China’s battle with increasing coronavirus caseloads hitting ten-month highs has undoubtedly clouded the economic recovery while officials have lockdown more than 28 million people across multiple municipalities, reported Reuters.
Hebei officials have put three cities – Shijiazhuang, Xingtai, and Langfang – into lockdowns last week to mitigate the virus from spreading further. Beijing authorities expanded screening and prevention measures as cases continue to rise.
Last Wednesday, Heilongjiang province declared a virus pandemic emergency. Also, the city of Suihua, in west-central Heilongjiang province, has put 5.2 million people under lockdown.
“The worsening coronavirus situation will impact economic activity, and markets may need to temper their expectations for strong pent-up consumption demand in the coming LNY holidays,” Nomura wrote last week.
One possible reason behind increasing caseloads in China could be due to frigid temperatures as the polar vortex splits into two and dumps Arctic air into certain parts of the country. Goldman Sachs recently told clients that when temperatures dip, expect virus outbreaks to accelerate – and that is exactly what is happening in China.
Last week, an alleged video published on Twitter handle @TruthAbtChina shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) law enforcement or health officials or some governmental agency placing “seals” on apartment doors to make sure people abide by new lockdown orders.
As one would think, locking down tens of millions of people would generate panic among the working-class population. @TruthAbtChina unveiled Saturday that “People are hoarding food in the wake of the forced lockdowns all over China.”
The Twitter account added, “In an attempt to keep food on the shelves, grocery stores have more than tripled the price of many food items. This has only amplified the chaos and panic in grocery stores.”
The video allegedly shows from multiple Chinese cities of people panic hoarding food between Jan. 7-14.
Hong Kong tabloid-style newspaper Apple Daily reported Saturday morning that “grocery prices Shijiazhuang in northern China have soared by 50% as authorities started a citywide lockdown on Jan. 6 to stem the coronavirus outbreak.”
So maybe there’s some truth to @TruthAbtChina video of Chinese panic hoarding food.
New data from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index showed world food prices rose for a seventh consecutive month in December.
Everyone’s favorite permabear, SocGen’s Albert Edwards, who, unlike Goldman Sachs, is starting to worry about soaring food inflation.
Could soaring food inflation in China result in social destabilization?