The rapid growth of the COVID-19 pandemic at this time has started showing a small impact on the global food supply chain, which is going to change soon for worst as commodities need to move from global breadbasket to the market. Still, the outbreak is making it way more challenging, states the World Food Programme.
Massive inconvenience to the global food supply system will be seen as a result of the disease. This situation tends to arrive due to movement restrictions, closure of the border & disturbance in aviation and shipping industries, making it tough to continue food production and transport internationally, which is cutting off supply chain and raising questions on food security.
These situations are turning into a global food & humanitarian crisis where airlines have been grounded for months; ports have been closed, containers of food, appliances & other products are standing still. Fewer flights are making it more expensive to export food, and if farmers can't sell what they produce, it’s like a billion-dollar loss in any countries income.
Most affected countries are Africa which occupies million of food insecure population, China which is facing labor crunches & logistic constraints before it began worldwide, Australia which exports two-third of its agriproducts and is a significant supplier to Asia-Pacific, Hongkong & Singapore which import 90% of its food & low-income Pacific Islands that cannot buy from alternative sources also are so small that they cannot grow much of it too.
The problem is not only supply but a behavioral change of people over food security. If major importers lose confidence in the regular flow of essential commodities, it will give rise to panic buying & hoarding, which is happening, adding more problems to the current scenario.
Disease outbreak has deep roots of implication on the food supply that is adversely impacting consumers' confidence, that’s why even though the economy is going south, still buying capacity is increasing.
Panic buying due to fear & uncertainty to avoid unstable food prices, demand & supply will create price surges in many industries and also will wipeout stock, which could have been sufficient for a long time.
A lot of countries are discontinuing its port services, keeping cargo, including oil, liquified natural gas & shipping containers at a halt on the grounds of Force Majeure. Massive private conglomerates have declared it on all of its ports, but these services are regarded as essential. Thus they remain open with the minimum operation.
Due to this measure, performance under many contracts has been delayed or canceled as obligation cannot be fulfilled in the current scenario, just hoping for the situation to get better shortly.