- In Spanje is de noodtoestand afgekondigd tot 9 mei 2021. Door deze noodtoestand worden maatregelen tegen Corona mogelijk gemaakt. Deze maatregelen veranderen regelmatig en zullen daarnaast ook per autonome regio verschillen. Op dit moment is er een avondklok ingesteld in alle regio’s, behalve de Canarische eilanden, en is reizen binnen Spanje zeer beperkt mogelijk. Bij concrete vragen kunt u contact opnemen met email@example.com.
- Op dit moment zijn de restaurants in de meeste regio’s nog geopend binnen de uren die mogelijk zijn vanwege de avondklok. In enkele autonome regio’s waaronder Catalonië zijn restaurants gesloten.
- Bank Cajamar ( de ‘Spaanse Rabobank’) heeft een rapport gepubliceerd over de ontwikkelingen in de Spaanse vleessector de afgelopen maanden en met een doorkijk naar de rest van 2020. 65% van de bedrijven heeft zijn inkomsten naar beneden zien gaan, 14% omhoog en de rest op een gelijk niveau. Ook de prijsontwikkelingen worden in grafieken in het rapport weer gegeven. Het gehele rapport in het Spaans is te vinden via https://www.publicacionescajamar.es/publicacionescajamar/public/pdf/series-tematicas/informes-coyuntura-coyuntura/barometro1s2020.pdf
Voorlopig is de horeca nog open en zien we weinig veranderingen op de groente/fruit/vlees/zuivelmarkt, maar na de ministerraad op zaterdag 31 oktober worden nieuwe maatregelen verwacht.
- Op dit moment is er geen gehele lockdown in Polen, wel is de horeca dicht (alleen afhaal) en werken musea en dergelijke met sanitaire voorschriften. In het hele land zijn bruiloftsfeesten niet toegestaan. Events vinden grotendeels online plaats. Er worden op korte termijn nieuwe aankondigingen verwachten ivm grote toename besmettingen. De binnengrenzen van Polen met andere EU lidstaten zijn open. Er geldt op dit moment ((30 oktober) geen quarantaine maatregel bij binnenkomst in Polen. Bij terugkeer naar Nederland geldt echter wel quarantaine, ook voor arbeidsmigranten. Check hiervoor altijd de laatste reisadviezen van Buitenlandse Zaken.
- De zuivelindustrie is tijdens de eerste golf geraakt door sluiting van de horeca, zowel in Polen als in andere landen, de Poolse zuivelindustrie is exportgericht. Daarbij is vooral omgeschakeld in de verwerkende industrie naar producten die bestemd zijn voor retail. Op de markt is met name gereageerd door de aankoopprijs van grondstoffen te verlagen. Op de website hebben we een rapport gepubliceerd over de Poolse zuivelsector met een artikel ook over gevolgen van Covid https://www.agroberichtenbuitenland.nl/actueel/nieuws/2020/10/21/quick-scan-polish-dairy-sector
- De gewoontes van Poolse consumenten zijn anders geworden vanwege de pandemie. 82% van de consumenten doet minder vaak boodschappen (normaal gezien bezocht een gemiddelde Pool een winkel zelfs 45 keer in de maand!) maar de aankopen werden groter (52%). In het algemeen Polen zoeken naar basisproducten (groenten, fruit, bloem). Conform meerdere specialisten is juist de corona tijd een goed moment om aan de consumenten goede eetpatroon te presenteren en meer groenten en fruit in het dagelijkse dieet aan te bieden. Meerder klanten kijken ook naar de bio en eco producten en zoeken basisvoedsel. Het blijkt dus dat de pandemie consumenten gewoontes flink kan veranderen wat ook later impact kan hebben op de voedselsector in Polen.
- Het is ook goed te vermelden dat de nationale solidariteit van Poolse klanten ook sterk is toegenomen tijdens de corona crisis. Traditioneel keken Polen vooral naar de prijs bij het boodschappen doen. Nu kwam nog een herkomst factor aan de orde, ook na een campagne van de Poolse overheid om Poolse producten te kopen. Veel Polen kijkt namelijk naar het land van oorsprong van groenten en fruit wat voor de pandemie minder opvallend was.
- Het najaar is ook het moment waar veel Polen traditioneel thuis voedsel verwerken voor de winter. Het aanbod van appels, peren, kool en andere groenten is groot en prijzen zijn momenteel zeer gunstig wat meerdere mensen kan aanmoedigen om meer voedsel te kopen en die te verwerken voor later.
