China’s trade figures look gloomy for seafood

Published on
August 24, 2016

There’s much pessimism about China’s trade figures for the year to date. Chinese government data shows a 5 percent drop in imports of frozen fish, which includes fish for processing and for domestic consumption, in the first six months of 2016.

A weaker Yuan appears to have eroded the competiveness of imports: the Yuan is, this week, trading at 6.67 to the dollar compared to a high of 6.05 to the dollar in January 2014. Most effected are Asian countries who rely on China to buy their seafood and other raw materials. For instance Thailand shipped USD 24 billion (EUR 21.3 billion) worth of exports (seafood and all other items) to China in the first six months of 2016, down 8 percent year-on-year. Malaysia shipped USD 26 billion (EUR 23 billion), down 17 percent and Indonesia’s exports to China fell 10 percent year-on-year, to USD 13 billion (EUR 11.5 billion).

China buys 11 percent, 13 percent and 10 percent of total exports from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, respectively. Even more impacted is Australia, which relies on China for a massive 26 percent of its exports. It’s shipments to China at USD 60 billion (EUR 53.2 billion) fell 7 percent in the first half of the year.

Meanwhile, it’s clear that the relative weakness of the euro (relative to the dollar) is helping to cushion the competiveness of European exports. China accounted for 10 percent of exports from the EU, which sold China USD 188 billion (EUR 166.8 billion), down 3 percent year-on-year, in the first six months. U.S. exports to China fell 8 percent to USD 116 million (EUR 102.9 million) – China represents 8 percent of overall U.S. exports for the first half of 2016.

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