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
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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Published on
July 29, 2014

China’s aquaculture sector appears to be bullish about production this year, judging by fish feed consumption in the first six months. Two of China’s key aquatic feed producers look set to announce positive half-year results, helped by strong demand from a recovering shrimp aquaculture sector as well as strong prices for fish.

Tongwei will announce an expansion in sales in the region of 20-25 percent, with earnings growth of 70 percent

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Published on
July 28, 2014

Exports from China’s key processing belt appear to have recovered somewhat after a slow start to the year. Liaoning's entire foreign trade totaled 849,000 metric tons (MT) in the first six months of the year, worth USD 2.02 billion (EUR 1.5 million), a 0.9 percent year on year decrease and an increase of 7.2 percent, respectively. Exports of aquatic products totaled 36.4 million MT, worth USD 1.31 billion (EUR 975 million), up 2.6 percent and

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Published on
July 22, 2014

China’s key seafood export commodities have eased but are solid in historical terms, suggesting higher prices for exporters this fall.

Tilapia prices beat last year’s averages in the early months of the year and hit RMB 6/500g (USD 0.97, EUR 0.72) in May, a significant increase on the RMB 4.8/500g (USD 0.77, EUR 0.57) average recorded at the same time last year. But by June prices had slid back to RMB 4.8/500g, where they were at the

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Published on
July 21, 2014

Anyone who sees China’s aquaculture sector as fragmented should look to a remarkable figure: China’s government claims 80 percent of Chinese aquaculture output is in fact in the hands of the large-scale companies commonly referred to as “dragon head enterprises” in Chinese. That level of concentration exceeds the equivalent figures for livestock (70 percent) and crops (60 percent) and suggests plenty of ability by a select core of

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Published on
July 15, 2014

Plans by the Zhangzidao Group Co. to raise up to RMB 1.3 billion (USD 209 million, EUR 154 million) this summer in a private placement of shares are being made more challenging by a heavy debt burden worrying potential investors. One of China’s best-known seafood players and a key shellfish producer is dangerously over-leveraged, according to Chinese financial analysts.

Zhangzidao is currently running a debt to net assets ratio of 55.06

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Published on
July 15, 2014

Resurgent demand for freshwater seafood species — as well as expectations of a recovery in the shrimp sector — is prompting Chinese analysts to predict a solid year for suppliers of aquatic feed while higher feed prices could push prices for the country’s aquaculture export sector.

Leading suppliers the Guangdong Haid and Tongwei Co. are set to increase revenues by 20 percent and 30 percent respectively, according to analysts

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Published on
July 11, 2014

Demand for crustaceans is strong in China this month as local shrimp supply enters peak season and consumers switch from white fish due to a moratorium on fishing in the country’s main seas.
 
Shrimp prices weakened as there’s been a rush of supply onto the market due to a sell-off by producers worried about potential outbreaks of disease. A wholesaler at the Dongfang Seafood Market in Shanghai (one of China’s three biggest seafood

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Published on
July 10, 2014

Fish exporters eyeing China sales will be happy to see there’s been a big bump in prices for fish in one of the country’s key wholesale markets. With China’s fishing ports on an annual three-month fishing moratorium, prices for snakehead, bass, catfish and mullet were up 33.33 percent, 12.5 percent, 48 percent and 36 percent respectively, year on year, in June, according to data published by the Dongfang International Seafood Market in

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