Frankrijk begint vandaag, 30 oktober, aan de 2e lockdown die tot 1 december zal duren, zo kondigde de president Macron aan. In tegenstelling tot de eerste Lockdown blijven een aantal activiteiten gehandhaafd, zoals openbare diensten, groothandel en levensmiddelenmarkten. Ook blijven dit maal de bouwsector, de openbare werken, fabrieken en de agrarische sector functioneren. Bloemisten blijven open dit weekend in verband met Allerheiligen en sluiten vanaf maandag 3 november.
- Groente & Fruit: sinds half mei is de gemiddelde prijs van groente en fruit in de retail in Frankrijk met 9% gezakt. Dit wordt o.a. veroorzaakt doordat groente en fruit (net als bijv. private labels) in de huidige context gebruikt worden door de supermarkten om klanten te trekken (en goed zijn voor hun imago). 50 % van het aangeboden groente en fruit in Frankrijk is afkomstig van import. De Covid-19 crisis brengt voedselzekerheid en -soevereiniteit volop onder de aandacht. Het Franse overheidsbeleid is er meer dan voor de Covid gericht op het verminderen van de afhankelijkheid van import (voedselsoevereiniteit).
- Zuivel: Brancheorganisatie Cniel heeft een roadmap gepresenteerd voor herstel van de zuivelsector. De voorstellen en financiële steunverzoeken van de branche passen binnen het herstelplan van de Franse overheid. Ook hier is de vermindering van (afhankelijkheid van) import een belangrijk speerpunt. Er wordt voorts ingezet op duurzame consumptie, betaalbare producten, èn 100 % Franse zuivelproducten. De sector heeft al jaren te kampen met moeilijkheden. Maar tijdens de lockdown was er een flinke opleving in de zuivelconsumptie. Met 73,8 miljoen euro meer omzet in maart, stond zuivel op de eerste plaats qua consumptiegoederen. De situatie van de zuivelsector is minder slecht dan in 2015 of 2016, maar door Covid is er wel veel onzekerheid. Gedurende het eerste half jaar van 2020 verliep de prijsontwikkeling erg chaotisch.
- Rundvlees: De dalende vraag vanuit Italië heeft ernstige gevolgen voor de Franse export van “broutards” (jonge mestrunderen). De export daalde met 12% op jaarbasis als gevolg van de sanitaire crisis.
- Supermarkten en e-commerce, i.r.t. tweede lockdown in Frankrijk: Supermarktketens hebben geleerd van de eerste lockdown en zeggen dat er voldoende voorraad is en er geen tekorten zullen zijn dit keer, maar roepen consumenten op ook verantwoordelijkheid te nemen en niet te hamsteren. E-commerce zal naar verwachting weer flink stijgen. Zo zag de bio online winkel La Fourche de afgelopen twee dagen de verkoop flink stijgen, met name van pasta (126 %), meel en gist (163 %).
- Export: Agrifood export uit Frankrijk is met 4 % gedaald in het eerste halfjaar van 2020, ofwel een bedrag van 1,3 miljard verlies t.o.v. de eerste zes maanden in 2019. De schade is relatief beperkt gebleven dankzij de uitzonderlijke resultaten die geboekt zijn qua graanexport. Echter, micro-ondernemingen en MKB uit de agrifood sector zijn zwaar getroffen. Deze bedrijven zijn van groot belang qua werkgelegenheid en zeker in de landelijke gebieden buiten de grote steden.
Serbia is facing the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. The numbers of infected people is on a steep rise (tripled in the last ten days https://covid19.rs/homepage-english/), but still, the situation is better than in the surrounding countries. If situations drastically worsens, it is likely that the gastronomy sector will be the first to experience more restrictive measures. For now, they are still operating until 23h00. When looking back at the effects of Corona pandemic on the agriculture sector in Serbia, the impact is different on different sub-sectors. While the Corona pandemic pushed certain sectors to the verge of existence (meat sector, recently cattle producers received additional support), to others it resulted in the increase of sales (fruit and vegetables).
Austria: Cattle prices show downward trend
- In Austria, due to the high dependency on exports in the cattle slaughter sector, heavy animals are under greater pressure than lighter animals which are processed domestically. As a result, slaughter prices for cattle show a downward trend. Especially exports to Spain and France (gastronomy) are affected by the COVID effects. In the beefsector, the demand for from the grocery retailer is still good, especially in view of the upcoming Christmas period. A more or less severe slump is currently to be expected in out-of-home consumption.
