The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting different economic sectors very unevenly. While tourism and passenger air travel have practically collapsed since last spring, technology sales are experiencing a real boom.
The need to equip millions of homes for telecommuting or online education explains the good moment of the IT industry. This is causing tensions and stock breaks.
In some product ranges there are no stocks. In the sector there has been in recent months fear that, in a general way, the demand could not be satisfiedin this campaign back to school. However, despite some shortcomings, such as low-end laptops, the situation has not escalated and wholesalers are being able to respond. In this interview, Eduardo Moreno, general director of MCR , makes his assessment of the moment that the market and his company are experiencing.
Faced with the tsunami of demand that comes with going back to school, how are the stocks in the canal today?
At this time, we consider that the stocks are good. They have been normalized to the beginning of the pandemic, although it is true that there are products for which there is a shortage, especially for teleworkers and devices such as laptops and tablets. But in general, as of today, we can say that it has been normalized.
What products are the most scarce? Indeed, from our information there are supply problems in low-end laptops.
It is true, especially laptops, due to teleworking and the great demand of the administration in the area of education. With other products, such as printers or consumables, there were also problems at the beginning of the pandemic, but during these months they have been recovering.
How do you expect demand to evolve in the coming months? Will there be responsiveness in the industry?
In principle, and with all the caution in the world, given the current situation of uncertainty, we forecast that if there is not a catastrophe, there will be a significant demand and we hope that the industry can respond.
It is going to be quite a challenge, since to what I mentioned before it must be added that the strong campaign at the end of the year (from September to January) begins right now. And, given the situation, I think we will see high levels of demand in private consumption and also, as I said before, in public education.
Does Intel’s chip sourcing problem continue to kick in, an affair dating back to last year?
It cannot be said that the situation is completely normalized, but it practically is. And that especially in integration, it is no longer possible to speak of a shortage. Although, indeed, there is not an excessive stock, I would say that now is not a big problem.
How are the prices of freight transport? Before the summer, it penalized the technology sector for its rise.
They have also normalized quite a bit, and it is no longer at the levels of April and May, for example. It indeed went up a lot. Goods had to be shipped mainly by air and sea, and prices rose for everything that was not medical supplies.
But then, in the following months, they have adjusted. Now they may rebound again, especially due to the time that it is, due to seasonality. And we will have to see how the second wave of the pandemic develops.