Qingdao fair going ahead as trade, pricing slowly picks up in Chinese market

Published on
May 21, 2020

Organizers of China’s annual largest seafood trade fair have announced the event will go ahead in October.

The 25th China International Fisheries Expo will take place in the Qingdao Hongdao International Convention and Exhibition Center from 28 to 30 October.

Meanwhile, there are more signs the seafood trade is picking up in China. The key tilapia and shrimp producing province of Hainan increased its exports by 10 percent in volume and five percent in value in the first four months of the year – to 48,000 tons worth CNY 990 million (USD 138 million, EUR 128.7 million). The relative weakness of the value of exports, however, suggests weaker pricing.

There’s been an increase recently in rail freight from Russia into the Chinese processing hub of Hunchun, near the North Korean border. Nine 40-foot railcars carrying frozen cod and chum salmon went through in expedited time last week, according to the Jilin office of the Chinese Customs Administration. Rail cuts time and logistics costs for companies, noted the Customs, adding that 12,677 metric tons of seafood have been carried on the line since it started last year.

Demand remains strong for alternatives to fresh staples currently off-limits due to the annual moratorium on fishing in China’s domestic waters. At the Daqiao wholesale market in Ningbo this week, there’s a solid supply of frozen seafood to replace fresh stocks unavailable since the moratorium commenced at the start of the moth. An influx of frozen replacements has held prices steady at the Ningbo market. Prices for more distinct seafood are up five percent year-on-year, specifically for ribbonfish at CNY 40 (USD 5.60, EUR 5.20) and CNY 60 (USD 8.40, EUR 7.80) to CNY 100 (USD 14, EUR 13) per kilogram for pomfret. Large yellow croaker is retailing at CNY 50 (USD 7.00, EUR 6.50) per kilo, with bass at an average CNY 52 (USD 7.28, EUR 6.76) per kilogram. Vannemei shrimp was selling at CNY 44 to CNY 46 (USD 6.16 to 6.44, EUR 5.72 to 5.98) per kilo at the market this week.

It appears some of the replacement stock is being supplied by the Chinese distant-water fleet. A fleet of 143 distant-water vessels from the city is keeping seafood supplies in stock during the fishing moratorium, Wang Xiao Xun, the head of the Qingdao government’s Ocean Development Bureau said in a statement this week designed to allay locals’ fears over the potential that prices might rise during the moratorium Qingdao’s vessels bring 60,000 metric tons of seafood back to the city each year, Wang said.

Photo courtesy of Victor Jiang/Shutterstock

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