The shape of recovery has been described as alphabet soup – U, V, W, L, it is still difficult to predict and often industry-dependent! What is interesting is that amid the fog of uncertainty as economies open, factories restart and people get back to work, we are beginning to see new shapes and forms in business – innovation is exciting, as is the return to operations!
For instance, with social distancing still in place and new rules for spaced-out dining, many restaurants in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia have chosen not to reopen for dine-in. They are content with catering to delivery and pick-up. “The overheads and operational cost to open for fewer diners just doesn’t make it prudent, even with timed seating,” a restaurant manager said, echoing the sentiment of many others.
Suguna Foods in India is wooing consumers with a health lure. The company has increased production of its line of enriched eggs to cater to health-conscious consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Executive Director, Vignesh Soundararajan told Asian Agribiz that consumers are looking for ways to build their immunity.
In an ongoing crisis like this, there are always winners and losers. In the week behind us, we saw the poultry industry in Indonesia slowly waking up and restocking. Corn prices have rebound as producers start to restock. Dean Novel, Director of Datu Nusra Agribisnis, a corn producer based in West Nusa Tenggara told Asian Agribiz, the price of corn (15-16% moisture content) on June 4 at farmer level in the province increased to USD 0.24-0.25/kg from the previous USD 0.21-0.22.
Sri Lanka too has seen appreciating prices for poultry as demand outstrips supply. Over the past few months, breeders have culled up to 50% of hatching eggs and reduced production. Khyber Farms, Managing Director, Anaz Abuthahir told Asian Agribiz that live bird prices have picked up, from USD 0.93/kg to USD 2.02/kg. Similarly, chick prices are at USD 0.49-0.6/chick from USD 0.22/chick.
Singapore has seen canned food imports almost double in April and May over the same period last year. Professor William Chen of Nanyang Technological University said this was expected as canned food has longer shelf life and has helped build up the national food stockpile.
In the Philippines, Jollibee Food Corp is preparing to resume dine in services and is intensifying the implementation of safety measures and sanitation protocols for both crew and customers. Apart from temperature checks and pumped-up hygiene standards for crew, customers must go through a 3-step safety check before entering the store.
In the pig industry, we reported a resurgence of ASF in Myanmar/. Vietnam, which has seen pigmeat prices soar because of ASF, has seen its meat import value trend up 400%. Its spending on meat imports reached USD 55 million, especially for pork and edible by-products of pork.
The high prices in Vietnam has also driven pig smuggling from Thailand through the border gates of Vietnam – Laos. Although Vietnam has agreed to buy live pigs from Thailand, it has not yet taken effect, according to Tran Thi Thu Phuong, Import Manager at the Department of Animal Health. Unofficial sources told Asian Agribiz that there are about 2000-3000 pigs imported daily into Vietnam via Laos’ borders.
Mergers and acquisitions are common in our industry and last Friday, DSM announced that it has reached agreement to acquire Erber Group’s specialty animal nutrition and health businesses, Biomin and Romer Labs.
Similarly, Arm & Hammer strengthened its farm-to-plate portfolio by fully integrating the Passport Food Safety Solutions portfolio into its product and service lineup. It now has comprehensive and diverse technologies for animal and food production systems, from farm to plate.
Stay inspired and updated on industry developments at www.asian-agribiz.com . . .
Stay safe and healthy from the team at Asian Agribiz!
Editorial Director, Asian Agribiz
Click here to read ‘A wet market crisis?’, Rex Holyoake’s message from last week.