected our importation. It seems business is slow for now, but at the beginning of every year, that has been the norm, so I think business is okay in a way,” he said.

Mr. Peprah further noted that as a result of the pandemic, an increase in prices is inevitable.

“The impact of the disease will affect us. For spare parts dealers, the way we source our wares is through travelling, not only to manufacturing destinations; but also to marketing destinations like Dubai. There, we source it in bits and ship them in a container. Definitely, it is going to affect our imports. Though the measures have been given, we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so to a large extent it will affect demand and supply which will in turn lead to an increase in prices,” he noted.

His stance on price increases was reiterated by Eric Okyere-Antwi, also a spare parts dealer.

 

“We are facing a challenge in getting stock because some of us are even ready to travel, but because of the travel bans we cannot travel. So, if things are not contained there is a likelihood that the prices will change because the demand will go high,” he said.

Madam Brenda Morrison, a trader in one of the shops who also spoke to Citi Business News, said she will not be greatly affected, because she doesn’t have to travel outside Ghana to purchase her goods.

“I think the only problem is with those who have to travel out to bring their goods; but for me, I have been working with my company in South Korea for over 30 years. We only send the payment to them and they ship the product to us,” she said.

For now, businesses are awaiting a possible reversal of the trade restrictions which should see things turn around to favour them and their customers.

Source: citibusinessnews.com

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