US, Norway up exports to China as Russia, Chile decrease

Published on
February 23, 2015

Norway and the United States both increased their seafood imports into China last year while Russia and Chile saw their shipments to Chinese ports fall significantly. Documents from China’s customs agency and agricultural ministry show Norway’s imports into China last year grew 24.7 percent in value terms to USD 540 million (EUR 476 million) and 17.4 percent in volume terms to 213,000 metric tons (MT). Meanwhile, Russian imports fell 5.5 percent in value and 12.7 percent in volume terms to 873,000 MT worth USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1.23 billion). 

Russia is still China's largest source of seafood imports, accounting for 15.28 percent of overall imports, which last year totaled 4.28 million MT, worth USD 9.18 billion (EUR 8.12 million), an increase of 2.65 percent and 6.34 percent respectively.

China’s number two source of imports, the US meanwhile is catching up on Russia, accounting for 15 percent of China’s imports: American imports accounted for 590,000 MT worth USD 1.37 billion (EUR 1.21 billion), up 3.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, on 2013 figures. Seafood imports from the third-placed source of imports, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc, amounted to 540,200 million MT worth USD 1.08 billion (EUR 955 million) in 2014 – that’s up 2.4 percent in volume and up 12.7 percent in value terms. Though growth is slower than in 2013 (when imports grew 28.93 percent year-on-year in value terms) ASEAN now accounts for 11.75 percent of China’s overall seafood imports.

China’s key supplier of fishmeal, Peru, in 2014 rebooted growth in sales to China, up by 10.78 percent to 64,700 MT and 2.69 percent in value terms to USD 1.045 billion (EUR 924 million). This is a marked turnaround on 2013 when imports from Peru into China dropped 31.1 percent in value. Peru last year accounted for the bulk of China’s fishmeal imports, which totaled 1.03 million MT, an increase of 6.38 percent worth USD 1.55 billion (EUR 1.37 billion), down 6.77 percent.

There was bad news however for Chile (China’s sixth largest supplier), which saw its seafood imports into China fall 15.26 percent in volume and 8.37 percent in value terms to 185,300 MT worth USD 533 million (EUR 471.5 million). Seventh-placed Canada’s imports into China were up at 3.3 percent in volume to 84,000 MT and rose 15 percent in value, to USD 460 million (EUR 406 million).

A document on China’s seafood trade published by the agricultural ministry this month pointed to the “effectiveness of product promotion activities” of Canada and Norway in China and pointed to the “rapid momentum in recent years” enjoyed by both countries in the Chinese market. This is despite well-publicized difficulties for Norway in getting shipments into China, which blames Norway for the award of a Nobel peace prize to a Chinese dissident in 2011.

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500