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
July 28, 2013

Importing seafood into China is set to get easier with the construction of several large logistics projects focused on the sector, offering improved port handling and cold chain logistics facilities for seafood distributors.

Construction recently commenced on the latest such venture, the Qingdao Aquatic Trade and Logistic Center Project. Set to cost CNY 10.17 billion (USD 1.66 billion, EUR 1.25 billion), the 400 hectare site aims to be the most

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Published on
July 17, 2013

China’s feed industry must face a period of massive consolidation, according to the senior spokesman of the country’s key seafood lobby group.

The top ten domestic fishmeal producers are producing only 18 percent of the country’s domestic fishmeal output. “Chinese fish meal companies on average have annual production capacity of only 2,000 metric tons (MT) and this in not sustainable in the long run…the barriers to entry have been too

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Published on
July 15, 2013

A rash of reports on impounded imports suggests China is tightening its inspection regime for imported seafood.

New rules in force since 1 May mean all imported seafood and meat without certificates (there are 39 countries and areas are approved to export to China, all of them listed on Chinese government websites) will be strictly barred from Chinese seaports.

In a statement warning consumers to “be vigilant of labels on foreign imported

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Published on
July 14, 2013

Abalone farmers in southeasterly Fujian are seeking government support after a tumble in prices this summer. Ironically, government may also be the source of falling prices. Abalone farmers in Dongshan, a small city between Xiamen and Shantou, say that abalone prices have fallen from an average RMB 100 (USD 16.28, EUR 12.53) per kilo to RMB 50 (USD 8.14, EUR 6.26) per kilo because of weak demand from the government banqueting sector.

Abalone

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Published on
July 11, 2013

A free trade pact with China is making Taiwan an important channel for exporters into southern Chinese ports. Shipments of seafood from Taiwan in the first five months of 2013 were up 580 percent year-over-year to USD 4.4 million (EUR million), according to the municipal commerce department of Xiamen, a city in Fujjian province located just across the strait from Taiwan.

Under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) China in late 2011

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Published on
July 7, 2013

Leading Chinese scallop and sea cucumber player Dalian Zhangzidao Fishery Group is escaping the worst of the Chinese government’s frugality drive according to company sources — good news for nervous investors as the firm ploughs USD 100 million (EUR 77.8 million) into a massive multi-species cultivation and processing project in Korea.

Addressing a conference of investors, no doubt concerned that company stock price has dropped from RMB 18

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Published on
July 4, 2013

One of China’s leading seafood processing hubs is aiming to rank among the world’s leading processors of tuna, with the help of government subsidies and government-assisted tuna supply deals with Papa New Guinea and Indonesia. Officials in Zhoushan, a coastal city south of Shanghai, say they want to shift from squid to tuna processing. They’re hoping to increase tuna processing capacity and exports by helping processors build new canning

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Published on
July 2, 2013

Seafood prices will rise by up to 70 percent between now and 2050 due to shortage of supply and wage growth, according to a leading Australian agrononomist.

The price of fishmeal and oil will be up 61 percent in real terms over 2007 figures according to Jammie Penm, an economist at the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE), a division of the country’s agricultural ministry.

Fish prices will increase by 48 percent, far

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Published on
June 26, 2013

Bullish expansion in China’s third-largest seafood producing region means more overseas fishing and an expansion of local brands for the domestic market. That’s the vision of the government in Fujian province, which recently brought together the region’s universities, maritime authorities and seafood industry representatives in a bid to establish “10 seafood superbrands from Fujian.”

Pledging grants and the support of the local (largely

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Published on
June 25, 2013

Rising consumer spending at home has led to a partnership between one of the country’s leading fisheries firms and a WalMart-owned online retailer.

Yihaodian.com (its name translates as “number one shop”) — China’s leading online grocer — and the Shanghai Fishery General Corp Group (SFGCG) held a ceremony recently to celebrate its deal to sell seafood in China’s largest cities.

Tang Qijing, chairman of SFGCG, explained that fish

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