USMEF: Hard To Tell What Impact Coronavirus Is Having On Shipments To China

The fear of the coronavirus is having a massive impact on China’s overall economy.  But is it impacting those that demand on that massive market?  Joel Haggard with the US. Meat Export Federation says imported goods continue to enter China, and the government is working to ensure smooth movement.  It remains unclear to see how the overall food supply chain is functioning.


“There’s no question, there have been runs at supermarkets, in most Tier One cities, they head out to the supermarket to stock up and then head back home for a lockdown.  This is translating into a very quick weakening of food service sales, but again, it’s hard to quantity it because many restaurants shut anyway for the lunar New Year holiday.”


Haggard said while the economy in China has slowed considerably, at this point, China has not closed for business.


“Rumors of Chinese port closures are just that, rumors.  Clearance of goods may have been slowed because of the holidays but we’re not aware of any port closures due to disease risks.  Even during the bleakest days of SARS here in Hong Kong, that port was still loading and unloading vessels 24/7.”


Haggard added the Chinese government is working nationally and with local offices to ensure food reaches its destination and that hording or price gouging do not take place.




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