In 2021, companies in the Valencian Community imported bottles, jars and glass containers worth 55,150,000 euros, mainly from Italy, Portugal and Germany. Until the pandemic, the main import country for glass bottles was China, but after supplies broke with the pandemic, they found a new supplier… in Ukraine.
"It was closer, at competitive prices, but the war came and they had to divert the import trade again," explains Gracia Cicuéndez, representative of the Intelligence and Analysis Unit of the Valencia Chamber and author of the report that the chamber institution presented yesterday. together with CaixaBank on the foreign dependence in the supply chains of companies in the Valencian Community.
The change to which the companies that needed glass were forced - "mainly they were wineries and food companies", Cicuéndez details to La Vanguardia - is an example of how these Valencian companies have been adapting to supply difficulties and the increase in freight . First China, then Ukraine until the war paralyzed the diversion of imports.
The report presented yesterday, the seventh in a series of collaborations carried out by the Valencia Chamber and the financial entity, analyzes the tensions in the supply chains in the large importing sectors, such as ceramics, which have also accused vulnerability in their supplies due to the war in Ukraine.
Ukraine had become one of the exporters of this raw material in recent years with an average price "below the average of the rest of the net exporting countries," says the study prepared by Gracia Cicuéndez. The United Kingdom or the Czech Republic are the alternatives that the report proposes to the tile industry to supply itself with this very pure white clay, which is used in the manufacture of porcelain.
With the current scenario, and after two years of constant uncertainties, the recommendation to companies that the report leaves is that they draw a new 'risk map' that contemplates the proximity of suppliers as an added value. An example of this need was presented by Cicuéndez, since he pointed out that 80% of the photovoltaic panels, increasingly in demand in the face of the climate emergency, are produced in China.
For this reason, the strategic autonomy of the European Union, which promotes its own manufacturing to be less dependent on abroad, is one of the duties that the study establishes for Valencian companies, which also observes an increase in the weight of the domestic market as a supplier of inputs for companies. The automotive, chemical, plastic and wood sectors are among the Valencian industries most affected by the crises in international supply chains.
All in all, companies continue to grow in exports, since this 2022 they have reached record figures, "increasing their values by more than 25% compared to the previous year," said José Vicente Morata, president of the Valencia Chamber, who welcomed him along with Xicu Costa, territorial representative of CaixaBank in the Valencian Community.
“The report talks about issues that we did not even imagine years ago, such as deglobalization or the great dependence on China, a country that was already the exporter par excellence with 7% of exports of the global total, but which has now grown to 14%. "said the manager.
For his part, José Vicente Morata, observed that "it is necessary for companies to become aware of exports, because all manufacturing companies can have problems. Both in 2008 and in 2020 internationalization has taken us out of the situation, mainly. Morata added.