Reuters has reported that workers at China’s top container ports have started loosening the backlog of cargoes on their docks.
This comes after coronavirus (Covid-19) travel curbs that kept them away and jammed up global supply chains have been eased.
The flu-like epidemic, which originated in the city of Wuhan, an inland logistics hub in Hubei province, has killed more than 2 700 and infected over 78 000 in China alone. The virus has also caused massive port congestion owing to labour shortages caused by city lockdowns across China.
China is the largest container cargo handler – processing around 30% of global traffic or around 715 000 containers a day in 2019 – and the virus clampdown impacted supply chains of everything from food items, machine parts, and technology components.
The news comes amid ‘significant’ fluctuations in the global pricing of numerous food items due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to South Korea-based market intelligence company Tridge. In a statement, Tridge said South African citrus fruit prices are down by 37%. “China has gradually become one of the major destinations for South African citrus fruit suppliers, but China’s plans to shut down two-thirds of its economy in order to curb the spread of the virus is already impacting demand for South Africa’s produce,” Tridge said.
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With the spread of the coronavirus considered a global health emergency, international supply routes have experienced significant disruption, the company said. Many countries such as Russia, Indonesia and Australia have either closed their borders to China or implemented policies that temporarily stop the import of food and agricultural commodities.
“We have already started to see significant impact from Coronavirus on various food and agricultural markets, which has caused price fluctuations globally due to sudden imbalances in supply and demand,” Tridge added. “With so many factors impacting the prices of food ingredients, such as climate change and human or animal diseases, both buyers and suppliers need to be constantly vigilant and keep a close eye on the market.”
Source: Fresh Fruit Portal