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Consumption impacts of coronavirus - as shown by South Korea


What really is the impact on demand of coronavirus Covid-19?


If South Korea - which was early see cases, with the first on January 20 – is a guide, the following kind of trends can be expected.


Convenience stores are seen faring relatively well, as eating in replaces dining out, and faring far better than department stores, often retailers of non-essential goods, and which would be expected to require shoppers to make a deeper dive into a, potentially crowded, outlet.


The data is drawn from a report from the US Department of Agriculture bureau in Seoul.



Comparison of year-on-year growth in selected South Korea sectors, before and after Covid-19 detected
As of second week of January
As for third week of February
Department store sales
+22.5 -20.6
Total foreign visitors
+19.0 -48.1
including Chinese
+31.1 -80.4
Convenience store sales +7.4 +2.7
Restaurant sales +4.5 -14.2



The briefing concluded that, to judge from previous incidences of new diseases, "novel viruses have historically had an impact for a minimum of 5-6 months and therefore we project that Covid-19 will affect overall meat consumption through the first half of 2020, if not longer".


This forecast was based on the following observations:


Outbreaks of new disease in South Korea, and their human toll
Period of outbreak
Number of confimed patients Death toll
November 2002-July 2003 3 0
H1N1 swine flu

April 2009-August 2010

759,678 263
May-December 2015/ September-October 2018 186 38
Covid-19 January 20-March 12 7,869 66
Sources: USMEF, USDA, Agrimoney





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