The ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Shanghai has forced the postponement of one of China’s largest seafood trade shows, SIAL Shanghai, a business-to-business food and beverage trade show usually held in may.
“The lockdown has definitely had an impact on things,” said Robin Wang, CEO of SMH International, a Shanghai-based marketing agency with many international seafood clients.
Wang said SIAL is a key annual event for his company given its marketing and networking opportunities.
“Local events and gatherings have been postponed or will be moved to the online space,” Wang said.
Wang said SeafoodSource Shanghai’s port remains operational “but with limited manpower and increased inspection of food, seafood, meat, fruit, etc.”
“It affects supplies,” he said. “Seafood does not easily leave Shanghai. All Shanghai vehicles carrying goods were also banned from entering other regions. So there have certainly been supply disruptions that will likely become more evident over time. Many customers are trying to avoid Shanghai and are trying to reroute shipments. »
So far, there has been no official word on when the lockdown will end for Shanghai, according to Wang. The Chinese government has implemented stricter travel controls in several parts of the country as a wave of the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, with 27,000 cases reported as of April 7.
China remains cautious about easing its ‘zero-COVID’ approach amid fears it could overwhelm its medical service infrastructure amid widespread low vaccination rates among its elderly.