Qingdao investing in massive wholesale seafood market
The Qingdao municipal government is investing CNY 850 million (USD 127.5 million, EUR 110.5 million) in an international seafood trade and logistics center in the northern Chinese city.
The Qingdao municipal government’s investment will help build the first phase of the China Yellow Sea Agricultural Wholesale Market, to be built alongside the high-speed railway line in the city suburbs.
The overall facility spans 350,000 square meters and will cost CNY 5 billion (USD 750 million, EUR 650 million). It incorporates bonded warehouses, processing facilities, and studios for online commerce broadcasts. There’s also a dining area. The first phase consists solely of the 9,800-square-meter main marketplace.
Wang Peng, chief executive of the Zhong Nong Modern Agricultural Development Co., which runs the market, claims it will be the biggest seafood trading facility in northern China. Wang estimated three million tons of seafood will be traded at the market annually once it’s operational, serving clients across the country.
Government money has built a wave of new seafood markets in China in recent years, as investment in infrastructure is used by local governments to drive economic growth. The building of subsidized processing and logistics space has been justified by the growth of China’s distant-water fishing industry –and the availability of subsidies has in turn driven distant-water seafood firms to expand overseas.
Despite lingering fears imported seafood and its packaging can carry COVID-19, demand for seafood is starting to improve in China, according to Didier Boon, head of East China Seas, a seafood trading firm based in Beijing.
“Beijing has now lifted a lot of restrictions on internal travel and it seems that importers are gaining a bit more confidence in the procedures,” Boon told SeafoodSource.
A further lifting of internal national travel will unleash consumption of seafood imports, said Boon. However the inflow of imports will also depend on whether and how the current tightened COVID-19 inspection procedures instituted by Chinese Customs in response to the pandemic will be eased.
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