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Attention seafood exporters! Chinese seafood imports rose in H1 2017

China, already the world’s number one seafood market, just got a little more attractive for exporters. Imports of seafood have risen across the first half of 2017.

Chinese seafood imports rise year-on-year

Data from Chinese customs reveals that seafood imports have grown by a tasty 17.1% from January-June 2017. In monetary terms, that’s $4.2 billion worth of fish and other related products. 

If this trend continues, Chinese seafood imports will likely total over $8 billion by year’s end 2017 – well on the way to 2020’s predicted $20 billion total import value.

It also means fish and seafood is the fastest growing meat import segment. For comparison, imports of beef expanded by 14%, whereas lamb imports rose 8.3% year-on-year during the same period.

Lower import duties, higher consumption fuelling import growth

This trend has been rolling since the start of the decade. In some cities, such China’s seafood gateway Shanghai, growth is even more rapid. Shanghai, both China’s and the world’s largest city, saw seafood imports rise by 34.7% year-on-year across January-April 2016, for example.

However, imports may have been boosted by a lowering of seafood import duties. Back in February, duties on some highly popular products, including pollock, tuna, coldwater shrimp, and king crab, were dropped, encouraging seafood buyers to secure more stock.

Of course, it could be that China’s 1.3 billion population is simply eating more seafood. Consumption levels continue to grow yearly. By 2020, its estimated your average Chinese person will be eating nearly 36kg of fish a year. Some locations, like cities on China’s eastern seaboard, are already way ahead and consuming 40kg of per capita per year.

Some of the most in-demand product groups in China right now include:

Lobster – US lobster exports to China have jumped from 2014’s sales record of $90.2 million to $108 million in 2016.
Shrimp – Consumption of all shrimp varieties has collectively grown 123% since 2005
Salmon – Scottish producers sent 5 tons of Atlantic salmon to China in 2009. By 2013 this had increased to 9,709 tons – a colossal increase of 194,080%.
But big theme for exporters is this: Chinese seafood imports are up and is the nation’s fastest growing meat import sector.

Discover the China’s huge seafood market at World Seafood (SIFSE) Shanghai 2017

For exporters looking to capitalise on China’s voracious appetite for seafood, there is only one place to meet the China’s biggest seafood buyers, distributors and importers: World Seafood Shanghai (SIFSE).

Held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre between 19-21 August, the event is a specialised fish and seafood exhibition aimed at meeting local demand and closing supply gaps. 31,441 visitors from over 39 countries attended 2016’s show – all looking to secure supplies and boost their sales.

Want to grow your leads in the world’s biggest city, and foremost seafood market? Contact us today to book your slot, or to discuss how you can take part in World Seafood (SIFSE) 2017.


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