In this file:


·         USMEF says food supply chains may be backed up, but still functioning

·         Coronavirus' Impact on Chinese Food Industry

·         Coronavirus impact stalls imported beef supply chain in China

·         The coronavirus is already hurting the world economy. Here's why it could get really scary



USMEF says food supply chains may be backed up, but still functioning


By Meghan Grebner, Brownfield

February 11, 2020


The US Meat Export Federation says despite the extended Lunar New Year holiday break, food supply chains are still functioning.


But, Joel Haggard, senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, who is stationed in Hong Kong, says there have been bottlenecks.  “The circulation of food and meat would have been regardless of the coronavirus,” he says.  “We add on top of that massive imports of meat and poultry in December and during the first part of January.  One could conclude a goods pileup was all but inevitable anyway.”


He says because of the coronavirus, African swine fever is receiving little media attention, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still concerns.  “Large shortages are still apparent...





Coronavirus' Impact on Chinese Food Industry


By Victoria Campisi, The Food Institute

Feb 11, 2020


As major chains shuttered across the country, the coronavirus outbreak may have cost China's retail and foodservice sectors from 20% to 80% during the Lunar New Year week, representing a fall of $31 billion to $124 billion, according Rabobank.


China's food and agriculture sectors are bearing the brunt of the outbreak as "heavily-hit cities are under lockdown while the rest of the country rapidly hunkers down," according to Rabobank analysts led by Ping Chew, reported Bloomberg (Feb. 11).


Food and beverage necessities like soft drinks are resilient to the virus while frozen foods, ready meals, and bottled water may benefit due to panic buying. However, animal protein likely dropped greatly in January and February, and demand will remain weak throughout the first half of 2020 if the virus is not under control until May-June.


The analysts noted the impact could be more serious and longer-lasting if the virus isn't contained within the first quarter. The losses from foodservice alone could total $8.8 billion to $13.6 billion.


More than 300 Chinese companies are already seeking bank loans totaling at least $8.2 billion to help soften the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, according to two banking sources, reported Reuters (Feb. 10).


Food delivery giant Meituan Dianping is seeking $574 million, partly to help finance free food and deliveries to medical staff in Wuhan. Other companies on the list also include vegetable market operators and other businesses key to maintaining food supplies and supporting efforts to contain the outbreak.


Meanwhile, pork prices in China surged 116% in January from a year ago, accelerating from December's 97% increase, due in part to the coronavirus outbreak, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The country's food prices were up 20.6% in the month compared to a year ago, reported CNBC (Feb. 9).


"It appears that supply disruptions and hoarding due to the coronavirus outbreak helped to keep food prices elevated during the week after Chinese New Year, when they would normally drop back," said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist, at consultancy Capital Economics.


Additionally, China's consumer prices rose the fastest in more than eight years in January because of...


more, including links



Coronavirus impact stalls imported beef supply chain in China


Jon Condon, Beef Central (Australia) 

February 11, 2020


AS THE impact of coronavirus continues to spread across China, trade in imported meat and other commodities is coming under increasing pressure.


The spread of infection continues exponentially across the country, with more than 43,000 cases now reported, and deaths now well past 1000.


The virus and the response delivered by the Chinese Government is disrupting trade, production and supply chains as well as having a significant impact on out-of-home food consumption, with the closure of many food service outlets.


Travel restrictions are still expected to keep tens of thousands of workers in their homes even after the extension of the Lunar New Year holiday period by the government ended yesterday.


Some Chinese ports are said to have ground to a virtual standstill this past week, as workers are being told to stay at home to avoid spread of infection.


Shipping industry reports this week suggest backlogs are greater in some ports than others, with Tianjin, Shanghai and Ningbo the worst affected. Multiple terminals and ports in China are waiving storage fees, which would be the equivalent of demurrage charges, sources say.


Refrigerated containers are being discharged in China but few importers are picking them up, with the result that some terminals are running out of reefer plugs to power the refrigeration units. Shanghai and Xingang ports have reported 100 percent utilisation of available reefer plugs.


Impact bigger than SARS ...


How has imported beef demand been affected? ...


Road blocks are causing issues in regional areas ...


Conclusion ...


China halves tariffs on $75 billion worth of US goods ...





The coronavirus is already hurting the world economy. Here's why it could get really scary


Analysis by Charles Riley and Julia Horowitz, CNN Business

February 10, 2020


London (CNN Business) Nearly two decades have passed since a coronavirus known as SARS emerged in China, killing hundreds of people and sparking panic that sent a chill through the global economy. The virus now rampaging across China could be much more damaging.


China has become an indispensable part of global business since the 2003 SARS outbreak. It's grown into the world's factory, churning out products such as the iPhone and driving demand for commodities like oil and copper. The country also boasts hundreds of millions of wealthy consumers who spend big on luxury products, tourism and cars. China's economy accounted for roughly 4% of world GDP in 2003; it now makes up 16% of global output.


SARS sickened 8,098 people and killed 774 before it was contained. The new coronavirus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has already killed more than 900 people and infected over 40,000 across at least 25 countries and territories. Chinese officials have locked down Wuhan and several other cities, but the virus continues to spread.


"The outbreak has the potential to cause severe economic and market dislocation. But the scale of the impact will ultimately be determined by how the virus spreads and evolves, which is almost impossible to predict, as well as how governments respond," said Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics.


Compounding the risk is the fact that the world outside China has also changed since 2003.


Globalization has encouraged companies to build supply chains that cut across national borders, making economies much more interconnected. The major central banks have used up much of the ammunition they would typically deploy to fight economic downturns since the 2008 financial crisis, and global debt levels have never been higher. Rising nationalism may make it harder to coordinate a worldwide response, if that's required.


The virus is snarling supply chains and disrupting companies...


... Economists say the current level of disruption is manageable. If the number of new coronavirus cases begins to slow, and China's factories reopen soon, the result will be a fleeting hit to the Chinese economy in the first quarter and a dent in global growth. If the virus continues to spread, however, the economic damage will increase rapidly...


Epidemic risk ...


What can be done? ...


more, including links