Coronavirus impact in China is changing consumer habits
Online shopping is developing fast in China, as the recent lockdown in several cities across the country and the disruption in China's food supply chain have forced people to look for new ways to cover their basic needs. Ongoing social media analysis by B+LNZ suggests that consumers are “experimenting” with new recipes and looking to try cooking beef and lamb dishes in their homes.
They are also looking more closely at the health/nutrition benefits of food. However, New Zealand's exposure on the Chinese red meat market had a severe impact on the export figures in the first quarter of the year, as disruption to the supply chain due to labour shortages in China made it more challenging to get products from the ports into further processing establishments and retail and port clearance times have also been slower than usual.
At the same time, there have also been some issues with the availability of cold storage in China. Cold stores were already fairly full with Chinese New Year stock, prior to the outbreak and are now are at full capacity in key ports, such as Shanghai and Tianjin. However, there are indications some ports such as Dalian, Qingdao, Liaoning, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Shenzhen still have some space for refrigerated containers.
Still, shipments of meat to China are running low as logistics and transportation capacities are only 80% functional at this time and the Chinese authorities are sending in the market meat from the state reserves to keep the prices under control.
"Unfortunately, the supply chain disruption impacting China ports/logistics is beginning to have downstream impacts on key transit ports in Asia that are essential to get products to other markets such as the Middle East and the European Union.
Some shipping lines are not confident they will be able to unload containers in China and are choosing to by-pass the country in favour of other Asian ports," said B+LNZ in a press release.
The impact was reflected in the prices and the industry is currently redirecting some of the products to other markets in a bid to cover the losses reported in the first two months of the year. "Product is also being diverted to other markets where possible and there has been an increase in trade to markets such as the United Kingdom, the EU, the United States and Saudi Arabia for sheepmeat and the US, Canada, Taiwan and Indonesia for beef," added B+LNZ.
Nevertheless, the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks in regions such as Europe and North America are expected to create another shock-wave for the producers.
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