USMEF Weekly Audio: China’s COVID Countermeasures Heighten Concerns about Delayed Product Movement

Since a late July outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Nanjing, the Chinese government has imposed strict countermeasures in affected areas in an effort to contain the virus.  

Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, says that so far China’s heightened restrictions have not had a significant impact on red meat demand, with most areas reporting normal restaurant traffic and consumer activity. But the situation has prompted some local authorities to step up cold storage facility inspections to ensure compliance with COVID protocols, raising concerns about shipping delays.  

Haggard added that since Aug. 12, operations have been suspended at a container terminal at China’s Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. While this is not a particularly large point of entry for U.S. red meat products, the terminal closure further elevated concerns about container bottlenecks and vessel congestion in China, especially at the Port of Shanghai where some shipments destined for Ningbo were re-routed.

Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific

The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider. 

Submitted to the BARN by:

Joe Schuele

Vice President, Communications

U.S. Meat Export Federation

303-547-0030 (mobile)

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.