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Who else is feeling the Eyjafjallajökull effect?

As Eyjafjallajökull leaves skies over Europe at least partially shut down today, the economic devestation is adding up. But as analysts are quickly realizing, harm to the airline industry, estimated at $200 million per day, is just the beginning of the mess. The least noticed losers, in fact, are not in Europe at all. They’re ...

TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images
TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

As Eyjafjallajökull leaves skies over Europe at least partially shut down today, the economic devestation is adding up. But as analysts are quickly realizing, harm to the airline industry, estimated at $200 million per day, is just the beginning of the mess. The least noticed losers, in fact, are not in Europe at all. They’re the many industries that rely on Europe as a market for delicate or perishable products. Here are just a few, and the estimated costs of the airline shut-down:

1) Horticulture: Flowers, plants, fruits, nuts, and vegetables are some of the hardest hit. Often flown into Europe from Africa and the Middle East, these days, they are pretty much left to rot, as in these countries:

– In Kenya, flower growers have lost and estimated $12 million so far, or about $2 million a day. 6.5 tonnes of roses were dumped yesterday, for example. The loss is particularly devestating with Mother’s Day coming up — a big day for flower markets across the European continent.

– In Ethiopia, horticulture exports have lost an estimated $1.75 million Euros so far

– South Africa’s flowers growers have also been forced to stop their exports to Europe. No estimate of losses is available for the moment.

2) Diamonds: Although not perishable, diamonds often travel by air from India, where they are cut to dealers in Antwerp.  DiamondManufacturers.co.uk today issued a press release welcoming a lifting to the air regulations, noting that it would take up to a week for the industry to get back on track. "If flights are not resumed within two or three weeks, however, the diamond retail trade could face serious disruptions."

3) Fish and meat: Exports of fish going both into and out of Europe have halted, meaning that fisherman on the continent are unable to sell their stocks and consumers of exotic fishes in Europe are finding empty plates. The world’s largest fish producer is Norwegian and will reduce its pulls from the salmon stock until the crisis ends, Reuters reports. In other news, fine New Zealand lamb — 10 tonnes of it — are waiting in airports.

4) Sports: Teams and individuals athletes are stuck at home while big events, such as the Boston Marathon today, go ahead. 

5) Oil: Prices fell on a fall in demand for jet fuel in Europe — and news of the Security and Exchange Commission’s accusations against Goldman Sachs.

6) Electronics: Cellphone chips and processors in Asia worry that a prolongued air shutdown could interrupt their supply chains. Already, imports of individual PCs and other such electronics are backed up. 

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