The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has bolstered its support for the domestic aviation manufacturing industry, renewing a US$450mn supply chain finance (SCF) guarantee backing sales to Boeing.

Under US Exim’s SCF programme, the government agency granted a 90% guarantee for a US$500mn facility from Citi, allowing the bank to finance payments due from Boeing to its US-based suppliers for 12 months.

The deal will support 2,300 jobs across the country and prop up export sales of approximately US$2bn for various commercial aircraft models, US Exim says.

“Due to lender risk measures and the impacts of Covid-19, participating lenders are only willing to extend additional financing with the help of Exim’s support,” a spokesperson for the export credit agency tells GTR.

The aviation sector as a whole has been hard hit by the effects of Covid-19, with the sudden drop in air travel in 2020 as a result of pandemic containment measures causing a marked drop in orders for planes that year.

In a September report, Boeing forecast Covid-19 will erase two years of industry growth and projected overall jet deliveries by all manufacturers – not only Boeing – would amount to just 19,330 by 2030. The estimate was a 7% drop from the 20,550 deliveries it predicted in its 2019 market outlook.

Amid this upheaval, US Exim’s SCF guarantee programme has become an increasing source of liquidity for plane makers, with the programme having been “seldom used” previously since its launch in 2010.

US Exim signed the initial SCF guarantee with Citi towards the end of 2020. In September last year it agreed to cover 90% of a US$180mn purchase facility, allowing Crédit Agricole CIB to continue purchasing accounts receivable due from Boeing.