China’s exports to EU, South Korea weaken while Southeast Asia buying surges

Published on
September 29, 2017

China’s seafood exports to the Japan, United States, and Southeast Asia grew in the first six months of the year, but there’s been a weakening of demand from buyers the European Union and in South Korea.

Japan was China’s top buyer of seafood in the first half of 2017, buying 320,300 tons worth USD 1.87 billion (EUR 1.58 billion) – up by 6.27 percent and 5.85 percent, respectively, according to data from the China General Administration of Customs. The U.S. bought 253,400 tons, up 3.69 percent, worth USD 1.45 billion (EUR 1.23 billion), up 6.92 percent year-on-year.

Sales to the E.U., at 246,000 tons, were down 2.3 percent in volume and down 0.1 percent in value to USD 1.02 billion (EUR 864 million). 

The key market of South Korea, meanwhile, is clearly damaged by China’s ongoing tensions with Seoul over its hosting of a U.S. missile defense system. Shipments at 215,000 tons worth USD 780 million (EUR 660 million) were down 12.4 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.

Better political relations, meanwhile, appear to be behind a dramatic jump in shipments to the Southeast Asian markets of Indonesia and the Philippines. Beijing has in the past year toned down tensions with Jakarta over illegal fishing and with Manila over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. 

Shipments to Indonesia of 53,000 tons represent a jump of 266 percent on the first half of 2016 and a 208 percent rise in value, to USD 120 million (EUR 102 million). Shipments to the Philippines, at 103,000 tons worth USD 343 million (EUR290 million), were up 51.3 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively. 

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500