- This week, the Austrian Cattle Exchange expects to market young bulls of R2 / 3 class at a price of EUR 3.47 per kg slaughter weight. For heifers, € 2.98 will continue to be earned, the listing for slaughter cows has been suspended again. For calves for slaughter, 6.05 euros is now paid. The specified base prices are farmer payment prices without taking into account quality and quantity surcharges.
Restaurants and other public spaces are not closed however. On October 1, the government extended the closure of borders for passenger traffic by another month.
- Fruits & Vegetables: The effects of the pandemic on Hungarian horticultural fruit and vegetable production was relatively short-term. The issues include: Wholesale markets were directly affected with the shutdown of the tourism & HORECA sectors, the shockwaves of which traveled up the supply chains, and a drop in demand with the disappearance of Romanian and Serbian buyers in wholesale markets after the border closure. The sales of fresh greenhouse vegetables suffered a blow. This was due to changing consumer behaviors in the spring with a new preference toward storable processed goods during the panic-shopping surge. Also, restrictions in the mobility of labor affected production. In the labor-intensive growing sectors, there had already been shortages of labor, and producers tend to rely on foreign seasonal workers from Ukraine and Romania. With the border closures in March, available labor dropped. The crossing of foreign workers was resolved by May. Spring seasonal harvests were affected, primarily, asparagus and strawberry. We reported on this here. However, weather extremities due to climate change had far more severe effects, spring frosts caused considerable damages for growers and dealt crippling blows to fruit production. Here is an overview. Here is an analysis of the effects on food prices. By the summer, fruit prices increased by a mean 41% (see our report here). A positive effect was that with the weakening of the Hungarian Forint, export surged in the spring. In April-May, the mean vegetable import price was €0.6 per kg, and the mean export price was €1.4. More here.
- Dairy: The ongoing problem of the Hungarian dairy sectors has been the lowest purchase price of raw milk. Hungary’s processing ratio of its own raw milk is 80%, below the EU average of 95%. Capacity enhancement investments were launched in the past two years so the industry is expected to increase value-added output. However, the dairy industry is still more reliant on the lower added-value milk. The spring pandemic wave caused disruptions as school milk programs were shut down with the closing of schools. Because of the crisis, the domestic industry is now forced to innovate and move towards higher added-value more rapidly. Here and here are more detailed overviews of the effects on the food sectors.
- Beef & veal: The three main types of livestock in Hungary are poultry, pigs, cattle. Poultry and fowls take up 2/3 of the meat production. The meat sectors were primarily affected by the ASF and Avian Flu outbreaks. Goat & mutton was more affected as its season coincided with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cattle was less affected this year. Beed production is not as seasonal as goat & mutton. The aggregated meat export average in Hungary increased by 2.8% altogether. There were worries in the spring that serious feed shortages would force producers to keep cattle in husbandry and fatten them longer. The mean producer price in kg of warm carcass wait dropped from around €1.77/kg in January to €1.50/kg by May, however, over the summer months the price started climbing again to around €1.70/kg in August and September.
General context: Romania is currently on state of alert. In many counties indoor restaurants are closed and schools are online. As the number of cases is alarmingly increasing, there is fear of a possible lockdown. At the moment, Romanian farmers apply for support schemes in the context of the economic crisis generated by the COVID -19 pandemic, as follows:
- State aid scheme to support the activity of cattle breeders: support for herds of over 90 heads, up to 100,000 euros/farm; farms with 5-90 heads can receive a flat-rate subsidy of 7000 euro/farm.
- State aid scheme to support the activity of pig farmers: support of 100 euro / large cattle unit, up to 100,000 euro/farm.
- State aid scheme to support the activity of poultry farmers: support of 100 euro / large cattle unit, up to 100,000 euro/farm.
Such schemes are under preparation also for fruit, vegetables and potatoes.
The total budget for these schemes is 150 million euro. Some 123,000 farmers have applied so far.
Trade: to check the situation at Romanian borders (waiting times for trucks/cars and restrictions), please check: https://www.politiadefrontiera.ro/en/traficonline/
- In alle landsdelen van het VK zijn lokaal nieuwe maatregelen van kracht op basis van risicocategorieën waarin gemeenten zich bevinden. Deze zijn met name gericht op het beperken van sociale contacten. Winkels blijven in de meeste gevallen ook in de hoogste risicocategorie open. Uitzondering daarop is Wales, waar alle non-food retail per 23 oktober moest sluiten en ook supermarkten de verkoop van non-food-producten moesten stoppen, inclusief bloemen en planten. De horeca sluit in Engeland om 22.00 uur en horecabezoek mag alleen nog met het eigen huishouden tenzij in de buitenlucht.
