Demand for imported cod is picking up fast among Chinese consumers thanks to online sales targeted at young urbanites and parents who are being encouraged to use cod as a healthful food for infants. A phone survey of a dozen cod importers and traders in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Dalian suggests that sales of cod steaks and filets are up 20 percent in volume terms year-on-year in the first six months of the year.

Traders say demand for cod — traditionally imported for processing and re-…