Business information

COVID concerns in China and restaurant business down in 2020

COVID concerns in China and restaurant business down in 2020

From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with your agribusiness update.

**Commodity markets came under pressure last week as traders tried to shed risk from shipping issues in China, prompted by new concerns over COVID-19 that prompted authorities to shut down much of its transport.

This all comes as authorities scramble to contain an outbreak of a highly transmissible Omincron variant.

Restrictions are in place until April 3.

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

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

The total value of the herbal market 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 food categories outpacing conventional foods.

Plant-based meat dollar sales in 2021 remained strong, generating a repeat year of $1.4 billion in sales and 74% growth over the past three years.

**It’s no big surprise, but data from the USDA Economic Research Service shows that restaurant transactions fell 47% in 2020, after the onset of the COVID pandemic.

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

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