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Industry Report: China Report 2013

The Chinese market is a complex one and there are clearly some contradictions and species-specific issues when it comes to imports.

There are, however, key drivers that can’t be argued with:

  1. Per capita consumption of seafood is 14.62 kilos – the highest in the world and rising.
  2. Consumption of seafood by those living in cities is almost three times that of those living in rural areas and China has a strong urbanization drive.
  3. Imports of wild-caught seafood and salmon, in particular are sky-rocketing.
  4. A strengthening RMB has made imports more affordable – and the currency will strengthen further if the Chinese government goes ahead with its plan to make the RMB fully convertible.
  5. While China’s own seafood production is increasing, its growth is slowing.
  6. Diets are slowly becoming more westernized. Consumption of processed whitefish, tilapia and shrimp is going up with fast food chains such as KFC and McDonalds pushing the envelope with younger consumers in particular. Ready meals are also growing in popularity.
  7. China’s grocery market was worth $504 billion (382.3 billion) in 2011 and predicted to rise to $707 billion (535.8 billion) in 2016.
  8. Supermarkets now account for 44 percent of the market and are increasingly penetrating smaller cities and shifting consumer preference from wet markets.
  9. The online grocery retail sector is growing even more dramatically.
  10. There have been enough food safety scandals in China over the last decade to create a growing concern amongst Chinese consumers, and a greater demand for traceable, safe seafood.

Our report charts supply and demand trends in the Chinese market; talks to some of the key retailers and importers and gets the low-down from those international exporters with experience selling seafood to China.

Contents include:

Part 1: Sector Overview: Rising incomes and urbanization drive Chinese seafood consumption

  1. Introduction
  2. Opportunities for imports on back of strengthening currency
  3. Values growing faster than volumes
  4. Slowdown in domestic production growth drives imports
  5. Need for better marketing
  6. Urbanization drives consumption
  7. Rise of the retailers and hoteliers
  8. Online gains traction

Part 2: The Retailers – Three perspectives

  1. Walmart: Supplying seafood to price-conscious consumers
  2. BHG: Targeting the high-end consumer with imported seafood
  3. Seven & I Holdings: A vision of China’s future consumption?

Part 3: Top Importers

Part 4: The International Exporters – Chinese trading experience from around the world

  1. Newfound Resources, Canada: Sustainable shrimp hits a chord with Chinese consumers
  2. New Zealand Greenshell Mussels: Cashing in on NZ landscapes
  3. Oregon Oyster Farms, United States: Booming restaurant trade gives US oysters a leg up
  4. Seafood Export Northeast USA: China takes up European market lag on lobsters
  5. Western Australian Fishing Industry Council: Safety and sustainability win Chinese market for western Oz
  6. Norway: Still suffering politics

Statistics – Chinese consumption and imports in numbers

  1. Chinese annual per capita consumption by species group, 2004-2012
  2. Most consumed species, 2012
  3. Market share of top grocery retailers in China, 2011 and 2012
  4. Top restaurant chains in China, 2012
  5. Chinese imports of seafood by species in value terms, 2004-2011
  6. Chinese imports of seafood by country of origin in value terms, 2003-2012

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