Merchants’ debts to suppliers and banks are the highest among all sectors and reached nearly PLN 8.4 billion. During the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, the industry’s debt increased by PLN 640 million, announced the BIG InfoMonitor Debtors Register.
The data from the BIG InfoMonitor Debtors Register and the BIK credit information database show that the timely unpaid debt of the entire trade towards suppliers and banks amounts to PLN 8.39 billion and it is the highest sectoral arrears. The industry that is second in terms of the total arrears has PLN 6.61 billion to be recovered, the third construction industry is PLN 5.9 billion, and the fourth is transport and storage – PLN 2.26 billion.
Trade debts – BIG InfoMonitor data
Trade debt during the pandemic increased by more than 8%, but this is much less than the total of companies that have more than 12%. overdue liabilities more. It is about PLN 0.64 billion of additional arrears, of which almost PLN 0.5 billion, mainly due to problems with settlements of wholesale trade, is due this year.
According to the president of BIG InfoMonitor, Sławomir Grzelczak, the reason for such a situation is primarily bypassing wholesalers in the direct supply and trade chain. He pointed to the market saturation with retail chains, including, in particular, discounters.
– Their dominant position on the Polish market means that retail chains themselves negotiate the price directly with the producer, excluding wholesalers. This forces wholesalers to lower their margins – this translates into a lack of cash on hand, growing debts and arrears for suppliers and service providers, which make wholesalers debtors themselves – he explained. He added that the largest creditors of food wholesalers are banks, securitization funds as well as debt collection and leasing companies.
Traders’ indebtedness – problems in wholesale
Wholesale trade currently has PLN 4.59 billion of unpaid loan installments and liabilities to contractors; retail – PLN 2.62 billion, and companies trading and servicing cars – PLN 1.19 billion. Since the beginning of the pandemic, these values have been growing – in March 2020 they amounted to PLN 4.23 billion, PLN 2.42 billion and PLN 1.1 billion, respectively. Wholesalers increased their arrears with contractors to the greatest extent (approx. 9%), by 8%. retail companies, and the least traded in vehicles and parts (7.4%).
BIG experts pointed out that, especially in the wholesale trade, it can be seen that the supplier of agricultural products could have experienced serious problems. Only companies offering live animals in wholesalers increased their arrears by PLN 57.5 million, by 108%. Sellers of meat products increased their arrears by PLN 27 million (33%), and those offering fruit and vegetables by PLN 45 million (16%). In addition, we must add almost PLN 37 million (an increase by 49%) in new arrears of cereal and animal feed wholesalers. In total, it is nearly PLN 170 million, i.e. almost half of the change in arrears recorded by wholesale trade from March 2020 to July 2021.
The record holders were companies offering wholesale tea, coffee, cocoa and spices, which gained PLN 25 million in debts – that’s 146 percent. increase in the value of unsettled invoices and loan installments. There were also those who fell in arrears in this category – incl. sellers of chemical products and fuels.
In retail, the largest increase in arrears (by 59%) was recorded by computer hardware stores, for which the pandemic turned out to be a time of unprecedented harvest. Despite the sales boom, today they owe suppliers over PLN 33 million more than before the appearance of COVID-19. Within 40 percent. the backlog of shoe stores, shops with games and toys, and those offering fruit and vegetables has increased.
In a few cases, retail debts decreased. Specialist audio outlets, second-hand shops and butchers reduced them.
Pandemic and the indebtedness of the trade industry
According to Grzelczak, the backlog of trade would have been higher had it not been for the improvement in e-commerce under the new conditions. – When, before the pandemic, suppliers or financing businesses dealing with retail sale conducted by mail order houses or the Internet must have had strong nerves, because the probability that they would not receive money was quite high, now the situation has changed – he pointed out.
Before the pandemic, problems with online trade settlements at best grew at least twice as fast as for businesses in general, and from this year the opposite is true. – Debt reduction, however, is out of the question yet – he assessed.
The Keralla Research study for the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors shows that trade counterparties are the most unreliable when it comes to payment terms. It happens to customers 91.9 percent. of the surveyed micro, small and medium-sized commercial companies, with the average on the market amounting to 80.7 percent. Delays lasting more than 60 days are mentioned by 49 percent. of the surveyed trade companies. Transport has 36 percent. this type of unreliable customers, and services and industry – about 30 percent. In the construction industry that is best treated by clients, receivables delayed by more than two months are a problem for every fifth company.
– In our research, almost every seventh trade company believes that it will be able to return to its pre-pandemic condition only when COVID-19 is successfully defeated and all restrictions resulting from the fight against the coronavirus are removed, concluded Grzelczak.
There is no central register of debtors in Poland.
The InfoMonitor Economic Information Bureau (BIG InfoMonitor) collects economic information about the outstanding debt of individuals and companies. Collecting and sharing data on the financial situation of consumers and enterprises is also handled by, among others, the National Debt Register, Economic Information Bureau.
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