China port shuts as more soybean cargo crews test Covid-19 positive

13 Aug 2020 | Johnny Huang

Chinese port authorities in the eastern city of Zhoushan have shut parts of the port sparking fears of delay to unloading operations, after crew members on a cargo ship loaded with Brazilian soybeans tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus, sources close to the matter have told Agricensus Thursday.

AIS data suggested the cargo arrived in the port on Tuesday afternoon Beijing time, with trade sources saying it had been chartered by Xiamen C&D.

“One cargo of Xiamen C&D’s soybeans berthed in Zhoushan has crew members tested [Covid-19] positive. Now the entire third-phase [area] has been blocked,” according to a message shared by four different China-based market sources.

Neither Xiamen C&D or Zhoushan port authority was reachable by time of press with the news coming after business hours in China had closed.

“The local government is implementing controls over crew changes in Manila and can only berth [in China] after 14 days of change,” one soybean trader told Agricensus.

“This is going to impact port congestion again,” said one market source in the shipping sector.

Other soybean cargoes arriving into Zhoushan port were being redirected to other available parts of the port.

China recently reported crew members on up to three soybean cargoes arriving at Chinese ports had tested positive for Covid-19 with shipowners being asked to substitute affected crew members in the Philippines before being allowed to unload in China again.