Mark Godfrey

Contributing Editor

Mark Godfrey is an Irish journalist covering the agriculture and fisheries sectors in Asia, with a focus on China. Proficient in Mandarin, he has frequently traveled across China's fisheries and aquaculture regions and learned the inner workings of China's corporate world during a nearly three-year stint at the Financial Times' “China Confidential” publication. He has also reported widely across Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union. He has educational certificates in agriculture and food science, as well as Mandarin.

Published on
September 3, 2014

One of China’s key aquaculture regions is experiencing its worst drought in 50 years and water experts are predicting straitened times ahead for water-dependent industries like aquaculture and fisheries, threatening China’s ability to increase output.

Home to the key processing/export hub of Dalian, Liaoning is one of what’s termed China’s “dry 11” provinces by Feng Hu, head of research at China Water Risk, a non-profit body

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Published on
September 2, 2014

A key exporter of shellfish (and increasingly an importer of seafood) Zhangzidao Group Co. recorded RMB 1.24 billion (USD 202 million, EUR 154 million) in revenue in the first half of 2014, up 10.3 percent year on year. Net profit was down 8.07 percent to RMB 48.5 million (USD 7.9 million, EUR 6 million).

The firm attributes the sluggish figures to its heavy spending on increasing aquaculture and processing capacity as well as earnings from a

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Published on
August 29, 2014

China’s imports of seafood appear to have outpaced exports in growth terms in the first half of 2014, according to data from the ministry of agriculture in Beijing.

Exports totaled 1.86 million metric tons (MT), down 0.7 percent, but up 2.8 percent in value to USD 9.81 billion (EUR 7.4 billion). Imports climbed 10.3 percent to 2.27 million MT, worth USD 4.58 billion (EUR 3.5 billion), up 11.51 percent year on year.

An easing in the

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Published on
August 27, 2014

Baiyang Aquatic Group, China’s leading processor and exporter of tilapia has reported operating income of RMB 65.7 million (USD 10.7 million, EUR 8.1 million) in the first half of the year, an increase of 31.69 percent, while net profit attributable to shareholders totaled RMB 19.34 million (USD 3.1 million, EUR 2.2 million), an increase of 26.17 percent on the same period last year.

The growth rates look like an improvement on full-year

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Published on
August 25, 2014

Export growth appears to have slowed in one of China’s leading regions for seafood production and trade. According to the Ocean & Fisheries Bureau in southeasterly Fujian province the province’s overall trade in aquatic products from January to July this year reached 629,700 metric tons (MT), with total trade worth USD 3.4 billion (EUR 2.6 billion), down 2 percent and 22 percent respectively over the previous six months. While the export

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Published on
August 22, 2014

China’s seafood output in the first half of the year edged upwards but the runaway contributor to production growth is the country’s increasing pelagic catch. From January to June the national aquatic output of 26.16 million metric tons (MT) was up 3.4 percent on the same period in 2013 according to data collected by the ministry of agriculture from the country’s 20 main fishery producing provinces.

While the ministry doesn’t provide

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Published on
August 15, 2014

Demand for imported cod is picking up fast among Chinese consumers thanks to online sales targeted at young urbanites and parents who are being encouraged to use cod as a healthful food for infants. A phone survey of a dozen cod importers and traders in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dalian suggests that sales of cod steaks and filets are up 20 percent in volume terms year-on-year in the first six months of the year.

Traders say demand for cod

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Published on
August 13, 2014

Suppliers in China are predicting an easing in shrimp prices of 10 to 15 percent this year thanks to higher survival rates in Chinese shrimp farms.

“The survival rate is now closer to 70 percent compared to 50 to 60 percent in 2013,” explains Guangdong-based shrimp exporter Landy Chow, head of China sourcing at Siam Canadian. He’s predicting a 10 percent increase in the volume of this year’s Chinese shrimp harvest and as a result his

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Published on
August 1, 2014

Local media in Qingdao made much this week of a local fleet landing a “bargain” haul of Argentine squid in the port of this huge seafood import and processing hub. Securing far-away resources, fished by new high-tech Chinese vessels is central to keeping local processing factories busy while also keeping prices of staple seafood within the reach of China’s masses — that appears to be the view of officials in Qingdao.

Frozen squid from

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Published on
July 31, 2014

Growth in prices for seafood in China is outpacing growth in supply, suggests data for the first half of the year. Data for 47 seafood products released by the fisheries department at the China agricultural ministry shows total sales volume of 3.59 million MT, up 2.92 percent year on year while sales revenue of RMB 78.7 billion (USD 12.7 billion, EUR 9.5 billion) represents an increase of 9.29 percent.

Chinese buyers continue to pay a

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