Climate change shifting market trends for lobster and crayfish in China

Published on
April 6, 2017

China’s seafood markets are struggling to cope with irregularity in catches caused by climate change, according to a new report in a Chinese newspaper.

The winter-spring periods of 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been warmer, resulting in seafood coming to market earlier and restaurants opening sooner, a local newspaper focused on the east coast, Xin Dai Kuai Bao, reported. For example, major consumption centers for crayfish, like the cities of Hangzhou, Suzhou and Yangzhou, are expecting this year’s crayfish crop to come to market 20 days early in 2017.  Lobster is also being affected, the article said. This means supply from inland aquaculture regions like Hubei and Hunan can’t supply enough product, and that the market is struggling to cope with the “uneven standards” of imports. 

In tandem with this trend, Chinese demand for wild lobsters continues to rise and push demand for imports. Prices for premium lobsters top CNY 60 (USD 8.70, EUR 8.16) per 500 grams in Nanjing, according to the newspaper, while small-sized lobsters are fetching CNY 28 (USD 4.06, EUR 3.80) per 500 grams and mid-sized lobsters are getting CNY 48 (USD 6.96, EUR 6.53) per 500 grams. The prices are significantly higher than those of the same period in 2013 and 2014.

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