Border closures and export bans are playing havoc with food prices leading to wild prices and unprecedented product demand fluctuations.
This is according to the latest market research report by Tridge, a global sourcing and market intelligence hub for the food industry.
“Covid-19 is uprooting supply chains all over the world and severely disrupting agricultural trade,” reads the report which found product availability, border restrictions and logistics regulations were changing almost daily around the world.
The uncertainty being faced in the agricultural sector is reflected in the highest prices ever for ginger in Indonesia and decreased prices for lobster in Canada.
In East and Southern Africa there has also been significant impact.
According to the report, there has been a free fall in the price of cashews. In Ghanaprices have decreased from $123 to around $61 to $70 for a 100kg bag. This as demand for cashews in Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Benin has plummeted since their main export destination is Vietnam. In the past cashews were exported to China which, since the Covid-19 pandemic, has ceased imports of the product from Vietnam.
Avocados from the region have also been hard hit, with Kenya in particular feeling the impact due to the low demand for the product thanks to restrictions in importing countries such as China, Spain and Germany. The country has also seen a drop in demand for its tea exports as has Uganda for coffee and cocoa beans.
In South Africa, the government has extended the fishing season for West Coast lobster as well as other fish due to the heavy losses in the fishing industry, but due to the global low demand the export price has declined significantly.
With trade between countries increasingly grinding to a halt, countries are seeing an excess in supply of some products and huge demand for others, depending on the import or export destination.
According to the report, South Africa will see a reduction in domestic supplies of rice, palm oil and wheat, which it imports in large quantities from China, while it will have an excess of fruit and vegetables due to its export limitations to key markets.