COVID Concerns in China and Restaurant Business Down in 2020

COVID Concerns in China and Restaurant Business Down in 2020

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with your Agribusiness Update.

**The commodity markets came under pressure last week as traders tried to shed risk over shipping concerns in China, driven by fresh COVID-19 concerns that caused officials to shut down much of its transportation.

All this comes as officials work to contain an outbreak of a highly transmissible Omincron variant.

Restrictions are in place until April 3rd.

Shanghai has been the world's busiest port for container volumes since 2010.

**New data from the Plant Based Foods Association shows U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods grew 6.2% in 2021 over a record year of growth in 2020.

The total plant-based market value reached an all-time high of $7.4 billion.

Overall, plant-based food retail sales grew three times faster than total food retail sales, with most plant-based categories outpacing conventional.

2021 plant-based meat dollar sales remained strong, delivering a repeat year of $1.4 billion in sales, and growing 74% the past three years.

**Not a big surprise, but USDA's Economic Research Service data shows restaurant transactions fell 47% in 2020, following the start of the COVID pandemic.

As you recall, many state and local governments implemented social distancing measures, stay-at-home orders, and the mandatory closures in high-risk industries.

Restaurants were often included, which forced many to close their dining rooms, if not the entire business, sharply reducing restaurant visits.

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