Economic situation: wholesale trade picks up

87% of wholesalers expected to suffer no damage to their sales volumes in the first quarter of 2022. And that is what apparently happened. As a result, wholesalers, who are on an upward trend in their activity, are optimistic for the rest of the year. Not at all disturbed by the Russian-Ukrainian war, they believe that their activity will soon regain real momentum.

Good news: the wholesale trade is not too disrupted by the Russian-Ukrainian war! This explains why wholesalers’ expectations for the first quarter of 2022, which has just ended, have, roughly speaking, come true, and why professionals are rather confident for the rest of the year. .

Indeed, according to the expectations of wholesalers, which emerge from the quarterly economic survey of the High Commission for Planning (HCP), 69% of them expected stability in the overall volume of their sales during the first quarter of 2022. and 18% up over the same period. In other words, 87% of wholesalers expected not to suffer any damage to their sales volumes.

In the end, the increase in sales was achieved among professionals in “Wholesale of information and communication equipment” and among those in “Other specialized wholesalers”. On the other hand, professionals in the “Wholesale of other industrial equipment” recorded a decline in their sales in the first quarter of 2022. However, the expected orders were at a normal level.

75% of wholesalers have returned to the normal level of orders…

Indeed, 75% of business leaders expected it, while 15% of them thought at a lower level than normal. That said, in terms of employment, 70% of wholesalers expected a stable workforce, compared to 27 who were convinced that the workforce would increase. In other words, even if 28% of business leaders expected to have to manage with a difficult cash flow, the recovery is definitely there. “Our activity is not very affected by the war in Ukraine.

Most of the equipment we sell comes, in general, from the Asian continent where there is another threat lurking, namely the risk of closure of the port of Shanghai because of the Covid-19 which is raging in this city”, has in particular said Mohamed S., a hardware wholesaler, who preferred to remain anonymous. Indeed, due to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases in this Chinese city, the authorities have begun to confine the city. But the port of Shanghai, the world’s leading commercial port for container traffic as well as for tonnage, is not in danger of being closed.

Because, “if Shanghai came to a complete stop, many international freighters would find themselves [à attendre] in the East China Sea and it would have an impact on the whole national economy and on the world economy”, it is explained.

…Despite a slight price increase

So international transport through the port of Shanghai will continue, the resumption of wholesale trade as well. Moreover, professionals are optimistic for the rest of the year, a period when they almost all think that their activities will regain real momentum.

Let’s say, so much the better! Since in this sacred month of Ramadan which begins, some businesses and households are getting a “beauty”, in particular by buying new equipment. This is even though vegetable prices have started to rise again (see box).

In any case, wholesalers are far from the difficulties they experienced in the 4th quarter of 2021 when 14% recorded a drop in their sales, against 29% of them who experienced an increase in their sales. The increase in sales was particularly recorded by professionals in the “Wholesale trade of other industrial equipment”, the “Wholesale trade of household goods”, the “Wholesale trade of raw agricultural products and live animals” and of “Other specialized wholesalers (fuels, ores and metals)”.

Overall employment was stable for 79% of business leaders. Stocks of goods were also at a normal level and the trend observed on selling prices showed an increase according to 42% of wholesalers.

Vegetable prices are on the rise again

At the start of the holy month of Ramadan, vegetable prices are on the rise again in wholesale markets, and indirectly in retail markets. This is revealed by the market price list for vegetables on Wednesday March 30, provided by MAP.

It appears that the potato is at 5 or 6 DH per kilogram, the onion (7-8 DH / kg), the tomato (10-12 DH / kg), the pepper (8-10 DH / kg) , carrot (4-7 DH/kg), eggplant (6-7 DH/kg), cucumber (5-8 DH/kg), zucchini (9-11 DH/kg), cauliflower (6-9 DH/kg), cabbage (3.5-8 DH/kg), beans (13 and 15 DH/kg)…

Aziz Diouf / ECO Inspirations

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