- De quarantaineregels voor reizigers naar het VK zijn onverminderd van kracht gebleven.
- Om in aanmerking te komen voor het nieuwe job support scheme moet het betreffende personeel 20% van de uren werken; voor de niet-gewerkte uren betaalt de werkgever 5% en de overheid 62% tot een maximum van 1.540 pond per maand.
- Er is vooralsnog geen sprake van nieuw hamstergedrag. Wel is er opvallend meer bloem verkocht (+10% tussen medio september en medio oktober). Enquêtes laten zien dat consumenten over het algemeen meer Brits product kopen en vaker boerderijwinkels bezoeken.
- Ingeblikte vlees- en visproducten zijn populair gebleven sinds de lockdown in de lente, met een verkoopstijging van 13,7% ten opzichte van dezelfde periode vorig jaar (t/m oktober).
- Producenten van kerstkalkoenen vrezen dat personeelstekorten de ‘typisch Britse kerst’ zullen dwarsbomen en willen een ruimere seizoenarbeidersregeling.
Het beeld is dat de sluiting van restaurants en cafés gedurende november vooral nadelig uitpakt voor de brouwerijen en de verwerking van aardappelen voor pommes frites. In de detailhandel is het beeld wisselend. Soms is de omzet gestegen, maar zijn de prijzen (bijv. voor vlees en melk) gedaald. Dat de kantines nog open blijven, verzacht de pijn.
Kenya - Tanzania:
- Fruits and vegetables – Kenya mainly exports fruits and vegetables. Although the restriction on air transport at the start of the pandemic caused considerable problems with logistics; Kenya was able to export €157 million more during the first 8 months of 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. Tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables accounted for the largest share of exports. The top export markets for Kenyan goods were Pakistan, Uganda, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Rwanda.
- Due to the partial lockdown which restricted movement of persons and transport locally there was an impact for local productions. Farmers were in more direct contact with their buyers and some were also able to use digital platforms thereby cutting out the brokers and middleman. In the end farmers became more organized and collectively got better prices. In terms of regional trade the logistical problems experienced at the East African borders affected trade by restricting the transport of fruits and vegetables from Tanzania to Kenya meant for both the local and the export market .
- Dairy - Both Kenya and Tanzania have restriction on the import of dairy with the goal to develop and stimulate the local production. However during COVID-19 changes in consumer preferences were visible. There was increased demand for long-life dairy products as well as baby formula in the Kenyan market due to the uncertainty that prevailed at the time.
- Since March the Algerian borders are closed. There are signals that at least during the month November borders will remain closed, with very few exceptions for incoming travelers. To mitigate the impact of this COVID-19 pandemic, Algeria has adopted exceptional measures: On one hand, to facilitate the import process of agri-food products. On the hand, the blocking of all exports of essential food products of large consumption.
- The dairy sector in Algeria is very dependent on global input markets (milk powder, fat, animal feed and heifers). According to the National Interprofessional Dairy Office (ONIL), the public authorities had made purchases on the international market in order to build up a stock. The need to take advantage of falling prices in the market may cause regular importers to build up stocks, which will have a direct consequence on world supply in the short term but also, under the effect of stock, in the long term.
- Fruits and vegetables: the ministry of trade banned the export of 8 agri-food products, amongst others refined sugar, pasta and garlic, since august as measure to avoid any shortage on the local market (list updated on august 29th with less HS positions). Algeria banned the import of 13 fresh fruits during the local picking session: citrus fruits, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, grapes, pears, apples, almonds, figs, pomegranates, medlars and quinces. This ban is not related directly to COVID-19 situation but to protect local during harvest (picking) session.
Distribution of fresh products continued both for local and export market because food was declared an essential service during the lockdown measures (March to date). Even though there was much preference for long-shelf products, there was also a demand for products known to have positive health benefits. Specifically, Citrus fruits, garlic and ginger were in high demand both in the local and export market. Pineapples have also been in high demands mainly due to the tradition of using this fruit to produce home brewed alcoholic beverages. This is because distribution of alcoholic drinks was declared illegal for a large part of the lockdown period. Most of the fresh produce were distributed locally by informal traders because travel was limited. Experts have commented that most of these informal traders will remain part of the fresh produce supply chain even after COVID-19.
