This Wednesday the Fruit Logistica in Berlin will kick off. Last week we had an update that about 30% of the Chinese companies would not attend but this number has now further increased to 38%. Furthermore, a lot of companies were planning to come to Germany via Russia. However, Russia has now banned Chinese citizens from traveling there since last Friday, after there were reported cases of the coronavirus in Russia. This caused further cancellations and the number of companies unable to attend is therefore expected to increase. Most other countries are still positive about the event, especially after Fruit Logistica took severe measures to assure everyone's safety, and several Chinese companies intend to send representative employees who are domiciled overseas - ie from Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
More and more cities are closing down in China, as the government there tries to halt the spread of the virus. The current holiday period has been further extended in some cities to the 10th or 14th of February, to encourage people to stay inside and avoid infection. This means that more markets are staying empty, and sales are going slowly. There is still a sufficient food supply to the supermarkets, and some companies are slowly processing and starting with some sales, though not on a large scale. In this way, Chinese citizens can still have access to fresh produce.
The Coronavirus has also caused imports to slow down recently, as a lot of buyers are not making new orders and foreign countries are also beginning to feel the influence of the virus. For example, a lot of Australian fruits normally hit the Chinese market about now. Though Australian exporters mentioned no orders were made by Chinese buyers, which leaves them with the fruit.
Last week Fruit Logistica announced it would take measures to assure everyone’s safety. This weekend, some extra measures were included to all participants of the exhibition. Fruit Logistica announced: “Following the update of the World Health Organization, the health authorities of the State of Berlin have advised Messe Berlin to directly request attendees included in the at risk group to not attend Fruit Logistica.
This request applies to you as an individual only if you have:
• Traveled to the province of Hubei within the past 14 days, or
• If you have had contact with a person with a confirmed coronavirus infection and
• Especially if you are experiencing typical symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath)
"If you belong to the above-mentioned at risk group (regardless of nationality), we impress upon you not to participate at this year’s Fruit Logistica out of consideration for others and public health.”