Corono Impact: South Korean Food Imports From China Sees 67% Drop
South Korea, the second largest impacted from Novel Coronavirus after China is witnessing huge fall in food sale in its domestic food retail chains.
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With the advent of Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), South Korea has emerged as the second largest sufferer after China.
As per the information by global agriculture information network, South Korea’s domestic food market is severely impacted by this pandemic. Unlike Indian authorities’ clarification for poultry and allied industries, the South Korean authorities are not clear about their stand on non-veg food items which are essential to its consumers. Restaurant business had witnessed a sharp fall in South Korean market as home deliveries pick up pace.
The best indicator of how South Korea has suffered drastically can be understood from a report by the Korean ministry of land, infrastructure and transport. On February 25th, the report from ministry suggested that public transportation usage in the country had declined by 51 per cent for express buses, 56 per cent for railroad trains, and 15 per cent for highway traffic.
While the leading retail stores are facing huge drops in customer visits (13 to 16 per cent respectively). Market Curly, a leading fresh food on-line retailer, reported on February 18 that its daily sales of food products almost doubled in February as consumers opted for home-delivery orders while reducing trips to stores out of fear of COVID-19.
Another interesting aspect is the increase of sales in Pork meat, cabbage, carrot and onions with some items even witnessing 55 per cent growth in sales.
Since the 1, 426 cases reported positive, the local retail and restaurant industries have reported a sharp decline in consumer visits and sales.
The Korea Small Business Federation reported on February 20 that 97.6 per cent of small businesses in Korea saw sales decline since the outbreak of COVID-19 in mid-January. The sales decline was mainly due to reduced consumer visits and weaker economic activity in the market.
The local economy is also slowing down due to weak retail sales and reduced economic activity. Many of the companies have temporarily closed their offices and processing facilities for the week of February 23 to prevent spread of the virus. While Korean imports from China had significantly dropped down to 67 per cent during January this year as compared to same period of previous year.
What lesson's can the can the Indian food industry learn from this experience? Should Indian food producers be actively pursuing South Korea as their next export market? Should the government be looking at some kind of short term policy to help domestic agri producers take their produce to to Corona virus affected regions? These are some of the important questions, the answers to which would definitely help the home-grown agriculture market.