In today’s Talking Points: China’s cold supply chain must be improved to meet growing demand for perishables; the Australian wool industry records its best start to the financial year in 11 years thanks to solid Chinese demand and tight supply; smartphone app makers and big data combining to help Chinese consumers ensure food safety; and, Chinese Online-2-Offline food delivery services charging ahead, earning massive valuations in the process.
Demand for perishables driving cold supply chain development
Meeting middle-class Chinese consumers’ growing demand for perishable foods will require major upgrades to the country’s cold supply chain, according to a Rabobank report.
The Dutch agri-finance group said demand for fresh fruit, vegetables and meat is forecast to grow by 17 percent annually over the next decade.
But for producers in Australia and elsewhere, export opportunities are limited by China’s ability to transport perishable goods overland domestically.
China must invest in the transportation, storage, and distributions infrastructure required to keep food fresh and safe while limiting wastage.
Australian wool industry rides China’s back to 12 month high
Australia’s wool industry recorded its best start to a financial year in 11 years, as Chinese and Indian demand drove prices to a 12 month high.
The benchmark Eastern Market Indicator climbed 23 cents per kilogram last week to settle at 1320c/kg, 8 percent higher than the same time last year.
Prices for broader Merino fleece categories climbed the most, with the 21 micron Southern Regional Indicator rising 49c/kg last week to 1493c/kg.
Microns indicate the diameter of the wool fibre, with a lower micron indicating better quality.
Elders national wool selling centre manager Simon Hogan put the solid market performance down to strong demand and limited supply.
Global wool supply is forecast to remain tight for the medium to long term.
Source: Weekly Times
Big data and mobile tech combine to target food safety
To ensure consumer satisfaction about food safety, Chinese app ‘Shi-An-Ce’ scans product bar codes to bring up data inspection reports and reports by the food safety watchdog.
Teng Jiacai, deputy director of China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA), notes that the next steps involve integrating into the app inspection data from the food and drug authorities at the local level and data from agricultural and customs departments.
The provincial government of Guizhou province is launching the Food Safety Cloud as a platform to amass data on the entire process from farm to table, but the initiative has been riddled with concerns over security and reliability of data.
Source: Xinhua News
China full steam ahead with food O2O services
In 2015, online food companies recorded RMB 45.8billion ($7 billion) in business, up 200 percent on the previous year.
A recent McKinsey study found 71 percent of Chinese consumers are using O2O services, and Alizila.com projects the market could reach RMB 245 billion ($37.5 billion) in 2018.
Meituan is currently the dominant player in the Chinese market at a valuation of $28 billion USD.
Source: Seeking Alpha