China seafood firm promises more pricing transparency with new trading platform

A major Chinese shrimp producer has set up an online trading platform it’s hoping will bring more price transparency to China’s seafood market.

The Bohai Seafood Commodity Trading Platform is being readied for launch by the Bohai Aquatic Products Co. Ltd. (it also uses the English name Bohai Seafoods), which is part of a larger conglomerate based in the key aquaculture and processing region of Shandong, on China’s east coast. 

“We are giving producers, distributors and consumers a fair and open platform to exchange information,” said Zhang Rong An, general manager of the company, which is part of the Hui Tai Group, one of China’s biggest producers of salt as well as a big aquaculture player in its own right. The company produces and sells shrimp but also shrimp feed and seed. 

Seafood pricing in China remains arbitrary, according to Zhang, due to the fragmented nature of the production landscape as well as the predominance of middlemen who buy the output of many of the small-scale seafood producers. 

“It would be more efficient and fair if producers could sell directly and could see what prices and demand they can expect,” Zhang told a launch party to announce the new trading platform.

The new platform’s name, the Bohai Commodity Exchange, is not unlike that of an existing futures trading center. It and the Dalian Commodity Exchange are both state-run institutions aiming to develop a commodity futures system in China to bring certainty to pricing in key commodities. But none of the exchanges have yet to develop the influence of the Chicago Commodity Exchange on which they’re based.


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