Port closure; Higher edible oil prices; Weak air traffic

Southern border shuts due to covid, cold chain remains in focus

Officials announced that customs clearance of people and goods at the Dongxing Port that borders Vietnam will be suspended due to pandemic control measures as truck congestion have already been significant.

China has faced difficulties in recent month with cases coming across ports. Ports in Inner Mongolia bordering Mongolia, and in Yunnan which border Myanmar, have seen repeated covid outbreaks in the past year, and health officials are stepping up efforts to control imported cases amid the global rise in the omicron variant.

Two Vietnamese seafood exporters were also suspended from shipping to China for one week after samples of their products were tested positive for coronavirus.

Cold chain transmission of coronavirus remains a major concern. As we mentioned in our December 3rd commentary, some officials were being investigated after a recent outbreak in Dalian.

State-run newspaper Global Times notes today that 15 company executives and staff, and 40 government officials were punished over the outbreak in Dalian in November, with some facing criminal liability.

China reported 57 new local cases yesterday and there are currently 52,463 close contacts under medical observation due to possible exposure. A total of 2.68 billion doses of vaccine have been administered, up 260 million in the past month.

Edible oil price ticks higher, meat price steady

According to the latest price monitoring data in China, edible oils rose last week. Peanut oil ticked 0.05% higher and remained the most expensive option at 28.3 yuan/liter, rapeseed oil rose 0.72% to 14.2 yuan/liter, and soybean oil climbed 0.1% to 11.5 yuan/liter.

Pork prices slid 0.6% to 34.22 yuan/kg, mutton rose 0.2% to 86.60 yuan/kg and beef was steady at 91.74 yuan/kg.

Chicken fell 0.6% to 24.88 yuang/kg and eggs fell 0.9% to 11.56 yuan/kg.

Among the 15 vegetables prices tracked, 13 declined by an average of 3.5% last week. Prices of popular items retreated sharply, with celery slumping 7.1%, cabbage down 5.8%, and peppers falling 4.5%.

Weekly export inspections to China ↗️  +19%    [Soybeans ↗️ +12%]     [Sorghum ↗️ +163%]     [Corn ↘️ -24%]

Weekly exports of grains and oilseeds from the US to China during the week ending December 16 rose nearly 19% to 1.47 million tons, accounting for 46% of the global volume that week.

US soybean exports to China during the week totaled 944,776 tons, up 12% from the previous week. This accounted for 56% of all US soybean exports in the week.

Sorghum exports from the US to China more than doubled on the week to 313,077 tons, which made up nearly all US sorghum exports during that week.

Conversely, US corn shipments to China tanked 24% week on week to 209,442 tons, which was equivalent to 21% of total US corn exports globally.

Airline passenger volumes remain weak amid scatter covid outbreaks

Flight statistics for October 2021 showed a slight recovery in passenger volumes since September, however passenger volumes are still down sharply from last October, according to official data.

Total domestic passenger traffic was 38.75 million for the month, down 22.7% y/y. Passenger levels recovered in the second half of 2020 and volumes exceeded pre-covid levels in the first half of this year.

However, since the arrival of the delta variant in June, volumes have been volatile and subdued.

International volumes remain almost nonexistent with only 108,000 passengers for the month of October. This is down 42.4% y/y and is down 98.2% compared to 2019’s level of 6.044 million passengers.