Covid supply chain disruption

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Woodchopper
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Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:57 pm

We are starting to see some effects on the supply chain from production having been disrupted.

Condoms worldwide
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... SApp_Other

Eggs in Europe and on complex supply chains in general
https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2020 ... rit-large/
a complex system fails at its weakest point. There are plenty of chickens laying plenty of eggs, there are trucks to deliver them, there is space on the shelves. But the absence of cardboard containers is enough to bring the system to a halt
Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns
https://www.theguardian.com/global-deve ... e-un-warns
Governments must resist calls from some quarters to protect their own food supply by restricting exports, he said, as some have begun to do.
Kazakhstan, for instance, according to a report from Bloomberg, has banned exports of wheat flour, of which it is one of the world’s biggest sources, as well as restrictions on buckwheat and vegetables including onions, carrots and potatoes. Vietnam, the world’s third biggest rice exporter, has temporarily suspended rice export contracts. Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, may also threaten to restrict exports, as it has done before, and the position of the US is in doubt given Donald Trump’s eagerness for a trade war in other commodities.

[...]

While the supply of food is functioning well in most countries at present, problems could start to be seen within weeks and intensify over the following two months as key fruit and vegetables come into season. These types of produce often have short ripening times and are highly perishable, and need skilled pickers to work quickly at the right time.
“We need to be careful not to break the food value chain and the logistics or we will be looking at problems with fresh vegetables and fruits soon,” said Torero. “Fruit and vegetables are also very labour intensive, if the labour force is threatened because people can’t move then you have a problem.”

As governments impose lockdowns in countries across the world, recruiting seasonal workers will become impossible unless measures are taken to ensure vital workers can still move around, while preventing the virus from spreading.
“Coronavirus is affecting the labour force and the logistical problems are becoming very important,” said Torero. “We need to have policies in place so the labour force can keep doing their job. Protect people too, but we need the labour force. Major countries have yet to implement these sorts of policies to ensure that food can keep moving.”

Countries such as the UK, with a sinking currency and high level of imports, are also likely to see food price rises unless the government takes action or retailers absorb some of the costs, he said.
Last edited by Stephanie on Thu May 14, 2020 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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FlammableFlower
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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:27 pm

I was wondering when this would start.

Back in 2009 there was an interesting international shortage of acetonitrile. Interesting (well to me at least) because of how it was caused. The previous year there was the global financial crisis, Beijing Olympics and a very active North Atlantic hurricane season. Together they caused a large drop in both supply (from China and US) and demand (general financial crash) for plastics, of which acrylonitrile is a big part. Acetonitrile is a byproduct of this industry. Major use is in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. They couldn't get hold of it for love nor money so it impacted them.

Here we've got a far more obvious issue, but here's bring there's a lot of unforeseen knock-on effects.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by JQH » Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:04 pm

Shortage of condoms with lots of people at home with time on their hands ...

I predict a surge in the birthrate in 2021.

And no doubt in the 2080s younsters will be saying what a selfish lot the covid boomers are.
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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by dyqik » Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:49 am

JQH wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:04 pm
Shortage of condoms with lots of people at home with time on their hands ...

I predict a surge in the birthrate in 2021.

And no doubt in the 2080s younsters will be saying what a selfish lot the covid boomers are.
Quaranteenagers, please.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:11 am

Farmers across Europe bank on improvised armies of pickers to save harvest
Growers from Ireland to Spain says coronavirus lockdown has stopped migrant workers from arriving
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ve-harvest

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:18 am

I guess after the call-up for the NHS, this will be the next one...

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by science_fox » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:26 am

FlammableFlower wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:27 pm
I was wondering when this would start.

Back in 2009 there was an interesting international shortage of acetonitrile. Interesting (well to me at least) because of how it was caused. The previous year there was the global financial crisis, Beijing Olympics and a very active North Atlantic hurricane season. Together they caused a large drop in both supply (from China and US) and demand (general financial crash) for plastics, of which acrylonitrile is a big part. Acetonitrile is a byproduct of this industry. Major use is in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries. They couldn't get hold of it for love nor money so it impacted them.

Here we've got a far more obvious issue, but here's bring there's a lot of unforeseen knock-on effects.
Acetonitrile wasn't just general plastics. It was particularly a byproduct from making car body interiors. As the car industry slowed down, research labs couldn't perform analyses due to the lack of ACN. Werid world.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by FlammableFlower » Fri Apr 03, 2020 11:05 am

That was it!

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by nekomatic » Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:21 am

science_fox wrote:
Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:26 am
As the car industry slowed down
Thank goodness that’s not a problem this time rou… oh.

Do we know if the acetonitrile supply chain is any more resilient now?

I expect it’s been mentioned in Chemistry World except I’m about eighteen months behind with reading it.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Cardinal Fang » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:54 pm

Hmm.

Maybe I need to stockpile a little ACN then. Anyone want to swap for toilet rolls?

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:29 am

Singapore ramps up rooftop farming plans as virus upends supply chains
https://news.trust.org/item/20200408062120-9zn5k/
The densely populated city-state produces only about 10% of its food needs but has plans to increase that as climate change and population growth threaten global food supplies.

