OAN’s James Meyers
10:03 AM – Wednesday, November 29, 2023
In a move to save on costs, Walmart is importing more goods to the United States from India instead of China.
According to data discovered by Reuters, Walmart shipped one quarter of its U.S. imports from India between January and August this year. This is a drastic increase from 2018, when the company shipped 2% from India.
Only 60% of shipments came from China during the same period, which is down from 80% in 2018. The figures were shared with Reuters by data firm Import Yeti.
“We want the best prices,” Andrea Albright, Walmart’s executive vice president of sourcing said in an interview. “That means I need resiliency in our supply chains. I can’t be reliant on any one supplier or geography for my product because we’re constantly managing things from hurricanes and earthquakes to shortages in raw materials.”
In a statement, Walmart commented on not relying on China as much as before for their imported goods. “We’re a growth business and are working to source more manufacturing capacity,” Walmart said.
India’s stock market has hit record numbers this year, with the country being better positioned than China for large-scale, low-cost manufacturing.
Additionally, Walmart’s CEO, Doug McMillon, met India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year, with Modi saying it was a positive meeting.
“Happy to see India emerge as an attractive destination for investment,” Modi wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on May 14. McMillon said Walmart would “continue to support the country’s manufacturing growth and create opportunity.”
Walmart has been growing in India since 2018, when it bought a large 77% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart. Then in 2020, it committed to import $10 billion in goods from India every year by 2027.
Currently, the world’s largest retailer imports close to $3 billion worth of goods from India each year.
Walmart rival Amazon is also getting involved with India and said this month that it is targeting merchandise exports worth $20 billion from India by 2025.
The rising cost of shipping goods from China has also caused major supply companies to switch to India, according to supply chain experts.
“Sourcing from mainland China has become less competitive because of rising labor costs versus other manufacturing centers,” said Chris Rogers, research analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence’s supply chain analysis group Panjiva.
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