Procter & Gamble soap imports bubble up ahead of coronavirus demand surge — Panjiva


Procter & Gamble soap imports bubble up ahead of coronavirus demand surge

China 2393 Consumer Staples 548 Coronavirus 256 Germany 198 Materials - Chemicals 152 Turkey 48 U.S. 4229 Xpressfeed 25

The price of Purell, a hand sanitizer has reached astronomical levels online, reports the Washington Post. This would imply a lack of supply in the market, as demand for cleaning supplies rises in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

That lack of supply can be tracked using Panjiva’s U.S. import data – accessed via XpressFeed – using the tariff codes for organic surface active agents, other than soap (cleaners) and soaps as demand should rise for both. 

U.S. seaborne imports have been in decline so far though. Shipments from Germany fell the fastest with a 30.9% year over year drop in the three months to Jan. 31. Shipments from China and Turkey fell a further 18.7% and 13.1% respectively while those from the rest of the world dropped by 19.1%.

Exports from Germany and Turkey may be trimmed further after the introduction of export restrictions as discussed in Panjiva’s research of March 5.


Chart segments imports to the U.S of soap and cleaning products by origin on a monthly and three month basis. Source: Panjiva

Nonetheless, large home goods companies Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Honest have been able to increase imports of soaps and hand sanitizers over the same period.

Procter & Gamble leads the pack with 221.9% year over year increase in imports of the substances in the three months to Jan. 31, while Johnson & Johnson increased imports by 72.7%.

Honest, associated with celebrity Jessica Alba, increased imports by 12.8% year over year. This increase in imports may help these firms head off any other negative effects of the outbreak if repeated by smaller shippers in the coming months.


Chart compares imports of soap and cleaning products to the U.S by Johnson and Johnson, Procter and Gamble, and Honest on a monthly and three month basis. Source: Panjiva

Recreating in S&P Global Market Intelligence Xpressfeed

To recreate this analysis in Xpressfeed, first create a subquery of Panjiva import records joined to the appropriate HS code tables. For the main query, left join the cross reference tables, company, and company ultimate parent tables to the subquery. Select the relevant company name, date, origin and TEU fields, then filter for HS 3401 and 3402, then group by.

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