hipping problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced FMF Foods Limited’s exports.
Biscuit Companies (FMF) Manager Exports Rakesh Raju confirmed this during World Biscuit Day celebration at their Walu Bay headquarters last week.
“From March there was a surge in demand in regards to export. Following the GOVID-19 there was a steady demand leading to a challenge on the logistic side,” Mr Raju said.
“The challenge is we do not have the volume for the vessel schedule for other Pacific Islands,” he said.
“In terms of previous years, we can say that the delay is up to 80 to 90 per cent and that is one of the contributing factors that we have to delay our shipment and for not being able to fulfil the demand with what the customers are sending.”
FMF Foods Limited exports biscuits to United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many Pacific countries.
Fiji Ports Terminal Limited (FPTL) chief executive officer Hasthika Bandara Dela last week confirmed that there had been an 11 per cent reduction in import and export volumes compared to the same period last year.
“Many strong economies have succumbed to the Coronavirus pandemic. This has resulted in disruptions to production and supply chain globally,” Mr Dela said.
“Many ports are experiencing low cargo volumes and Fiji being part of the global network and supply chain is not exempted from the same,” he said.
Mr Dela said Fiji would pick up again once the pandemic passed.
Over the past three months there has been little movement of vessels at Fiji’s main ports including Suva, Lautoka and Vuda.
Last week vehicles carrier, called in four weeks after the Panama registered
offloaded vehicles at the Suva Kings Wharf at the end of April.
Expected arrivals the next few days at respective ports are: Suva –
a container ship arrives tomorrow and an oil/chemical tanker arrives Tuesday, June 9; Lautoka –
a container ship arrives tomorrow and Vuda – an oil/chemical tanker due today.