Around the world, restrictions on population movement because of the coronavirus outbreak are wreaking havoc on farming and food supply chains and raising concern of widespread shortages and price increases.

"The current COVID-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore's strategies to ensure food security," authorities said in a statement. "Local food production mitigates our reliance on imports, and provides buffer in the event of food supply disruptions."
As a city state, Singapore is probably the most exposed place in the world. But the UK imports about half of the food it consumes.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Gfamily » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:22 am

Slightly off topic, but I'm currently queueing to get into a supermarket along with about 25 others, about 9 of whom have decided that they should pick up their trollies now, rather than waiting until they get to the head of the queue.
This could be said to make sense, because if everyone does it there may not be any when you get to the front of the queue. But if most people only pick up their trolly when they get to the front of the queue, there will be enough.
There's a metaphor here I think.
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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by MartinDurkin » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:46 am

Gfamily wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:22 am
Slightly off topic, but I'm currently queueing to get into a supermarket along with about 25 others, about 9 of whom have decided that they should pick up their trollies now, rather than waiting until they get to the head of the queue.
This could be said to make sense, because if everyone does it there may not be any when you get to the front of the queue. But if most people only pick up their trolly when they get to the front of the queue, there will be enough.
There's a metaphor here I think.
I thought the advice was to use a trolley as a spacer when queuing?

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Gfamily » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:52 am

MartinDurkin wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:46 am
Gfamily wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:22 am
Slightly off topic, but I'm currently queueing to get into a supermarket along with about 25 others, about 9 of whom have decided that they should pick up their trollies now, rather than waiting until they get to the head of the queue.
This could be said to make sense, because if everyone does it there may not be any when you get to the front of the queue. But if most people only pick up their trolly when they get to the front of the queue, there will be enough.
There's a metaphor here I think.
I thought the advice was to use a trolley as a spacer when queuing?
Trollies as spacers would only give about 1.5 metres separation, which is smaller than recommended; but anyway the people that are queueing outside the shop are generally spacing between 2 and 3 metres already.

ETA - We're having a nice couple of days, so queueing isn't too unpleasant - I wonder if the separation will change when the weather next gets wet and windy.
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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Martin Y » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:57 am

Our Tesco has a long zigzag queue area filling a quarter of the carpark, with 2m spacing marked by lines, and a load of trolleys at the start which I infer have been wiped down before they go back into the pile. But they also have a person by the door who wipes down your trolley handles as you go in. So I use a disposable glove when I collect a trolley and only take it off when the trolley's been wiped.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Ladysavage » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:04 pm

A lot of our juniper comes from central/eastern Europe. Guess where's shut just now?!

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Gfamily » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:08 pm

Ladysavage wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:04 pm
A lot of our juniper comes from central/eastern Europe. Guess where's shut just now?!
I'll start buying up now...
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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Pucksoppet » Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:51 am

Ladysavage wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:04 pm
A lot of our juniper comes from central/eastern Europe. Guess where's shut just now?!
Isn't most of your production going into hand sanitiser right now?

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Ladysavage » Fri Apr 10, 2020 12:35 pm

Pucksoppet wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 9:51 am
Ladysavage wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:04 pm
A lot of our juniper comes from central/eastern Europe. Guess where's shut just now?!
Isn't most of your production going into hand sanitiser right now?
Not by any stretch! We donated a LOT but we're still producing, albeit on a scaled back rate

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Matatouille » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:05 am

Martin Y wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:57 am
Our Tesco has a long zigzag queue area filling a quarter of the carpark, with 2m spacing marked by lines, and a load of trolleys at the start which I infer have been wiped down before they go back into the pile. But they also have a person by the door who wipes down your trolley handles as you go in. So I use a disposable glove when I collect a trolley and only take it off when the trolley's been wiped.
I think my local Morrisons is missing a bit of the puzzle then. I went yesterday, and the time before that almost a fortnight ago. The time before they had a queue and counted people in to match exiting shoppers, but otherwise it was pretty like normal times. Yesterday they had added to this arrangement by directing you to a chap who wiped the trolley handle after you entered the shop after queueing with your trolley for 20 mins. There was no option to collect get an already "cleaned" trolley at either end of the queue, so it seems that this new precaution can make very little impact on infection vectors.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:16 pm

SMITHFIELD FOODS' PORK processing facility in South Dakota, one of the nation's largest, will close indefinitely after nearly 300 workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company said on Sunday that its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will remain closed "until further notice." The plant processes 4% to 5% of America's pork production, supplying nearly 130 million servings of food per week. It employs about 3,700 people, and more than 550 farmers supply the facility.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-ne ... oronavirus

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Pucksoppet » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:16 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:16 pm
SMITHFIELD FOODS' PORK processing facility in South Dakota, one of the nation's largest, will close indefinitely after nearly 300 workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company said on Sunday that its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will remain closed "until further notice." The plant processes 4% to 5% of America's pork production, supplying nearly 130 million servings of food per week. It employs about 3,700 people, and more than 550 farmers supply the facility.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-ne ... oronavirus
That's somewhat shocking. It is just over 8% of the employees. If you look at the FT illustration of SAR-CoV-2 deaths in the USA, South Dakota has very few deaths: 6; but no statewide lockdown measures. If it can be interpreted as applicable to the general population, then it strikes me that a lot more people are infected there that you might expect.

