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
April 1, 2016

Last year was officially a tough one for Chinese seafood exporters.

China’s seafood output last year totalled 66.9 million tons, up 3.8 percent year-on-year. Exports of seafood (aquatic products is the term used in China’s customs data) exports reached USD 20.33 billion (EUR 17.96 billion) – a 6.3 percent year-on-year slide on the 2014 figure, according to official data.

Imports at USD 8.9 billion (EUR 7.86 billion) were down 2.2

Read More
Published on
March 31, 2016

Qingdao Guo Xing Foodstuffs, which runs the ‘Hai Mai’ brand of imported seafood, has been listed on China’s stock exchange for small- and medium-sized firms.

The firm, which claims annual revenues of USD 160 million (EUR 140.5 million), is keen to import larger volumes of seafood, particularly wild seafood.

The company’s listing will generate cash to expand the firm’s online operations and its growing network of stores, as the

Read More
Published on
March 23, 2016

China has been awash lately with cod and sable fish (the Mandarin name for both is interchangeable) which is being marketed as a health food.

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous traders had been taking advantage of a lack of knowledge among consumers to pass off ordinary pollock as sable fish and Alaskan cod.

At least, that’s the interpretation of one China’s most influential newspapers, which recently published an extensive report on

Read More
Published on
March 22, 2016

There’s been a remarkable surge of Chinese seafood companies issuing corporate debt in recent months.

As Chinese banks tighten lending, especially to industries with overcapacity issues (seafood processors fall into this categorization), seafood companies have resorted to “private placements” – essentially high-yielding bonds sold directly to institutional investors by seafood companies that have been hit by a collapse in share prices

Read More
Published on
March 18, 2016

The Chinese trawler sunk by the Argentine navy earlier this week is owned by a state-owned Chinese entity with a track record of fishery incidents abroad. The Lu Yu Yuan 10 squid fishing boat belonged to Shandong Yantai Marine Fisheries Co., which is a subsidiary of the China National Fisheries Corporation (CNFC) – a giant state-owned firm in turn held by the China Agricultural Development Group Co., part of the Chinese government.

The

Read More
Published on
March 18, 2016

Crabs, shrimp and sea-caught fish species continue to top the lists of the most sought-after seafood in China. That’s according to a survey of 80 wholesale markets nationwide compiled by China’s agriculture ministry that shows prices for certain species were well up in the busiest period of the year for Chinese seafood sellers. Prices for freshwater species, however, struggled in January in the run-up to Chinese New Year.

According to the

Read More
Published on
March 14, 2016

The hordes of diplomats, economists and journalists parsing the words of policymakers at last week’s annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing will have found little new in terms of policy direction from the country’s agriculture minister.

It was noticeable how many reporters and diplomats turned up to hear the country’s affable agriculture minister Han Changfu – he also oversees China’s aquaculture and

Read More
Published on
March 11, 2016

China’s leading and longest-established, state-owned fishery company has found itself embroiled in a court case over unpaid loans taken by a prominent government run bank, in the latest twist to an acquisition gone wrong.

China National Fishery Co., known for its huge fleet of trawlers and its extensive processing operations, has announced to its shareholders that a case is being brought by the Industrial Bank of China against a subsidiary

Read More
Published on
March 3, 2016

Africa now ranks as China’s second-most valuable tilapia market after the U.S. with a 23.8 percent growth in tilapia exports to the continent in the first half of 2015. While data for the full year hasn’t yet been released, Chinese customs data for the first six months of 2015 show China shipped 45,352 tons of tilapia to Africa with Zambia, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Congo ranking as the largest markets on the continent. Meanwhile, U.S.

Read More
Published on
March 2, 2016

China’s leading tilapia exporter is claiming a weaker renminbi (RMB) has helped it improve its profitability despite tough international trading conditions.

Baiyang Aquatic Group reported a 4.75 percent increase in revenue for 2015 with a 1.96 percent increase in profits to Chinese yuan (CNY) 53.9 million (USD 8.23 million, EUR 7.59 million) though the firm claims total profits for its listed arm (this includes non-seafood activity) rose by

Read More