February 04, 2020
Maori exporters discount stock as China closes
A leading Māori exporter believes it could be spring or early summer before the Novel Coronavirus outbreak runs its course in China.
Wakatu chair Paul Morgan says the top of the South Island incorporation’s seafood business has discounted its shellfish for sale on the local market, and lobster businesses are also selling down stock and leaving what remains of their annual catch entitlement uncaught.
All seafood exports to China are suspended in what would normally be the peak new year selling period, as authorities their close restaurants to stop the spread of the virus.
Tourism is also affected with no flights from China.
There are parallels with the Sars outbreak a decade ago.
"It was also in the winter period because obviously people get the flu and the cold. As it came into spring and the early summer months the numbers dropped dramatically so hopefully, we can see that happening in China because it is very concerning, the disruption to daily life, not only the Chinese economy but also the global economy," Mr Morgan says.
The departure of Britain from the European Union is also creating uncertainty and reinforces the case for Māori to be at the table in New Zealand’s trade negotiations because of their size as exporters.
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