Chinese Agriculture Ministry: Seafood import market set for long-term growth

A seafood market in Guangzhou, China.

A senior researcher at China’s Ministry of Agriculture recently gave an upbeat assessment on the country’s seafood import market, signaling that although the nation remains a powerhouse in domestic seafood production, it will maintain its newfound status as a net importer for the foreseeable future.

“The potential for seafood imports will be fully unleashed soon,” Xie Zhongmin, the deputy head of research at the Agriculture Trade Promotion Center within the ministry, said. Xie said a “structural gap” in supply and demand, as well as lower tariffs, is driving China’s demand for imported seafood.

Speaking at a conference co-organized by the ministry and the Chinese office of the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA), Xie said demand was outweighing local supply and China was losing competitiveness in the export market, citing lower-cost producers in Thailand and Vietnam, in particular, as sources of stiff competition and reasons why the country has turned to imported products.

“Southeast Asian exporters have lower costs of production … and have low tariff access to the U.S. market, while China’s tilapia exports pay a 25 percent tariff to enter the U.S. market,” Xie explained.

Indonesia is one such country on the rise and competing directly with China; its tilapia-farming output is set to soon match China’s in volume terms, according to data presented at the conference by GSM Market Development Head Steve Hart. Hart projected that Indonesian tilapia output will rise 3.7 percent in 2024, compared to a ... 

Photo courtesy of vvoe/Shutterstock

SeafoodSource Premium

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

Become a member ›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