China Need To Imports More Salmon


China’s growing demand for salmon has been happening across the last decade – even after a clash with Norway that resulted in the Scandinavian country’s produce banned from Chinese export
Individual levels can show how more Chinese consumers are eating salmon. Take a look at Scotland’s China-bound salmon exports. In 2009, just 5 tonnes of Atlantic salmon was shipped to China from Scottish producers. 
Flash forward to 2013, and that figure has risen to 9,709 tons – an colossal increase of 194,080 percent. 
Individual provinces from chief salmon supplying countries are also exporting more. Salmon farmers in the Los Lagos region of Chile, China’s biggest supplier of Atlantic salmon, has seen a 73.9 percent rise in their exports on the Chinese market. 
The story is much the same throughout the world. Chile has bumped up its export levels, experiencing a 72 percent year-on-year rise in Chinese salmon exports between January-July 2016. These exports came to a total of 31,000 tons. 
Norway, the previous biggest exporter of salmon to China prior to 2010, has had its export volumes took a major knock after a half-decade long diplomatic tussle. The tail end of 2016 saw a re-normalisation of relations between the two states, reopening Chinese ports to Norwegian salmon. Before their dispute Norway accounted for 90 percent of all salmon on the Chinese seafood market. 
Relations between Norway and China are back to normal, suggesting export levels could increase exponentially in 2017 and beyond. The Norwegian Seafood Council has assigned $1.15 million dollars for marketing throughout China this year – around 10 times its usual China-focussed marketing budget. Annual import values come to around 80,000 tons annually. 
Much of this total is Atlantic salmon, while other varieties, such as pink, chum, masu, chinook and coho, make up the remainder. 
China imports millions of dollars’ worth of salmon annually 
Annual imports of salmon in China total $300 million – a huge figure, which means its drive to source quality salmon products is truly international. As well as from Scottish and Chilean producers, China’s stocks of salmon come from Norway, Canada, the US, and potentially Russia too. 
With Norway’s volumes dropping, Chile is now the largest individual supplier, in value terms, shipping produce worth $96.5 million across 2016. It should be pointed out that Chilean seafood prices rose 6 percent at the end of last year, due to algae bloom restricting supply. 
Chile also enjoys a free trade agreement with China so its products are not subject to import tariffs. Norway, despite its re-establishing of trade norms with China, has witnessed a quite a large drop in export volumes. 2016’s Norwegian salmon exports totalled just $21.4 million – roughly a third of pre-2010 values. 
UK-based producers sent salmon exports worth $71.8 million to China in 2017, making the country China’s second largest supplier of salmon. Russia could become a new seafood partner for China, as a new free-trade deal for Russian companies has been put in place in China’s Harbin city. Over 500,000 tons of pink fish, including salmon, is caught by Russian companies annually. 
Harbin’s trade agreement lowers import tariffs on Russian seafood, opening the gates for Russian salmon going forward. 
Hotels, restaurants driving Chinese salmon import boom 
80 percent of all salmon eaten in China is consumed at hotels, restaurants and other commercial dining establishments. Salmon is still seen as a premium product in China, meaning its hotel chains and foodservice companies are the big suppliers. 
Why? Most salmon supplied to China is sourced from countries with strong labelling and food safety standards. Labelling and import documents revealing high hygiene standards and country of origins are marks of quality on the Chinese import market and a major draw for HORECA sector members. 
Salmon is becoming more accessible to Chinese consumers. Norwegian produce is now being sold online via Alibaba, one of the world’s biggest B2B internet marketplaces. E-commerce is changing the way China buys seafood, so more salmon could end up on plates across the country in the very near future. 
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