Western Australia’s construction and commercial property sectors are bracing for the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with imports of building materials likely to be disrupted and retail activity expected to plunge in coming weeks.
A potential shortage of construction materials has been a hot topic in east coast building markets for several weeks, with widespread closures of factories in China sparking fears of a depletion in Australian stock.
While many of those concerns had been alleviated in recent days as Chinese factories reportedly begin a return to normal operations, Western Roads Federation port carriers group chairman Matthew Bronickis told Business News a slowdown of imports was likely coming to the WA construction sector.
He said it was early days still for WA because cargo vessels delivered to the eastern seaboard before coming to WA.
“[So] we are a week and a half behind the east coast,” Mr Bronickis said.
“The east coast is feeling heavy disruptions, they are seeing downturns on imports in a substantial way.
“WA isn’t feeling it yet, but the pain’s about to be felt, where those shutdowns are starting to slow down shipping into WA.
“But a lot of products at stores such as Bunnings and