Coronavirus halting production and shipping of fireworks to the U-S, affecting local businesses
Liuyang, China is the majority manufacturer and exporter of fireworks to the U-S. It is located 3 hours from Wuhan.
PITTSBURG, Ks. – China is the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks, With the majority of US bound fireworks made in Liuyang, China.
“It’s in the Hunan province but the main area around Liuyang, and so that is about three hours from Wuhan” said Retail Sales Director for Jake’s Fireworks, Jason Marietta.
Since December, firework production has been at a standstill due to shutdowns by the Chinese government because of an explosion at a factory, the Chinese new year, and now because of the coronavirus.
The halt in production is a concern for officials with local fireworks wholesale distributor, Jake’s Fireworks.
“It will make fireworks coming in to the country later than planned, where as normally we would be getting containers maybe in March and April, this will push it into May and June and I think eventually you’ll kind of see a shortage nationwide on consumer fireworks” added Marietta.
Community members voiced their opinions on Facebook, some saying fireworks are not on their list of worries while others combated that by saying while the coronavirus is scary, a shortage of fireworks is also scary if the business is your livelihood.
Marietta says the stop in firework exports could affect many things heading into firework season.
“The 4th of July is on a Saturday this year, this should be a banner year, this is the kind of years you wait for in the consumer fireworks business, weather permitted, so I think it would make it where smaller mom and pops especially will feel that squeeze and there will be a shortage. And probably with that there’s going to be a little bit of an increase price wise too”.”
With so many uncertainties, all they can do right now is keep their customers informed as much as possible.
“So our customers feel like their apart of the process and so they can plan accordingly” added Marietta.
The Liuyang Government has issued a notice of resumption of work, which means they support factories reopening if they follow virus control measures and legal safety requirements are met. But key raw materials are not back in production. Few workers are returning due to fear of exposure to the coronavirus, so it is unknown when exactly production and shipping will start up again.