China Resumes Eel Exports to Japan


Keith Crane, SeafoodSource contributing editor, from Guangdong Province, China

Published on
November 30, 2008

China is to resume exporting roast eel to Japan after a contamination scare earlier this year brought the trade to a virtual standstill.

China's Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products and the Japanese Eel Importation Organization agreed in Xiamen last week to resume business.

Japanese supermarkets had stopped selling the product but that trade will now resume.

The move comes as eel supplies in Japan and Taiwan lose quality as winter approaches.

China's eel exports to Japan slumped after the poisoned dumpling scandal in January this year, which focused world attention on the quality of China's food products.

Fuzhou in China's eastern Fujian province, the country's largest eel exporting city, saw its eel exports to Japan fall by two thirds between January and June this year from 17,140 tons to 5,725 tons.

Japan is China's main market for eel exports, with 15,562 tons shipped to the country between January and July this year at an average price of $26 per kilogram, down from 43,836 tons in 2007, according to the Chinese fishery Web site,

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