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China’s role in supply chains continues to grow

The country moves beyond being a low-cost provider


February 6, 2017
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Commodity prices, supplier viability, and geopolitical concerns top the list of risks sourcing professionals face in 2017, according to survey from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

Findings from the Trends in Global Sourcing Survey, the fifth annual survey of global procurement and purchasing executives which assesses the risk environment and sourcing trends, indicate that support for China as a low-cost sourcing destination is waning.

“The share of respondents who agree that China is a low-cost sourcing destination dipped below 50 percent for the first time in 2016,” said Paul Robinson, economist at IHS Markit. “This was down markedly from 70 percent in the 2012 survey.

“Taken together with continued support for the country as a sourcing destination, the survey signals the arrival of China as a hub, or even the hub, of global supply chains rather than a mere cheap outsourcing destination,” Robinson continued.

China, India, and other nations in Asia continue to be the biggest winners in insourcing, with each showing strong increases. The developed world, particularly the European Union and the United States, show the weakest results, with less than a quarter of respondents planning to increase sourcing in either region. A rare bright spot outside of Asia was the continued growth in Mexico, where 26 percent of respondents are looking to increase sourcing, up from 20 percent a year ago.

The survey respondents see the financial costs of supply chain disruptions increasing, with 19 percent of respondents saying that it was significantly increasing. This represents a reversal of the 2015 results when just one percent of respondents had that view. Less than two percent of respondents in the 2016 survey viewed the risk as decreasing at all.

For more information on the Trends in Global Sourcing Survey, or to download a copy of the findings, click here.