New waves of covid have recently led to more lockdowns in South East Asia, which is currently impacting export output from the region.

In Malaysia, a nationwide lockdown has disrupted many industry sectors, as factories have been forced to either significantly reduce their numbers, or to completely shut operations, to comply with new coronavirus measures. Depending on the industry, the government has set limits on workforce capacity. Many factories that are allowed to remain open are operating with between 10% and 60% of their usual workforce.

There is a similar situation in Thailand, where production continues to be disrupted and is expected to continue to do so if vaccine distribution doesn’t improve. Domestic outbreaks of the virus have been severe, leading to some factories having to temporarily halt production altogether. This is expected to hinder Thailand’s export growth, which was on track for a 10% increase this year.

Vietnam’s commercial hub – Ho Chi Minh City – was ordered into a two week lockdown earlier this month, following the country’s most serious Covid-19 outbreak so far. While many businesses set up to work from home, many factories were closed or working at reduced capacity, and logistics throughout the country has been heavily disrupted.

This comes as a blow to buyers that had turned to resourcing from South East Asia when increased covid cases led to the major disruption in Southern China recently.

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