It could be very bad news, and South Dakota's hospitals are about to be overwhelmed: or it could be very good news, in that many people are having effectively symptomless infections, or it could mean the tests are duff, or the sample is insufficiently random to be able to draw any conclusions. Bah.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:05 am

Pucksoppet wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:16 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Apr 13, 2020 7:16 pm
SMITHFIELD FOODS' PORK processing facility in South Dakota, one of the nation's largest, will close indefinitely after nearly 300 workers tested positive for the coronavirus.

The company said on Sunday that its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, will remain closed "until further notice." The plant processes 4% to 5% of America's pork production, supplying nearly 130 million servings of food per week. It employs about 3,700 people, and more than 550 farmers supply the facility.
https://www.usnews.com/news/national-ne ... oronavirus
That's somewhat shocking. It is just over 8% of the employees. If you look at the FT illustration of SAR-CoV-2 deaths in the USA, South Dakota has very few deaths: 6; but no statewide lockdown measures. If it can be interpreted as applicable to the general population, then it strikes me that a lot more people are infected there that you might expect.

It could be very bad news, and South Dakota's hospitals are about to be overwhelmed: or it could be very good news, in that many people are having effectively symptomless infections, or it could mean the tests are duff, or the sample is insufficiently random to be able to draw any conclusions. Bah.
Some follow-up:
South Dakota’s governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spots.

As governors across the country fell into line in recent weeks, South Dakota’s top elected leader stood firm: There would be no statewide order to stay home.
Such edicts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kristi L. Noem said disparagingly, reflected a “herd mentality.” It was up to individuals — not government — to decide whether “to exercise their right to work, to worship and to play. Or to even stay at home.”
And besides, the first-term Republican told reporters at a briefing this month, “South Dakota is not New York City.”
But now South Dakota is home to one of the largest single coronavirus clusters anywhere in the United States, with more than 300 workers at a giant ¬pork-processing plant falling ill. With the case numbers continuing to spike, the company was forced to announce the indefinite closure of the facility Sunday, threatening the U.S. food supply.

[...]

Already, the experience has been harrowing: As of early April, the city had relatively few cases. But over the course of last week, the numbers surged as the virus ripped through the city’s Smithfield Foods production plant, a colossus that employs 3,700 people — many of them immigrants — and churns out 18 million servings of pork product per day.
On Monday alone, 57 more workers were confirmed to have positive diagnoses, bringing the total well above 300 — and making it one of the country’s largest clusters. Other major clusters include Cook County Jail in Chicago and the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.
The Smithfield cases amount to more than a third of the state’s overall total, which stood at 868 on Monday, including six deaths, in a state of nearly 900,000 people.
Over the weekend, Smithfield bowed to growing pressure and said it would shutter the facility indefinitely in a bid to contain the spread — though Smithfield leaders cautioned that the action could severely disrupt the nation’s food supplies. The factory, like other food production facilities, had earlier been deemed essential by the federal government.
The shutdown of the Sioux Falls plant, coupled with other closures, “is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Kenneth Sullivan, Smithfield president and chief executive, said in a statement. “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running.”

[...]

Before the closure, workers had complained that they were not given sufficient access to protective gear, such as masks. The company said Thursday that it had taken steps to reduce the spread, including “adding extra hand sanitizing stations, boosting personal protective equipment, continuing to stress the importance of personal hygiene.” But workers said they were required to work so closely together that it was impossible to stay healthy.
“There is no social distance,” said Lily, a 30-year-old Mexican immigrant who had worked at the plant for nearly 13 years but quit because she feared bringing the coronavirus home to her husband and young daughter.
Lily, who spoke on the condition that her last name not be published for fear of retribution, said it is not only at work where she feared the virus. “Many people are sick. Not only in the plant — in the whole city,” she said.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national ... story.html

And those workers will probably infect their households.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by FlammableFlower » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:32 pm

Ah, here's some of the unexpected knock-ons appearing:

CO2 shortage due to decreasing ethanol production, which is in turn a combination of COVID-19 being the final nail in the coffin after Trump reduced fuel manufacturers requirement to add ethanol for fuel and also the Russia-Saudi oil price war.
In an open letter to the vice-president, Mike Pence, the coalition warns: “Preliminary data show that production of CO2 has decreased by approximately 20%, and experts predict that CO2 production may be reduced by 50% by mid-April.”

It continues: “A shortage in CO2 would impact the US availability of fresh food, preserved food and beverages, including beer production.”

In an email, a Fema spokesperson said: “There is nationwide reduction in CO2 production capacity based on a shutdown of some ethanol plants that produce CO2 as a by-product, but impacts to water sectors would be local”.

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Re: Covid supply chain disruption

Post by Brightonian » Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:43 pm

Oil price down to -$37.63 a barrel. No, that "-" isn't a typo.

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