Several Chinese companies have walked away from purchase contracts due to the spread of coronavirus. Many are sighting force majeure — meaning they are reneging on deals as the virus constrains their ability to take deliveries, though many of the claims are being refuted. The cancellations are among the first known cases of the legal clause being invoked in commodity contracts due to the epidemic. China is the world’s biggest consumer of most raw materials, and disruptions in its purchases create havoc across global supply chains. Now, while global markets bounce back from initial fears over the impact of the virus, the fallout in commodity trade is only worsening as Beijing keeps swathes of the country under lockdown and restricts travel.