10 February 2021 –
New Zealand authorities announced Wednesday that it has asked for urgent clarification from China after Beijing halted seafood imports from the South Pacific island nation earlier this week, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.
This comes after China Customs conducted audits at New Zealand’s two seafood factories, as the Chinese shoppers grew reluctant to buy overseas food products after coronavirus infections were reported among people handling such items.
New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries said on Wednesday, “shipments from a Sanford facility that processes mussels and a Sealord Group fish processing plant have been suspended due to “issues around the interpretation of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covid guidance, and food safety management.”
Note that China is New Zealand’s largest export market. Beijing bought more than NZ$600 million (US$434 million) of seafood from it in 2020.
NZD/USD is under mild bearish pressure below 0.7250 despite the risk-on rally in the Asian equities. The NZ-Sino spat could likely be weighing on the kiwi.
The spot was last seen trading at 0.7233, down 0.07% on a daily basis.