Shortage of quality fry pushes up China tilapia prices
China’s tilapia farmers appear to be having a better year with pond-gate prices up on the same period in 2015, according to data from China’s Ocean and Fisheries Bureau.
Fish in the 500-gram to 1.5-kilogram range were fetching CNY 4.4 (USD 0.67, EUR 0.60) per 500g in the Guangdong region this week, up from CNY 3.6 (USD 0.55, EUR .49) per 500g in the same period last year. Prices in Hainan for similar sized fish were also up, at CNY 4.4 compared to CNY 4 (USD 0.60, EUR 0.54) per 500g at the same period last year. This means processors are now paying prices last year only seen in August and September – typically peak periods for tilapia harvesting and for demand.
A shortage of quality fry seems to be one key reason for the price rise. In a circular to its local offices in Guangdong province, the Ocean and Fisheries Bureau attached to the Agriculture Ministry also states that farmers and fry suppliers are being pushed to provide fish of more consistent quality and size.