Survey respondents in China expect trade credit risk to increase over the coming months. Find out more about their business challenges going forward.
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Many food producers and processors struggle to pass on higher input prices, which is hampered by the high concentration and market power of retailers.
As the UK is a major Danish export market, a hard Brexit could trigger a significant decrease in Danish export of food and agricultural products.
Despite efforts of food exporters to diversify shipments away from Britain, a hard Brexit remains a major challenge, also for shipments to mainland Europe.
Growth is set to continue, but the strong export orientation makes many food businesses susceptible to trade disputes and price/currency fluctuations.
Many meat processors and producers suffer from higher procurement prices, while their ability to pass on those increases to retailers is limited.
Even the biggest food retailers are small compared to other major international players, and e-commerce is increasingly challenging traditional businesses.
The new Mexican government could launch policies in order to increase domestic production and put emphasis on domestic agricultural support programmes.
Higher input costs have increased the pressure on margins in recent years, with a recent draught in Australia having and additional negative impact.
The number of protracted payments in the sector is rather high as larger businesses use their leverage against suppliers by demanding long payment terms.
The UK leaving the EU without a deal would be a major disruption, causing business insolvencies to be higher in the UK and EU27.
The USMCA has finally been signed on November 30, easing short-term uncertainty surrounding North American trade.
The main potential downside risk for the industry is a deterioration in orders from main buyer industries, especially from the automotive sector.
Both payment delays and insolvencies could increase in 2019, especially if price and margin pressures rise and activity in the construction sector slows.
Competitiveness of the steel and metals industry remains negatively impacted by power costs, which are about 30%-50% higher than in France or Germany.
Despite ongoing price pressure the general outlook for the Dutch steel/metals sector is positive, and the impact of the US import tariffs is very limited.
Payment delays or rescheduling schemes are currently on an upward trend, as producers are facing cash pressure due to heavier working capital requirements.
Higher margin pressure as demand from the automotive sector is expected to decrease in the coming months, while demand from construction remains sluggish.
The number and amount of protracted payments and insolvencies remains high, and many private-owned steel and metals producers face serious troubles.
Payment delays and insolvencies will probably increase until the new USMCA trade agreement is ratified and the US import tariff issue is resolved.
Despite the comprehensive safeguarding measures imposed by the EU, the risk of declining steel prices as a result of additional steel inflow remains.
EU safeguarding measures against steel imports could become an issue if the EU and the UK fail to reach an agreement on the post Brexit trade relationship.
Mid-level producers, smaller steel and metals service centres have started to feel cash flow and profit margin pressure after the imposition of tariffs.
Southeast Asia is facing headwinds in the face of the US-China trade war and increased global market volatility, but strong domestic policymaking and economic fundamentals should mitigate risks.
Despite ongoing growth, there are challenges ahead, as profit margins of businesses decreased in 2017 and H1 of 2018 due to sharply increased input costs.
Many producers are under pressure to either expand/grow or refuse orders, while difficulties in hiring skilled staff impacts further business expansion.
As in previous years, competition remains strong in the domestic market, mainly among small and medium-sized machinery companies depending on construction.
A modest insolvency increase is expected in 2019, with businesses related to oil and gas exploration, construction and agricultural markets mainly exposed.
The demand situation for Belgian machinery businesses is generally positive, but remains affected by difficulties in some major buyer industries.
There is pressure on the profits of turbine manufacturers and their suppliers along the value chain, and further consolidation seems to be likely.
Due to its high export ratio the industry is highly susceptible to rising geopolitical risks, exchange rate volatility, and rising protectionism.
Business performance and profit margins of machinery traders could be negatively affected by the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States.
Due to its high export ratio the industry is highly susceptible to external risks like a deterioration in the Eurozone and rising protectionism.
Some caution is still advised on businesses dependent on the oil/gas and the mining industry, due to potential impacts of energy price volatility.
The bright outlook presented in May has proven true but clouds are quickly gathering on the horizon. In an increasingly uncertain environment, there is no room for policy mistakes.
The election of Brazil's new president ends a long period of political uncertainty, but the window for much-needed reform is very narrow.
After a minor increase from 2016 to 2017, the proportion of past due B2B receivables in Western Europe increased again this year and stands at 41.8%.
All survey respondents in Austria (100%) reported domestic payment delays. This is the highest percentage in the region, significantly higher than in 2017.
The average proportion of overdue B2B invoices reported by respondents in Belgium increased for the third consecutive year in a row and stands at 45.6%.
The survey’s biggest negative change in the proportion of uncollectable receivables was recorded in Denmark; up from 1.3% in 2017 to 1.8% in 2018.
After an increase from 43.5% in 2017 to 47.5% this year, France has the second highest percentage of overdue B2B invoices in the Western European region.
Of the Western European countries surveyed, Germany had the second highest percentage of respondents (24.7%) who reported revenue loss due to overdues.
At 48.7%, Great Britain had the highest proportion of past due B2B invoices in Western Europe, significantly higher than the regional average of 41.8%.
Despite already posting the highest proportion of uncollectable receivables in the region, Greece’s average rose to 2.8% in 2018 from 2.5% in 2017.
For 56.3% of Irish respondents reported negative consequences of overdues over the past 12 months. For 15.1% of suppliers these led to revenue loss.
Despite a significant decrease in 2018, at 74 days, the average DSO reported by survey respondents in Italy remains the highest in Western Europe.
Most respondents in Spain have felt the impact of overdue invoices; 22.4% had to postpone payments to their own suppliers and 20.3% reported revenue loss.
The proportion of past due B2B invoices in Sweden has sharply increased from 26.7% in 2017 to 34.0%. Foreign B2B customers had a much higher default rate.
92.5% of Swiss respondents said that they experienced late payment in 2018. This is one of the highest percentages next to that of Austria and Belgium.
In 2018, the average DSO recorded in the Netherlands is 46 days, an increase of five days compared to 2017. This is the biggest increase in Western Europe.
Economic growth is expected to remain robust in 2018 and 2019, but the economy is highly vulnerable to adverse developments in the automotive sector.