Bord Bia’s Shanghai office reopens following ‘extended closure’ due to coronavirus

Bord Bia’s Shanghai office re-opened on Monday, February 10, after an extended closure following the Chinese New Year holiday period.

According to a statement from Bord Bia, the office remained closed for the extended period due to concerns surrounding the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Bord Bia has followed the Chinese authorities’ advice and re-opened the office “in a cautious manner”.

However, the statement outlined that staff will work remotely during the coming weeks – where practical.

A spokesperson for the Irish food board has said: “The welfare of our colleagues has been foremost in our minds during this time and we have worked closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Beijing/Irish Embassy and the Shanghai Irish Consulate and have been guided by them in our response.

We have supported staff members’ individual decisions to return to Ireland.

Concluding, the statement noted: “Bord Bia staff members who have returned to Ireland have followed Department of Foreign Affairs advice and contacted the HSE on their return.”

Unease

As the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in China, it is bringing an element of “unease” around the global dairy market – during recent weeks.

This is according to Peter Meehan, senior commodity analyst at INTL FCStone, who AgriLand caught up with yesterday, February 11, to see what sort of impact – if any – he is seeing the virus having on global dairy trade.

INTL FCStone is a multi-national financial services firm that trades globally in all asset classes.

Speaking to Peter, he said: “There has been an element of unease around the global dairy market in recent weeks.

Fears over the effect of coronavirus on Chinese demand for dairy products are providing demand-side concerns.

“Meanwhile, the impact of excessively dry conditions in New Zealand’s North Island has caused some supply-side concerns there.”

He added: “The European butter quotation saw its first, albeit slight, year-on-year decline in four weeks last week; while the European skimmed milk powder (SMP) quotation saw its first week without a gain since the start of the year – holding unchanged.”

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