Shares of Chinese frozen food companies are bouncing as Covid derails lunar New Year’s plans

Mindtree, HCL Tech, BPCL, Ujjivan SFB, HDFC Bk And Adani grp

Frozen food is extremely popular in China as home-cooked suppers during the coming Lunar New Year holiday appears to be a more secure bet than taking off to celebrate as Covid-19 cases increment. Frozen seafood processor Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co. move by the 20% limit in Shenzhen for a third-consecutive day Friday, while hot-pot ingredient and frozen meat providers Haixin Foods Co. and Shandong Delisi Food Co. each hopped 10% for a third day. One more producer of pre-arranged meals, Jinling Hotel Corp, has surged 36% this week.

This rare bright corner comes as China reported finding 143 new local Covid cases across five provinces on Thursday, with local governments including Shanghai and Beijing advising against traveling outside the cities during the seven-day festival that starts on Jan. 31.

The group’s performance is an outlier in an otherwise bearish market. The benchmark CSI 300 Index is set to close at its lowest level since November 2020, and all sub gauges except energy are in the red so far this year.

Still, the appetite for the niche group of food firms hasn’t been sufficient to lift sentiment for other consumer shares, like those making the liquor baijiu. The CSI consumer staples index is down 3.8% this week, poised for its lowest close in two months, with Kweichow Moutai Co. and Wuliangye Yibin Co. each sliding by at least 3.5%.

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