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Enquête van Coface over bedrijfsbetalingen in China in 2022 : Langere betalingstermijnen en toenemende kredietrisico 's in sommige sectoren

Coface China Corporate Payment Survey: Increasing risks in supply chain disruptions and rising raw material prices. Aerial view of Shenzhen, China.

Enquête van Coface over bedrijfsbetalingen in China in 2022 : Langere betalingstermijnen en toenemende kredietrisico 's in sommige sectoren


Uit de Enquête van Coface over bedrijfsbetalingen in China in 2022[1] blijkt dat in 2021 minder bedrijven melding maakten van betalingsachterstand, maar dat de bedrijven die dat wel deden, spraken van langere perioden van achterstallige betalingen dan het jaar voordien. De gemiddelde betalingsachterstand is gestegen van 79 dagen in 2020 naar 86 dagen in 2021. Bedrijven in 9 van de 13 sectoren meldden een toename van de betalingsachterstanden, aangevoerd door de agrovoedingssector, die de grootste toename met 43 dagen noteerde, gevolgd door de hout-, vervoer- en textielsector.

Meer bedrijven maken melding van ultralange betalingsachterstanden (ultra-long payment delays – ULPD's), d.w.z. betalingen die meer dan zes maanden achterstallig zijn, een stijging van 15% naar 19% in 2021. Zorgwekkender was de aanzienlijke stijging van het aantal bedrijven dat geconfronteerd werd met ULPD's van meer dan 10% van hun jaaromzet, van 27% in 2020 tot 40% in 2021, met name in de bouw en de agrovoedingssector.

Nu verwacht wordt dat de economische groei in China in 2022 zal vertragen, verwachten minder bedrijven een verbetering van hun omzet en cashflow.

Coface verwacht dat de bbp-groei in China zal vertragen tot 4,8% in 2022, na een sterke 8,1% in 2021, omdat de Chinese economie nog steeds te kampen heeft met aanzienlijke tegenwind voor de groei, waaronder een terugval in de vastgoedsector, het nastreven van een nul-COVID-beleid, een gematigd herstel van de consumptie en hogere grondstofprijzen.

Coface China Corporate Payment Survey 2022: Reasons for customer's financial difficulties


Bernard Aw, econoom voor Azië-Pacific bij Coface, verklaarde:

"Uit laatste Enquête van Coface over bedrijfsbetalingen in China blijkt dat de kredietvoorwaarden die Chinese bedrijven aanbieden krap blijven ondanks een herstel van de Chinese economie in 2021, omdat bedrijven voorzichtig blijven door de aanhoudende pandemie. De grootste daling deed zich voor in de agrovoedingssector en de energiesector (elk -23 dagen), als gevolg van toenemende kredietrisico's in verband met de stijgende grondstofprijzen.

‘Hoewel minder bedrijven vertragingen in de betaling rapporteerden, was er een stijging in het percentage respondenten die meldden dat de betalingsachterstand was toegenomen, van 36% in 2020 tot 42% in 2021, het hoogste sinds 2016. Arovoeding meldde de grootste stijging in gemiddelde betalingsachterstanden (43 dagen) tot 88 dagen.


Opwaartse trends werden gemeld in hout (+20 dagen), transport (+18) en textiel (+16), wat de impact benadrukt van een tragere binnenlandse vraag als gevolg van strenge beperkingen in sociale afstand in China.

De Chinese bedrijven zijn minder optimistisch over de economische vooruitzichten van China: 44% van de respondenten verwacht dat de omzet dit jaar zal verbeteren, tegen 65% in 2020, terwijl het aantal respondenten dat een betere cashflow verwacht met bijna de helft is gedaald, van 50% in 2020 tot 27% in 2021. Stijgende grondstofprijzen, een afnemende marktvraag en de aanhoudende pandemie waren volgens de respondenten de belangrijkste factoren.

"De recente uitbraak van omikron vereist meer COVID-controle in China en zal de wereldwijde verstoringen van de toeleveringsketen verergeren. Coface verwacht dat het aantal wanbetalingen en insolventies in bedrijfsobligaties in China in 2022 zal toenemen, vooral in sectoren die in 2021 hogere cashflowrisico's liepen als gevolg van de pandemie".


