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
May 21, 2013

Aquaculture producers in Southeast Asia are proving reluctant to find alternative feeds even as the price of fishmeal continues to soar, according to a veteran watcher of the sector.

“It used to be inexpensive and plentiful, and as a result it was widely used in aquafeeds … However the economics and availabilities of fishmeal have changed and there needs to be a move away to using other ingredients to save money and for other ecological

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Published on
May 19, 2013

China’s fish feed leaders are having a good year judging by recent results, thanks in part due to increased prices for aquatic products as consumers switch to fish meat over worries about bird flu. Ventures into non-core businesses are however hurting results at market number two Tongwei Aquatic.

Tongwei’s recently released first quarter 2013 fiscal report shows revenue at CNY 1.94 billion (USD 316 million, EUR 236 million), up 13.49 percent

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Published on
May 14, 2013

Recently seen as going out of fashion, the processing industry is making a comeback in China. A decline in demand for luxury seafood in the country — caused by a clamp down on official waste and corruption — has dampened the outlook for one of China’s leading aquaculture and processor players.

Shandong Homey Aquatic Development Co., in its first quarter 2013 results, reported revenues of CNY 190 million (USD 30.9 million, EUR 24 million),

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Published on
May 12, 2013

Chinese agricultural authorities are racing to skill up officials and insurance firms to extend subsidized insurance coverage to the country’s highly fragmented aquaculture sector. With a landmark Agricultural Insurance Act in force since March, Beijing is keen to increase take-up of subsidized insurance policies, a move that could lift output.

As part of the awareness campaign targeted by government at producers, the Nongmin Ribao (Farmer’s

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Published on
May 9, 2013

A key Chinese shrimp exporter is blaming competition from Ecuador and Thailand for a woeful 2012 financial performance that will disappoint investors funding capacity expansion in the country’s seafood sector., Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Product Co., based in the Guangdong port city of Zhanjiang, in its annual report told investors its net loss of RMB 226 million (USD 36.8 million, EUR 28.3 million),  a year-on-year drop of 2,024 percent, was

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Published on
May 7, 2013

A combination of demand for rare aquatic species as well as government subsidies and propaganda is driving cultivation and consumption of Chinese giant salamanders in aquaculture bases across the country. The wild giant salamander has become a protected species in China after over-consumption for fine dining but cultivators have been stepping in to meet demand.

China National Radio recently featured the efforts of officials in Jishou city (in

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Published on
May 6, 2013

Rising prices for fish and shrimp in the domestic market as well as partial recovery in export markets have given China’s seafood firms much optimism about 2013 earnings. Huge investments in cultivation of luxury species like sea cucumber are however dragging on earnings, with sales of sea cucumber slipping due to an ongoing frugality campaign by China’s government. Prices of fish have increased this spring as consumers — worried about

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Published on
May 1, 2013

Tilapia prices have edged upward year-on-year in key cultivation zones in China, the apparent result of lower cultivation by fish farmers who were burnt by lower prices in recent years. Large numbers of tilapia cultivators exited the sector in the wake of weaker demand and prices in export markets in 2009 and 2010.

According to tilapia farmers who spoke to Seafoodsource, prices paid to tilapia farmers in Guangdong province (a key cultivation

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Published on
April 30, 2013

China is aiming to boost local catfish production to take advantage of falling U.S. output, while also tapping the domestic Chinese market, according to a state-run research organization in one of China’s key catfish cultivation regions. The Hubei Province Aquatic Products Scientific Research Institute, in a recent research report, notes that a fall in American channel catfish production means a decline in shipments of American channel

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Published on
April 28, 2013

Weaker demand from Japan — in part due to a weaker yen — is damaging China’s exports of eels to its neighbor. In the first two months in 2013, China exported 585 tons of fresh eel, down 42.6 percent compared to 2012. The average export price, at USD 36.68 (EUR 28) per kilogram, declined 14.6 percent year-over-year.

According to statistics from China’s Customs authorities, in February 2013 China exported 258 tons of fresh eel, down 21.1

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