SA’s immigration COVID-19 regulations show 60 countries that are not allowed to enter South Africa as they are considered high risk countries. Among these are countries from which SA used to receive most of the tourists. Thus intake of primary products by the hospitality and tourism industries are compromised by these immigration restrictions. For example 2020 chicken imports from the Netherlands to South Africa have dropped by 33% compared to 2019.
The dairy industry has also been affected by lockdown restrictions in the fast food and hospitality industries. This has influenced primary producers to divert from production of fresh milk to processing long-shelf products such as cheese.
Currently, South Africa is recording an average rate of about 1500 cases per day. Total number of recorded cases is about 720 000; number of recorded deaths is about 19 000. However, reports show that the country has a recovery rate of more than 90%.
Saudi Arabia is currently in its third and last phase of the measures taken in response to COVID-19. This phase is planned to be completed (on December 31st 2020 à on a later to be announced date in January 2021) by the full opening of international flights and travel. Meanwhile to this date, locally Saudi has return to large extent to pre-COVID-19 normal conditions:
- All commercial activities are back to normal and public and private sector companies allowed to resume work from office under health guidelines
- Domestic flights are open while international flights (remain limited à are not yet normalized, there are however regular commercial flights from/to Europe since mid-October). Full international flights expected (onà after) January 1, 2021 (exact date will be announced 30 days prior to the start of the normalized international flights)
- Holder of business visa can travel to Saudi now. Business (wo)men who do not hold a visa yet, can apply for a business visa to be issued, if they are invited by a Saudi party. Tourist visa however are not yet being issued. Travelers arriving into Saudi Arabia must provide a negative PCR test certificate issued from a verified laboratory not exceeding (72) hours from the time the test is undertaken until departing to the kingdom. On arrival in Saudi Arabia, travelers are required to undergo 2-days self-quarantine at home after arriving to the kingdom, then take PCR test by the end of period. If PCR test not conducted, self-quarantine at home continues for 7 days
- No curfew across the country with strict restrictions for certain activities such as large gatherings of individuals. Wearing of masks is compulsory.
Saudi Arabia has managed to safeguard its domestic and international food supply chain. Saudi FDA has shown to ease up import regulations during the pandemic in order to maintain food security. The implementation of regulations on food stuff labeling has been postponed (see article). Implementing short-terms and long-term strategies, Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture (MEWA) continues to actively scaling up local food production through deploying practical programs, funding projects, and offering incentive packages to farmers and investors.
In the meantime imports of food products from The Netherlands did rise about 5% in the first half of 2020.
Uncertainty related to COVID-19 still exists, however the overall business environment is progressively improving. With the recovery of the oil prices, the final quarter of this year is expected to bring with it better prospects for improvement in the economy. Saudi Arabia has so far successfully contain the spread of the disease. New registered daily cases is now below 400. KSA also saw a significant decrease in its daily death rate, with total mortality 5,313. The recovery rate is at 96 percent.
United Arab Emirates:
Covid-19 creates new opportunities and challenges. The opportunity for UAE to improve food security outlook, through investment innovation, R & D and technology is now more imperative than it has ever been. mainly in horticulture to grow vegetables locally. The hospitality sector and tourism have suffered and it is expected to suffer even more heavily into the first half of 2021, despite the reopening of commercial flights. This has negative impact on the demand of Food products. Information from Wageningen University however shows that the export of Food products form The Netherlands to the UAE was stable in the first half of 2020, which means that the drop in demand from the hospitality sector was compensated by a rise of demand from the private households. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment highlighted the focus and the importance of working towards more sustainable circular agriculture and a sustainable economy.
- For the first half of 2020, imports of fresh vegetables were down 19 percent from the previous year at 360,736 MT, on lower demand from the food service and retail industries. Meanwhile imports of fresh vegetables is up again: in September +6 percent compared to the previous year, and 10 percent versus the previous month, at 64,365 MT. (Source: COVID-19 Impacts on Food Distribution in Japan - Update III 4 Sept.) Food service providers sales are rebounding as restaurants reopen. The market for high-end fruits is recovering as summer gift sales season continues.
- Flowers: The market is slowly recovering, but business demand is still sluggish.
- Impact of COVID-19 on agricultural business is becoming more far-reaching and long-term. A Survey by The Japan Agricultural News in September showed that 65 percent of farmers said they are either severely or slightly affected by the new coronavirus pandemic, up 5 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in April and May.
- The Government of Japan started a discount-program “Go To Eat” Campaign in September with total budget of about 1.4 trillion yen (€11,5 billion) for participating restaurants. Next to the “Go TO” travel campaign it should support the domestic tourist sector.
