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Sector Trend Analysis – Crustacean trends in China

February 2020

Executive summary

In 2018, China was the 2nd largest importer from the world of crustacean products, importing Can$5.7 billion (386.7 thousand tonnes), which accounted for 13.0% of the global share after the United States at 30.1%. Top Chinese imports of crustaceans were frozen shrimp and prawns (30.9%), followed by fresh rock lobster and other sea crawfish (20.7%), and fresh crab (18.0%). World imports of crustaceans grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.2% between 2016 to 2018.

Canada was the largest supplier of crustaceans to China with exports of Can$940.2 million (58.6 thousand tonnes), which accounted for 16.4% global market share in 2018. The top crustacean products imported to China from Canada were fresh lobster at Can$416.2 million, frozen

cold-water shrimp and prawns (Can$207.6 million), and frozen crab (Can$153.1 million). The total value of Chinese crustacean imports from Canada between 2016 and 2018, registered an overall growth of a CAGR of 28.5%.

In 2019 (January to August), Canada is presently the 2nd largest global supplier of crustaceans at 13.0% (Can$749.6 million) global market share after Ecuador at 24.5% (Can$1.4 billion). This still represents an increased Canadian growth change of +22.9% versus Can$610.1 million (17.4% share) over the eight-month period, in 2018. For comparison, in 2019, Ecuador's exports of crustaceans to China has registered an increased growth change of +233.2% over 2018.

Retail value sales of fish and seafood in China reached US$17.6 billion (5.3 million tonnes) in 2018. Fresh fish and seafood sold over the counter had the largest retail sales at US$9.2 billion. fish and seafood products within the foodservice industry in China contributed to an on-trade value of US$28.5 billion in 2018. Within the foodservice industry, fish and seafood was mainly distributed by profit operators from within the restaurant services at 97.7%.

Trade overview of crustaceans

In 2018, China was the 2nd largest importer of crustacean products in the world after the United States. During this period, China's crustacean imports amounted to Can$5.7 billion (386.7 thousand tonnes), with the most of imports coming from Canada at 16.4% global market share that grew at a healthy CAGR of 28.5% between 2016 and 2018.

China's top suppliers after Canada was Ecuador with a market share of 11.0% and Australia (10.7%) in 2018. World imports of crustaceans grew at a CAGR value of 42.4% (2016 to 2018). Frozen shrimp and prawns accounted for 30.9% of China's crustacean imports, followed by fresh rock lobster and other sea crawfish (20.7%), and fresh crab (18.0%) in 2018. These top three crustacean product groups have the highest growth rates with CAGR values of 52.1%, 93.7%, and 63.4%, respectively over the 5-year period (2014 to 2018); at the exception of frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish with the highest CAGR value of 113.9% over the same period.

China's top ten suppliers of crustaceans, in Can$ millions (2016 to 2018)
Position in 2018 Partner country Value (Can$ millions) Market share (%) CAGR* (%) 2016-2018
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Total - world 2,817.5 3,271.0 5,716.7 100.0 100.0 100.0 42.4
1 Canada 569.7 733.1 940.2 20.2 22.4 16.4 28.5
2 Ecuador 128.8 141.1 631.3 4.6 4.3 11.0 121.4
3 Australia 53.2 205.6 611.7 1.9 6.3 10.7 239.1
4 Russia 81.7 168.0 436.4 2.9 5.1 7.6 131.2
5 United States 379.4 381.1 408.3 13.5 11.6 7.1 3.7
6 Argentina 260.3 183.4 375.7 9.2 5.6 6.6 20.1
7 Thailand 187.9 199.6 338.8 6.7 6.1 5.9 34.3
8 India 86.6 122.9 320.6 3.1 3.7 5.6 92.4
9 New Zealand 328.6 291.2 309.4 11.7 8.9 5.4 −3.0
10 Vietnam 43.8 52.5 185.0 1.6 1.6 3.2 105.5
Subtotal - top 10 2,120.1 2,478.5 4,557.3 75.2 75.6 79.7 46.6

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

China's top ten suppliers of crustaceans, in '000tonnes (2016 to 2018)
Position in 2018 Partner country Quantity ('000 tonnes) Market share (%) CAGR* (%) 2016-2018
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Total - world 197.5 227.5 386.7 100.0 100.0 100.0 39.9
1 Ecuador 13.5 15.04 76.6 6.9 6.6 19.8 137.9
2 Canada 42.7 55.2 58.6 21.6 24.3 15.2 17.2
3 India 9.2 13.7 39.1 4.7 6.0 10.1 105.7
4 Argentina 28.0 20.8 38.4 14.2 9.1 9.9 17.0
5 Thailand 12.6 14.8 25.6 6.4 6.5 6.6 42.6
6 Russia 5.4 9.1 16.8 2.8 4.0 4.3 75.7
7 United States 15.8 15.8 15.7 8.0 6.9 4.1 −0.3
8 Vietnam 3.1 3.6 14.2 1.6 1.6 3.7 115.3
9 Greenland 7.1 10.9 12.6 3.6 4.8 3.3 33.2
10 Indonesia 8.1 7.5 12.1 4.1 3.3 3.1 22.2
Subtotal - top 10 145.6 166.5 309.7 73.7 73.2 80.1 45.9

