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
November 3, 2015

Anything goes this week on China’s vibrant online stores as the busiest shopping day of the year approaches. Various imported seafood products are being wheeled out on the country’s leading e-commerce site Tmall.com for China’s Singles Day on 11 November on its new pre-order service through which consumers put down a deposit on products with the deal transacted later once the supply is secured. The heavily promoted new system allows Tmall

Read More
Published on
October 29, 2015

It’s certainly a tough time to be an investor with exposure to China’s seafood sector. This week key shrimp processor and exporter Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co. Ltd announced its shares will remain suspended from the stock market for the foreseeable future while it undergoes “restructuring.” The shares have been suspended since June.

Guolian has also announced it sees net profit for the first three quarters of 2015 at between

Read More
Published on
October 27, 2015

Tongwei Co., one of China’s largest producers of aqua feed, fish fry and tilapia is facing uncertain times as the firm seeks to raise new funds through its listed arm for expansion in feed and solar energy projects. Tongwei, listed in Shanghai, this week announced that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) did not approve the company’s plan to raise USD 300 million (EUR 271.2 million) in extra capital through a private share

Read More
Published on
October 20, 2015

With all the gloom about China’s macroeconomic situation this summer, the health of the Chinese retail and catering sector has been overlooked, along with the potential there for the seafood industry. China’s retail and catering spending combined grew by 12 percent year on year in the first half of 2015 to total USD 172 billion (EUR 151.6 billion), up 11 percent year on year. That’s hardly anemic.

Chinese money has also been boosting

Read More
Published on
October 15, 2015

Leading Chinese seafood firm Zhangzidao Group Co., Ltd has disclosed that it was questioned on its stated profit levels for the first half of 2015 by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, on which the firm has listed. Zhangzidao posted revenues of CNY 13.01 billion (USD million, EUR million) for the first six months of the year – up 4.36 percent – while its gross margin at 16.5 percent was down 5.5 percent. But net profit attributable to shareholders

Read More
Published on
October 9, 2015

China’s growing appetite for oysters is driving prices higher, offering a premium to western prices and drawing more European supply into the country.

Imported oysters are becoming a staple with young customers in particular on Beijing’s nightlife scene, according to importers here. Local restaurants like Sino-French establishment Brasserie de Flo charge CNY 70 (USD 11.03, EUR 9.72) to CNY 80 (USD 12.61, EUR 11.10) per piece of Fine de

Read More
Published on
October 8, 2015

One of the most eye-catching product presentations at the recent Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong was the “Wild Catch” brand being shown by New Zealand Wild Catch Ltd., a new firm importing sea cucumbers into China. Set up by China-based marketing executive James Parfitt and seafood veteran Joe Cave, the firm hopes to tap Chinese demand for sea cucumber by creating a branded premium product – a wild sea cucumber rather than a farmed Chinese

Read More
Published on
October 1, 2015

Getting paid: It was a surprisingly pervasive topic on the floor at the recent Seafood Asia Expo in Hong Kong – or rather, not getting paid. Such has been the rush to grasp opportunities in China in the past decade that many foreign seafood suppliers appear to have dropped their guard in terms of the normal credit checks and due diligence they would do on new clients.

The problem seems most acute among small firms with low capacity to collect

Read More
Published on
September 30, 2015

Two of China’s biggest seafood brands have opened high-end seafood concept stores recently, the latest sign of firms here shifting from seafood production to sourcing and marketing imported seafood as well as value-added domestic products.

The most ambitious opening saw shellfish specialist Zhangzidao Group (also known as Zoneco) open a high-end shop and dining facility in the central city of Wuhan, as part of a joint venture with WuShang, a

Read More
Published on
September 24, 2015

The millions of commuters who use Hong Kong’s subway system will have become familiar recently with ubiquitous poster adverts for salmon decorating the walls of subway stations. The ads, which are also plastered on the sides of public buses, are part of a shift in strategy by the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) in China.

After persistent politically-motivated harassment of shipments by customs and veterinary authorities in the mainland (which

Read More