EP 520 | AIRED 01/11/2021
China Update: COVID-19 & Chinese New Year Supply Interruptions, Low Inventories Heading into Lent
January 11th, 2021 --- This week we provide a China supply and production update as once again, COVID-19 is interrupting the seafood supply chain before Chinese New Year.
--- On a scale of 1 to 10 on how severe COVID-19 is affecting seafood supply and production in China right now, and we would give it a severity rating of 15 out of 10.
In a normal year, seafood buyers would have only worried about pricing and production schedules before Chinese New Year closures, and then also production schedules after Chinese New Year as the industry braces for production delays due to worker shortages (from employees not returning after Chinese New Year).
China plants are particularly concerned about worker shortages again this year as they believe it will be hard to recruit new workers after the Chinese Holiday due to worker concerns of being infected with the COVID-19 virus from imported seafood raw materials.
Before the holiday break we reported that the main issue interrupting supply were delays and backups as vessels were anchored outside Dalian awaiting COVID testing and disinfecting..
Since then, ports and plants have been closing and re-opening intermittently due to COVID-19 detection on imported seafood which have also lead to worker infections.
At the time of reporting, Dalian port is closed and Qingdao open, and also at the time of reporting most processing plants that we regularly work with are also closed.
As Dalian is one of two major ports home to numerous large plants, half of all seafood production in China typically leaves this port for the US and EU in January however this is not happening this year.
The impacts to the US and EU markets will be heavy as January and February are peak months for seafood production in china where over 3,000 containers typically leave Dalian for the US and EU.
Products that will mostly be affected are Pollock, Pacific Cod and Flounder and there are currently no Chinese New Year production schedules out of Dalian plants.
--- Our expectation are for inventories to be low heading into Lent if things in Dalian do not change, and change quickly for that matter.
--- Our recommendation is to not hesitate to purchase your requirements as we are unsure if anything will leave Dalian ports this month or February.
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