SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – With the full extent of the devastation from Japan’s massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami still unknown, local businesses that rely on imports from across the Pacific say they won’t know how severe the economic impact of the disaster will be for quite some time.
All of Japan’s major automobile manufactures have halted production until further notice, leaving some U.S. dealers in limbo.
Nissan of Elk Grove owner John Dreibe said 70 percent of Nissan vehicles are produced in North America, but Infiniti and Mazda dealers are mostly built in Japan.
“I think it’s way too early to tell how we’re going to be affected by this,” Dreibe said. “I think we’re going to know how we’re going to be affected in the next few days, but we’re going to feel that effect 30 to 60 days down the road.”
The Japanese grocery store Oto’s Marketplace, in south Land Park, could face supply shortages of food if imports are halted for any significant amount of time.
“They don’t even know right now, on the Japan side, what they’re going to ship,” said owner Russell Oto.
Certain types of seafood, including a type of popular fish and squid, may never be available again — the creatures were wiped out in the tsunami.
It’s too early to tell what impact the disaster will have on rice prices, but Oto said he knows “the prices aren’t going to go down.”