Asia: half of all credit sales overdue during pandemic

Payment Practices Barometer

  • China,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Indonesia,
  • Singapore,
  • Taiwan,
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Agriculture,
  • Chemicals/Pharma,
  • Construction,
  • Consumer Durables,
  • Electronics/ICT,
  • Food,
  • Steel,
  • Textiles

16th June 2021

One year into the pandemic, businesses polled in Asia told us they experienced serious setbacks to growth and needed to take several measures to face the changed economic and trade circumstances.


The 2021 Atradius Payment Practices Barometer survey results for Asia provide us with the valuable opportunity to hear directly from businesses how they are coping with changed trading and economic circumstances caused by the pandemic. Did the economic downturn and havoc in international supply chains cause businesses across Asia to modify the way they offered credit and managed their receivables? What steps were businesses taking to protect their sales ledgers from the risk of non-payment?

The survey questionnaire was completed by businesses across the markets surveyed in Asia (China,  Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates)  during Q2 2021, a full year after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. Responses given by businesses polled are reported in the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia - June 2021 edition.

Key takeaways from the report

At the moment we are writing this report, the world economy looks set for a robust recovery in 2021, driven by the vaccines rollout in many of the advanced economies. However, important risks remain. While Covid-19 cases are down in most countries, the recent resurgence of cases in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, alongside the steep increase in cases in India, pose a threat to short-term economic recovery in this region. Any prediction
over the future developments of the business and trade environments in the major economies is still quite challenging. There are, however, some bright spots that help us understand that the next coming months may be brighter than the current ones.

Against this backdrop, businesses polled in Asia recognise the value of credit as an effective trading tool and its potential to contribute to the recovery of the global economy.

Key survey findings for Asia

For further insights in the B2B payment practices and overall survey findings in each of the markets surveyed in Asia, please refer to the regional report or to the dedicated reports that form the 2021 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia, available for download on this website.

Available reports:

  • Asia (regional report): Half of all credit sales overdue in pandemic recession
  • China: More businesses plan to use trade credit insurance compared to the rest of Asia
  • Hong Kong: Nearly half of businesses report increase in cost of credit management
  • Indonesia: Businesses face more late payment issues than others in Asia
  • Singapore: An increase in credit risk impacts import-export economy
  • Taiwan: Export-focused businesses express caution
  • United Arab Emirates: DSO upward trend businesses’ top concern

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 2021 edition of the Atradius Payment Practices Barometer for Asia. Industries covered in each market report:

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

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