- Sales of beef and other meat proteins have increased in the retail sector as home-cooking trends continue. Sales of lower grade beef have started recovering, while sales of higher-grade beef are still sluggish.
- Pork: Strong sales are reported on price competitiveness as households cut spending. Sales are also driven by concerns of declines in imports.
- Milk/dairy products: Raw milk production is expected to reach a record high in 2020. With foodservice demand sluggish, increased production will expand stocks of both commodities and put downward pressure on imports in 2020 and 2021. Cheese production is forecasted to rise slightly in both years on increased availability of fluid milk and steady demand growth while imports remain flat. Household demand continues to be strong due to increased stay-home consumption. Business/professional demand continues to be sluggish.
- With accumulated domestic dairy inventories, MAFF announced a reduction of butter import quota (ALIC-tenders) by 6.000 (from 20.000 tons to 14.000 tons).
Recent days, Korea has daily around 100 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, mainly near Seoul area. So far 26,271 cases and 462 deaths in total. Trade, logistics and business for Agro & Food, including fruits, vegetables and dairy products, are smooth like average years. Only travel is still restricted; Dutch people need to receive Visa from Korean Embassy in the Hague to travel to Korea, and should be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in Korea. Several Dutch greenhouse builders recently visited Korea in this way. For very important business or humanitarian reasons, there is a way to be exempted from quarantine : http://overseas.mofa.go.kr/nl-en/brd/m_6971/view.do?seq=761554. On the other hand, Koreans don’t need visa or quarantine to travel to the Netherlands. When they come back to Korea, they also have to be quarantined for 2 weeks.
Taiwan had its 553 confirmed case in total as of Oct. 29th. So far the disease control is going well, 7 death cases since the first outbreak, 200 days without a domestic transmission, highlighting the island's continued success at keeping the virus at bay. Entry restrictions for foreigners to Taiwan could be found in the BOCA website: https://www.boca.gov.tw/cp-220-5081-c06dc-2.html .
While measurements are still very strict in Singapore (facemask mandatory everywhere, safe distancing, max 5 people together, etc) there are very limited to no new infections anymore and people are getting used to this new way of living. Borders are still closed for traveling (leisure, but also mostly for work), while the government is trying to develop Green lanes (only work related) or even travel bubbles (leisure) with countries that also have hardly any or no new infections.
There is a need for further diversifying food import as there is a fear that, on the long run, countries in region will not be able to produce sufficient food for everyone. Next to that Singapore is promoting local produce. Government campaigns are set up to inform consumers and to convince them to buy local produce. Local farms are getting funds to scale up and new locations, like roof tops and carparks are made available for farming. Free agricultural trainings are offered for all residents so that they learn how to grow fruits and veggies at home. SG is attracting high tech food production to SG (fe Eat Just will open a factory in the near future to produce plant based eggs). SG is also aiming to become R&D hub in agriculture (like seed improvements) to be able to help the rest of the region to produce more and better (current talks with Netherlands about options in R&D for Seeds).
India has registered over 8 million Covid19 cases, with around 50,000 new cases a day. The increase appears to be slowing down, although locally new infection peaks keep appearing. Most measures have been relaxed, and direct flights between NL and India are expected to resume soon.
- After a record harvest, sowing for the next season is up by 5%. Exports of agricultural commodities are also higher than last year (even by 40% for rice, groundnut, sugar and wheat). Livestock and marine exports are still down.
- There is an oversupply of sugar, so the Indian Government is supporting exports. Paddy procurement is up by 26%. Due to soaring onion prices, the Indian Government has released 100,000 tonnes of buffer stock, temporarily relaxed import regulations and banned export of onions. Following excessive rains, cotton harvest is down.
- The FAO Food Price Index in September 2020 was up 2.1% from August and 5% higher than a year ago.
- Dairy cooperatives did not stop procurement despite selling less during the six months in 2020.
- Freight rates are up by 20 to 40% over the past months.
- Following the passage of the three new farm bills, protests are taking place in some states. Moreover, for the first time in India, a state (Kerala) has announced minimum prices for vegetables (> production cost + 20%).
Sri Lanka has 8,000 COVID-19 cases as a result of two new clusters uncovered recently. A quarantine curfew has been imposed in some areas, and there are concerns about community transmission. The cost of essential items has increased. Food inflation has increased from 8.5 percent last year to 13.5 percent this year, especially for coconut and rice. The import ban on certain items (including some food products) is still in force. The newly elected government has declared ambitious goals to boost local food production. Eight different State Ministers have been appointed to develop export agriculture.