Asia: concern over upward trend of bad debt write-offs

Zahlungsmoralbarometer

  • China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Indien,
  • Indonesien,
  • Singapur,
  • Taiwan,
  • Vereinigte Arabische Emirate,
  • Vietnam
  • Agrar/Landwirtschaft,
  • Autozulieferer/Transport,
  • Chemie/Pharma,
  • Bau,
  • Konsumgüter,
  • Elektronik,
  • Nahrungsmittel,
  • Maschinen/-bau,
  • Metall,
  • Papier,
  • Stahl,
  • Textil

28 Jun 2022

The 2022 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia reveals a sharp rise in B2B bad debts written off as uncollectable. This represents a threat of liquidity strains for businesses.

Introduction

The 2022 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey findings for Asia is a valuable opportunity to hear directly from companies about how their business operations are coping with the disruptive impacts of the current challenging economic and trading circumstances.

Topics covered include: payment terms set for business-to-business (B2B) customers, the average time it takes to turn overdue B2B invoices into cash, the impact of late or non-payment on the business, and expected challenges to profitability during the coming months.

The survey questionnaire was completed by businesses across many markets in Asia (China,  Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates) during Q2 2022. For the first time this year, businesses in Vietnam were also surveyed. Responses given by companies polled are reported in the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia - June 2022 edition.

Key takeaways from the report

Late or non-payment from B2B customers is a concern for many businesses across Asia. Late payment affects half of the total value of the B2B invoices issued by companies, with 7% written off as uncollectable (up 60% from 2021 survey).

This has become a major headache for businesses polled in Asia, chiefly due to the spiralling cost of chasing down unpaid B2B trade debts. The alarming levels of bad debts written-off as uncollectable also represent a serious threat of liquidity strains for businesses.

This explains why the need for strong strategic credit management was found to be a crucial theme throughout our survey in Asia.

However, trading on credit with B2B customers remains a widespread business practice in Asia, with twenty percent more companies than in our last survey telling us they were more willing to agree trade credit requests than previously. This appears to be a clear factor in the business environment of the markets polled across Asia.

Key survey findings for Asia

For further insights into the overall survey findings in each of the markets surveyed in Asia, please refer to the dedicated reports that form the 2022 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia, available for download on this website.

Available reports:

  • China: cash flow strained by payment default knock-on effect
  • Hong Kong: trade credit risk trends upward
  • India: bad debt levels remain high
  • Indonesia: liquidity issues spark B2B payment default
  • Singapore: businesses take hit of increasing write-offs
  • Taiwan: sharp rise in bad debts
  • Vietnam: unpaid B2B trade debt and write-offs dent business liquidity
  • United Arab Emirates: companies strengthen strategic credit management

Overview of B2B payment practices in Asia - By industry

A detailed overview of the B2B payment practices by industry in each of the markets surveyed in Asia is contained in the market reports that form the 2022 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia. Industries covered in each market report:

  • China: chemicals/pharma, electronics/ICT, and transport
  • Hong Kong: chemicals/pharma, consumer durables, construction materials, and electronics/ICT
  • India: chemicals/pharma, consumer durables, and electronics/ICT
  • Indonesia: agri-food, chemicals/pharma, electronics/ICT, and paper
  • Singapore: agri-food, chemicals/pharma, construction, electronics/ICT, and machines
  • Taiwan: chemicals/pharma, electronics/ICT, machines, and textiles/clothing
  • Vietnam: agri-food, chemicals/pharma, consumer durables, steel/metals, and textiles/clothing
  • United Arab Emirates: agri-food, chemicals/pharma, consumer durables, electronics/ICT, and steel/metals