Payment delays[2]  : Rising raw material prices become a key factor in overdue payment

Fewer companies experienced payment delays in 2021, with 53% of respondents reporting overdue payments, down from 57% in 2020. However, the average payment delay rose from 79 days in 2020 to 86 days in 2021. Construction continued experiencing the longest payment delays with 109 days, followed by 99 days for transport.

Most worrying, the share of respondents experiencing ultra-long payment delays (ULPDs) exceeding 2% of annual turnover expanded from 47% in 2020 to 64% in 2021. Construction remained the sector with the highest share (56%) of respondents reporting ULPDs exceeding 10% of their annual turnover. According to Coface’s experience, 80% of ULPDs are never paid. When they constitute a share of annual turnover above 2%, a company’s cash flow could be at risk.

The main reason behind those delays remains customers’ financial difficulties, highlighted by nearly three-quarters of respondents that indicated payment delays. Financial difficulties were caused mostly by fierce competition affecting margins (36%), but also - to a greater extent in 2021 - by rising raw materials prices (23% vs. 10% in 2020) and a slowdown in local market growth (16% vs. 10% in 2020). This reflects rising commodity prices are placing pressure on operational costs which directly impacts companies’ cash flow.

Economic expectations: Hopeful, but significant growth risks remain

Looking ahead, the majority of respondents remained hopeful about economic prospects in the year ahead, although the share of optimists was down to 68%, from 73% the previous year

Expectations about sales and cash flows were less sanguine, which may be connected to a tapering of recovery momentum as businesses move closer to pre-pandemic conditions. The percentage of respondents anticipating improved sales performances in the coming year shrank from 65% in 2020 to 44% in 2021, while those forecasting better cash flow fell by nearly half from 50% in 2020 to 27% in 2021. Rising raw material prices, a weakening market demand, and the ongoing pandemic were key factors highlighted by respondents that expected weaker sales performances.

Coface expects China’s GDP growth to slow to 4.8% in 2022, following a strong 8.1% in 2021, as the Chinese economy continues to face significant headwinds to growth, including a property sector downturn, the pursuit of zero-COVID policies, subdued consumption recovery, and higher commodity prices.

Global supply chains likely to remain tight

The effects of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and China’s zero-COVID measures are expected to deliver another hit to global supply chains. With the prominent role played by both Russia and Ukraine in the global energy and food markets, the crisis is a significant risk to the supply of such commodities. Russia is the second- and third-largest world producer of gas and oil, respectively. It is also a major producer of strategic metals, such as palladium, nickel and copper. These metals are used in the automotive and aircraft industries, while copper is an important metal for the construction sector. Both countries are important exporters of certain agricultural commodities, notably for sunflower and safflower oil (75% of global exports in 2019 combined), wheat (29%), coarse grain (20%) and corn (19%). Sanctions on Russian commodities, including an import ban on Russian crude and refined products by the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as the European Union (EU)’s import restrictions on Russian iron and steel, raised fears of the reduced availability for such products, resulting in rising prices. Financial sanctions on several Russian banks and restrictions on access to U.S. dollars could affect agricultural trade flows. Disruptions to trade routes also added to concerns about higher prices and delivery delays.

While China has shifted from a strict zero-COVID strategy to a ‘dynamic’ approach in order to minimize adverse impacts on the Chinese economy, negative effects, arising from measures implemented to contain outbreaks across the country, remain. The lockdowns in Shenzhen and Shanghai in March and April have impacted the normal operations of landside logistical and warehouse services, despite port operations continuing to function. This has already intensified pressure on supply chains during March. China PMI suppliers’ delivery times index fell to a two-year low in March 2022, reflecting worsening delivery delays. Similarly, China’s Logistics Industry Prosperity Index also declined to the lowest since February 2020, with the logistics sector affected by the spread of the pandemic in multiple parts of the country, where differentiated pandemic management measures disrupted cross-regional distribution and the ability to maintain a smooth flow.




[1] The 2022 China Corporate Payment Survey was conducted between November 2021 and January 2022, and surveyed over 1,000 companies across 13 broad sectors located in mainland China.
[2] Payment delay – the period between the due date of payment and the date the payment is actually made.



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