Significant Price Changes to Fresh Produce as a Direct Result of the Coronavirus’ Impact on Trade


Tridge, a global sourcing and market intelligence hub for food buyers and suppliers, has reported the first impacts of Coronavirus on food prices across the globe. This data indicates significant price changes to fresh produce items caused by the virus, between its outbreak in early January and the middle of February

According to Tridge, the biggest wholesale price fluctuations so far include: Thai red flesh dragon fruit, down in price by 85%, South African citrus fruit, down by 37% and Indonesian garlic increasing by 24%.

With the spread of the virus considered a global health emergency, international supply routes have experienced significant disruption. Many countries such as Russia, Indonesia and Australia have either closed their borders to China, or implemented policies that temporarily stop the import of food and agricultural commodities.

Tridge anticipates that Coronavirus will continue impacting food prices and markets across the globe as the number of cases spreads. Its top trade impacts so far, observed between 27th January and 7th February, are:

South African citrus fruit down by 37.8%
China has gradually become one of the major destinations for South African citrus fruit suppliers and today it is the second largest importer of grapefruit and oranges from the region. However, China’s plans to shut down two-thirds of its economy in order to curb the spread of the virus, is already impacting demand for South Africa’s produce.

Vietnam dragon fruit (red flesh) down by 85.7%
Closure of the export gate to China has seriously affected the price of Vietnamese dragon fruit. Red flesh dragon fruit, which has a short shelf life and is completely dependent on the Chinese market, has reduced sharply in price from an average of VND 35,000/kg (USD 1.51/kg) to as little as VND 5000/kg (USD 0.22/kg); white flesh dragon fruit has also suffered with a price drop of around 10,000 VND/kg (USD 0.43/kg), however this is still available for sale in the domestic market.

Indonesian garlic up by 24.2%
The Indonesian Ministry of Trade has recently issued a policy to temporarily stop importing food and agricultural products from China. With the Indonesian market reliant on China for 90% of its garlic imports, this is expected to heavily impact supply, meaning garlic will have to be sourced from other countries such as Spain and Argentina.

Hoshik Shin, founder and CEO at Tridge said: “We have already started to see significant impact from Coronavirus on various food and agricultural markets, which has caused price fluctuations globally due to sudden imbalances in supply and demand.

“With so many factors impacting the prices of food ingredients, such as climate change and human or animal diseases, both buyers and suppliers need to be constantly vigilant and keep a close eye on the market.”

By Fresh Plaza