Chinese seafood imports up overall but down in key markets
Chinese customs authorities have confirmed that the country’s seafood imports are up 13 percent over the first three quarters of 2023, but that imports from important supplier markets are down over the same period, sending mixed signals to exporters on the status of the market overall.
One of those key suppliers is the U.S. state of Alaska, and Alaskan exports to China are down 8 percent by volume in 2023, according to data compiled for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). The drop has come despite a 1,245 percent increase in imports of Alaskan live crab into China.
“My take on these numbers is that they say more about Alaska flatfish harvest than China’s processing capacity or demand,” Sam Friedman, a research analyst at McKinley Research Group, said, specifically pointing to the most recent ASMI groundfish harvest update that shows yellowfin sole harvest is down 31 percent year over year through August.
Other major seafood markets have also been sending lower volumes of seafood to China …
Photo courtesy of Global Shrimp Forum