Steak out: China’s coronavirus testing chokes beef trade

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BEIJING (Reuters) – In a supermarket in downtown Beijing, refrigerator shelves normally filled with steak from around the world sit empty as tougher testing for the novel coronavirus creates supply bottlenecks and raises prices for importers.

Fresh supplies of beef won’t arrive for days, a salesman at the Suning.com-owned Carrefour outlet told Reuters – if then. That’s a big setback for the industry at traditionally one of its busiest times of the year.

“Whether we can get supplies then, and how much, remains a question,” said the sales person, who declined to be identified as he was not allowed to talk to media.

Suning did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China began testing batches of imported chilled and frozen meat and seafood for the coronavirus in June, but significantly ramped up its inspections early this month after port workers in several cities tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

 

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