China sees strong growth in domestic fish prices

Published on
July 10, 2014

Fish exporters eyeing China sales will be happy to see there’s been a big bump in prices for fish in one of the country’s key wholesale markets. With China’s fishing ports on an annual three-month fishing moratorium, prices for snakehead, bass, catfish and mullet were up 33.33 percent, 12.5 percent, 48 percent and 36 percent respectively, year on year, in June, according to data published by the Dongfang International Seafood Market in Shanghai.

The average price for aquatic products in June at the Dongfang Market was RMB 44.58/kg (USD 7.19, EUR 5.28), up 1.41 percent month on month in June, with what’s categorized as “chilled saltwater fish” averaging RMB 38.76/kg (USD 6.24, EUR 4.59), up 2.53 percent over the previous month. The average price of frozen fish was up 1.58 percent month on month at RMB 35.42/kg (USD 5.71, EUR 4.19). Live fish averaged RMB 59.56/kg (USD 9.60, EUR 7.05), up 0.64 percent from the previous month.

Foreign suppliers are picking up sales as China's South China Sea, East China Sea and Yellow Sea have all entered a three-month ocean fishing moratorium that will last till the end of August. According to the official report from the Dongfang, significant shipments of hairtail fish sold at the market came from Vietnam, with prices ranging from RMB 30 (USD 4.84, EUR 3.55) per 500 grams for quality product to RMB 13 (USD 2.09, EUR 1.54) to RMB 14/500g (USD 2.26, EUR 1.66) for lower grades.

At the Dongfang market some of the high-volume sales have been for hairtail, pomfret, shrimp, crabs and farmed yellow croaker, according to a spokesman for the clerk’s office at the market. There’s been a pick up in demand for pomfret, said the spokesman, for retail, home cooking and fast food. Sized 200-300 grams pomfret sold for RMB 35/500 grams (USD 5.64, EUR 4.14) with 500-600 grams pomfret selling for a high of RMB 70/500 grams (USD 11.29, EUR 8.29). “We’re also seeing chilled seafood dealers selling last year’s (frozen) domestic crab,” he added.

Summer is typically a high-volume period for seafood sales, with shrimp demand and prices rising on the populous and prosperous east coast including Shanghai. Prices for fish look set to remain solid in July, according to China Aquatic Products Processing & Marketing Association (CAPPMA) with demand mostly for frozen and chilled seafood. Prices for live shrimp prices will ease due to warmer weather. “But prices for sea bass, perch, eels and other freshwater products will rise slightly.”

Squid prices ranged from RMB 10/500g (USD 1.61, EUR 1.18) for product weighing 100-200 grams up to RMB 15/500g (USD 2.42, EUR 1.78) of larger sized (400-500g) product. Meanwhile, Dongfang records show shad (tenualosa reevesii) fish weighing 300-500 grams sold at RMB 10/500g up to RMB 25/500g (USD 4.03, EUR 2.96) for large (1,000 gram) fish.

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