E-COMMERCE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Weekly News Wrap: China's consumption recovery accelerates; Indian stores brace for festival shopping surge

And wool prices in Australia rose as processors prepared for bigger apparel demand.

From Reuters:

Over the weekend, crowds packed a former industrial warehouse in Beijing as the China Fashion Week got underway, with models strutting mask-less on a square runway and guests oblivious to social distancing norms.

Similarly vibrant scenes are being seen elsewhere in China as consumers return to cinemas, live performances, and restaurants.

To many, they indicate a late-summer recovery in Chinese household spending is broadening and propelling the next stage of the economic recovery.

“This August, sales in the domestic (apparel) market turned from negative to positive,” Zhang Qinghui, chairman of the China Fashion Designers Committee, told Reuters last week.

“I think the numbers for September, or even the fourth quarter, will be better.”

Read more here.

From CNBC:

Indian businesses are stocking up more ahead of this year’s big festival season than at any time in the last five years, expecting people whose earnings were relatively unaffected by the pandemic to spend the money they saved during months of lockdowns.

India’s biggest shopping season is at the time of the festivals of Durga Puja and Diwali, which fall 20 days apart in October-November each year. Traditionally, this is a time when houses are redecorated, big-ticket items purchased, feasts held, and gifts exchanged.

Businesses and shopkeepers expect more purchases than usual this year, beginning with Durga Puja on Thursday, because the months of lockdowns have resulted in pent-up demand.

Recent data shows that demand for diesel, power and cars has already picked up, and any resurgence of retail buying of everything from phones to furniture would bode well for India’s economy that shrank 23.9% in the quarter ended June — its steepest decline.

Read more here.

From Bloomberg:

Wool prices in Australia have surged more than 30% from a September low, with Chinese processors boosting purchases to meet an expected jump in apparel demand after a coronavirus-related slump.

Whilst Australian barley, wine, cotton and beef exporters are feeling the pain of tariffs, bans and trade investigations by China as political tensions between the countries remain high, demand for wool from its biggest export market is recovering.

Mill shutdowns in China, along with weaker demand for textiles, had “turbo charged” a downturn in the market earlier in the year, Robert Hermann, managing director at adviser Mecardo, said by phone.

There’s been a fundamental change in recent weeks as mills and manufacturers prepare for an anticipated increase in consumer spending after pandemic lockdowns, Hermann said. Wool purchases typically need a long lead time, and there have been reports of Chinese mills receiving more orders from downstream, he added.

Read more here.

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