Chinese Markets React to Earthquake

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May 19, 2008

The China Agricultural Wholesale Markets Association (CAWA) reacted swiftly to the earthquake which hit Wenchuan County in Sichuan Province on May 12. CAWA Chairman, Mr Zengjun Ma, attending a fruit and vegetable trade fair in Hainan on the day of the earthquake, worked to ensure the allocation of fresh food and support to markets in the quake-hit areas. Chinese agricultural markets have played an important role in ensuring supply and price maintenance in the disaster areas. The Mianyang seafood and agricultural products wholesale market situated only 100 km from the epicentre has suffered serious losses, however it managed to coordinate with the rescue work by sending out cars of vegetables to the severely afflicted areas. Chengdu agricultural wholesale market has also been sending out 30 tons of vegetables per day which has ensured the supply of produce to markets there. When disaster struck, help came from all sides. Markets, including Beijing Jingshen Seafood market, Dongfang International Seafood Center, Zhengzhou Grain Wholesale Market, Jinan Seafood Market, Jidong Vegetable and Fruit Wholesale Market, Wuhan Baisha Market, Xi’an Zhuque Agricultural Products and By-products Wholesale Market spontaneously organized donations for the quake relief fund. Large-scale wholesale markets in the provinces of Henan, Hebei, Shanxi and Hunan have kept in close contact with markets in the disaster areas and are allocating and supplying according to needs within the disaster areas. At present the prices of by-products have largely been kept stable in Sichuan Province, Chongqing Municipality and Gansu Province, and as a whole the trade of fresh products in China remains regular, stable and price consistent. The earthquake death toll had exceeded 19,500 by May 15. Quake-hit areas caused heavy casualties and economic losses in Sichuan Province, and affected the Ningxia autonomous region, Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, Shanxi Province, Henan Province, Hubei Province, Hunan Province, Chongqing Municipality, Jiangsu Province, Guizhou Province, Tibet autonomous region, Shanghai and Beijing.