Home province of Chinese processing port Dalian sees jump in imports, value

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One of China’s key seafood trading and processing hubs saw growth in imports outstrip growth in exports in the first eight month of the year. 

Liaoning Province, home to Dalian and other ports, saw a 17.7 percent rise in exports in the first eight months of 2017. The province totaled 552,000 tons of exports worth USD 1.86 billion (EUR 1.57 billion), while imports jumped 24.8 percent to 849,000 tons worth USD 1.38 billion (EUR 1.16 billion) – up 20.1 percent, according to data published by the provincial Ocean & Fisheries Bureau. 

Imports for processing have always been central to Dalian trade, but continued limits in growth of local supply are also driving imports. Seafood output, at 4.1 million tons, was up 0.3 percent in the first eight months of 2017. Of that figure, wild-catch fisheries contributed 910,000 tons, down two percent year-on-year. Mariculture, meanwhile, contributed 2.42 million tons, a rise of 2.3 percent on the previous year, and freshwater aquaculture contributed 0.78 million tons, up one percent.

The province’s officials have set three goals in a slogan: “Increase fishermen’s incomes, go green, improve quality.” So far, the province has seen success in achieving at least the first part of that trifecta, as incomes for Liaoning’s fishermen are rising, with pond prices up an average 11.9 percent to an average CNY 13.48 (USD 2.04, EUR 1.71) across the board. Turbot prices rose 49.2 percent to an average CNY 41.38 (USD 6.25, EUR 5.27) per kilogram, while the farm gate price of local clams rose 20 percent on the same period last year. Prices for carp, however, were flat, confirming a steady trend of Chinese consumers trading up to higher-value species in recent years.  

While growth in volume has been limited, there has been a greater increase in the value of seafood. Total output from Liaoning’s fishery sector was worth CNY 110.9 billion (USD 16.8 billion, EUR 14.1 billion), up four percent. Fisheries contributed CNY 63 billion (USD 9.5 billion, EUR 8 billion) of that figure, up 5.2 percent. What’s termed as fishery logistics and distribution contributed CNY 23 billion (USD 3.5 billion, EUR 2.9 billion) and construction in the sector contributed CNY 23.9 billion (USD 3.6 billion, EUR 3.1 billion).

The statistics don’t include figures for seafood caught in international waters. The so-called long distance fisheries' catch was “steady” in the first eight months, according to the Ocean and Fisheries Bureau, which points out that 23 companies from the province operate 315 vessels in international waters, of which 252 are from Dalian.  

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