I live in the world of HVAC distribution, which is basically a subset of industrial distribution. The information flow concerning COVID-19 is interesting. There are some of my vendors who are in full freak out mode, as they are already getting short on items imported from China. Some of these items are part of a larger item being put together either in Mexico or here in the States. Other items are things that my vendors simply repackage and resell. I have also heard a rumor that certain chemicals and finished copper products are going to have issues in the near future. There are some vendors that are just “shoulder shrugging” the whole thing off at this point. The reactions are all over the board from my vendors.
I imagine that we will know a lot more when the Spring AC calls start coming as most vendors typically have a 30-60 day safety supply stateside.
This could end up quite profitable for other regions of the world vs. China, and it may be business that China will never get back. Time will tell.