Guolian Aquatic sees Q1 2024 drop in operating income, citing heavy competition

A Guolian product at a wholesale market in Beijing
A Guolian product at a wholesale market in Beijing | Photo by Mark Godfrey/SeafoodSource
4 Min

Guangdong, China-based seafood company Guolian Aquatic has posted a drop in operating income in Q1 2024, with the company attributing the dip to increasing competition across several sectors.

Guolian Aquatic’s quarterly operating income fell 26.3 percent year over year to CNY 1 billion (USD 138 million, EUR 129 million).

Guolian attributed some of its decline to increased competition, particularly in the processed shrimp sector. More competitors have turned to exports in the face of a weaker domestic economy, it said.

“There are many companies now joining this market,” said Liang Xiong Guang, the deputy general manager of seafood exporter Shantou Yuexing Enterprise, echoing Guolian’s experience in the sector and particularly emphasizing that retail channels have become “highly competitive.”

Shantou has built up a stable and reliable client base in such markets as Australia, North America, and the E.U., according to Liang, who said the company’s track record will allow it to hold onto clientele for its large range of breaded shrimp products in the face of increased competition.

Intensified competition for Guolian is also coming from aquaculture companies and processors that have contracted with aquaculture farmers seeking to move up the value chain in both established and new species.

One of those firms cashing in on new species is Gain Ocean Food, based in the southwest Chinese city of Beihai. The company, which traditionally focused on tilapia fillets, is now breeding and processing channel catfish for a variety of catering firms, according to Gain Ocean Head of Marketing Kevin Zheng, who said the firm had found solid demand from casual dining chains serving braised or barbecued fish – a current dining fad gripping China’s dining scene.

Home consumption, which took off during various pandemic lockdowns, is another area where Guolian faces increased competition from new entrants, including ... 

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