ENTERING RECOVERY PHASE
Disruptions faced by the domestic supply chain as Victoria state goes into a 6-week lockdown.
- On 6 August, the State of Victoria reported 8 COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, just days after announcing its deadliest day of the pandemic with 15 deaths. This comes after state capital Melbourne began the first day of a 6-week lockdown, as authorities battle against a second wave of coronavirus infections.
- With the Victoria outbreak threatening to spill into other states, border and movement restrictions have since been reintroduced across the country in varying degrees.
- Forecast national peak unemployment had been revised upwards to about 10% due to Victoria’s reimposition of restrictions. However, effective unemployment is estimated to be at 14% when workers on Australia’s wage subsidy scheme is taken into account.
- Singapore and Australia signed a digital economy agreement (SADEA), which will facilitate digitalisation of trade processes and make it easier and more cost-effective for local companies to engage in cross-border business activities between both countries. This includes the digitalisation of trade administration documentation for efficient cargo clearance.
- SADEA will enable trusted cross-border data flows without unnecessary and costly requirements such as data localisation.
IMPACT ON FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- Victoria has a huge food and beverage industry footprint, whereby one-third of total industry turnover and employment is accounted for within the state. With Stage 4 lockdown in place, several restrictions have been placed on the meat, seafood and warehouse divisions, including whether they can remain operational and the number of workers that are allowed. Where operational, workers are required to obtain permits.
- The outbreak has also led to a 8pm to 5am curfew, as well as a recent 48-hour shut down of a key air freight terminal in Melbourne. The domestic supply chain is experiencing shortages, aggravated by elements of panic buying.
- The Australian Beverage Council has commissioned KPMG to develop a drinks industry recovery blueprint, detailing 4 key policy recommendations for state and federal governments to consider to support the industry and more broadly, the nation’s economy and its recovery.