China's processing tough to replace for US wild salmon, sockeye glut leaving excess H&G supply

Published on
January 23, 2023
The salmon panel at the 2023 Global Seafood Market Conference

China's salmon-processing capacity and expertise was missed the last two years as the country shielded itself from the pandemic with its zero-Covid policy.

But with the ending of that policy in November 2022, U.S. seafood companies are set to resume their processing contracting in China.

OBI Seafoods International Sales Manager Ron Risher told the audience at the National Fisheries Institute Global Seafood Market Conference – held from 15 to 19 January in La Quinta, California, U.S.A. – that secondary processing capacity for many wild-caught salmon species was tough to find through the pandemic.

“China was the last one to come out of complete lockdown, which really did affect secondary processing,” Risher said. “Now with everything opening up just recently, as well as the total removal on requirements for frozen seafood – which became kind of a scapegoat over there for the cause of Covid – we are opening up the trade lanes to process there.”

According to Risher, companies have pushed to find alternative providers of value-added processing in other countries. There have also been attempts to reshore processing in the U.S. in the hope that lower shipping costs would offset increased labor costs. But so far ...

Photo by Chris Chase/SeafoodSource

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