China's Seafood Exports Down in Third Quarter


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

Published on
October 19, 2008

Chinese seafood exports fell by nearly 5 percent in the first three quarters of 2008. Chinese customs officials said late last week that the value of exports fell to $2.47 billion.

Exports to Japan were down more than one-fifth, perhaps reflecting the contaminated shrimp dumpling scare in the country earlier this year, although exports to Europe did increase by more than one-quarter.

Frozen whole and processed fish are China's main seafood products, with exports falling 22 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively.

China's Shandong province and Zhejiang produce the majority of frozen seafood products, accounting for almost 80 percent of China's total seafood exports.

Liaoning's exports have fallen by almost 10 percent, although Shandong, which recently introduced new green policies, has seen its exports hold up, with a fall of just 1 percent.

Fisheries experts say that many countries have imposed tighter inspection controls following the dumpling incident and other Chinese food-safety scares.

China's currency, the RMB or yuan, is also appreciating against western currencies, and the country is tackling domestic inflation.

Provinces such as Shandong and Liaoning hope, however, the new green policies they are introducing, including more fuel-efficient trawler fleets, will improve their international competitiveness.

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