CNFC blames weak consumer demand, high labor costs for 2023 loss

CNFC fishing vessels at sea
CNFC fishing vessels at sea | Photo courtesy of CNFC
4 Min

Chinese and global seafood demand remains weak and will remain soft through 2024, the listed arm of Chinese state-owned tuna and squid fishing firm CNFC Overseas Fishery said in its 2023 results.

CNFC posted a loss of CNY 118.1 million (USD 16.3 million, EUR 15.2 million) in 2023, down from a profit of CNY 158.6 million (USD 21.9 million, EUR 20.4 million) in 2022. Released 25 March, the company’s annual report revealed the company increased its total sales to CNY 4.04 billion (USD 558.6 million, EUR 518.8 million) in 2023 from CNY 3.97 billion (USD 548 million, EUR 509.8 million) in 2022, marking a 1.71 percent jump.

CNFC, which has a sales network stretching across Africa, Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East, and China, blamed falling prices for frozen tuna on weak consumer demand in key markets, as well as material and fuel costs. NFC said it has increasingly encountered difficulties in hiring Chinese workers for its vessels and that labor shortages have factored into its losses.

“The company continued to face a severe and complex external environment. The world economic recovery is weak, and the fluctuations in the international trade market have led to a significant increase in the prices of fishing production and supply materials. The fish sales market is very sluggish, and prices continue to fall,” it said. “In addition, due to the increase in restructuring, mergers and acquisitions loans, and exchange rate changes caused by exchange rate changes, the increase in losses resulted in a significant year-over-year increase in financial expenses.”

CNFC has been loss-making for several years and gone through several recent restructurings under its parent company: the China Agricultural Development Group Corporation. It moved forward with a non-public listing in 2022. 

CNFC then carried out a restructuring of its fisheries division, approved by shareholders in June 2023, that resulted in the purchase of majority ownership of Zhongyu Global Seafood Corporation, China National Agricultural Development Group Zhoushan Overseas Fisheries, and China Aquatic Products Zhoushan Marine Fisheries Products for a total of CNY 1.72 billion (USD 237.8 million, EUR 220.9 million). The move allowed it to achieve “integrated management of its entire offshore fishery industry chain.”

“The major asset restructuring work effectively solved the problem of horizontal competition that had existed for more than 20 years. The assets of listed companies have expanded rapidly, and fishing operations have expanded from tuna longline fishing to tuna purse seine, squid fishing, various trawling operations, etc., and fishing species have increased significantly,” CNFC said. “At the same time, new business sectors such as fishery services and food processing have been added, laying a solid foundation for the successful creation of an integrated pelagic fishery industry chain, which will greatly improve the company's ability to resist risks and accelerate the company's transformation and upgrading of high-quality and rapid development.”

CNFC, which now has China’s largest distant-water fleet, with operations in three oceans and 20 countries, received at least ...

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500
Editor's Choice