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

China's top ten crustacean product imports from the world (2016-2018) (ranked based on 2018 dollar values)
HS Code Description Value (Can$ million) Quantity ('000 tonnes)
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Total - world 2,817.5 3,271.0 5,716.7 197.5 227.5 386.7
030617 Frozen shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 591.5 611.3 1,769.2 60.7 63.4 193.0
030631[a] Live/fresh/chilled rock lobster and other sea crawfish 511.8 609.8 1,181.4 7.1 8.4 15.4
030633[b] Live/fresh/chilled crab 521.4 629.3 1,028.2 39.1 46.2 58.3
030632[c] Live/fresh/chilled lobster 326.1 388 575.1 12.6 15.1 20.4
030616 Frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns 279.8 344.8 390.6 37.6 46.8 52.3
030614 Frozen crab 283.9 356.8 359.1 24.7 28.2 22.4
030636[d] Live/fresh/chilled shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 154.6 142.0 179.3 7.7 7.6 10.5
030611 Frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish 27.8 58.8 75.9 1.2 2.5 3.2
030639[e] Other live/fresh/chilled crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) 51.4 49.6 49.6 1.9 2.0 1.6
030612 Frozen lobster 22.6 26.6 41.6 1.1 1.5 2.5

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

a: HS 030631 previously reported under HS 030621 in 2016

b: HS 030636 previously reported under HS 030627 in 2016

c: HS 030633 previously reported under HS 030624 in 2016

d: HS 030639 previously reported under HS 030629 in 2016

e: HS 030632 previously reported under HS 030622 in 2016

Canada's performance

At a glance, Canada is a net exporter of crustacean products (surplus of Can$764.4 million) to China with total exports of Can$940.2 million (total imports of Can$175.8 million) in 2018, an increase in net exporter value of 30.0% from 2017.

In 2018, Canada exported 58.6 thousand tonnes of crustaceans to China. The top crustacean products imported to China from Canada were fresh lobster at Can$416.2 million, frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns (Can$207.6 million), and frozen crab (Can$153.1 million). The total value of Chinese crustacean imports from Canada between 2016 and 2018, showed an overall growth of a CAGR of 28.5%.

Top 10 Chinese crustacean products imported from Canada (2016-2018) (ranked based on 2018 values)
HS Code Description Value (Can$ million) Quantity (metric tonnes)
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Total - crustacean imports from Canada 569.7 733.1 940.2 42,673.5 55,235.7 58,598.8
030632[a] Live/fresh/chilled lobster 169.9 227.8 416.2 6,351.5 8,551.1 14,548.7
030616 Frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns 161.8 203.6 207.6 21,899.3 29,236.6 27,582.6
030614 Frozen crab 113.0 178.1 153.1 8,827.8 11,355.6 9,143.9
030633[b] Live/fresh/chilled crab 94.8 84.0 106.3 4,017.3 3,719.2 4,333.9
030612 Frozen lobster 21.7 25.8 40.3 1,043.5 1,399.7 2,444.7
030617 Frozen shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 6.0 10.4 13.9 250.8 527.6 326.9
030611 Frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish 0.7403 0.854 1.1 35.4 47.2 64.0
160510 Prepared crab (excluding smoked) 0.401 1.2 0.697 202.4 285.2 71.7
030692 Lobster, dried/salted/in brine/smoked/ cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.705 0.521 0.0 38.6 32.7
030699 Other crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets); dried/salted/in brine/smoked/cooked in shell or not 0.0 Negligible 0.193 0.0 Negligible 24.1

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

a: HS 030632 previously reported under HS 030622 in 2016

b: HS 030633 previously reported under HS 030624 in 2016

Trade analysis by category

China's top crustacean import category from the world was shrimp and prawns at Can$2.4 billion, which represented 41.2% of its crustacean imports in 2018. Lobster imports consisted of 32.9% market share, followed by crab (24.4%) and other crustaceans (1.4%). All categories in the crustacean sector have resulted in significant growth between 2014 and 2018 by an overall CAGR of 32.6%

In 2018, Chinese imports from Canada totaled Can$940.2 million, which accounted as the largest supplier of crustacean products with a global market share of 16.4%. Almost half of Canada's crustacean supply to China were lobster (48.7%), followed by crab (27.7%), shrimp and prawns (23.6%), and a small amount of other crustacean products. Chinese crustacean imports from Canada resulted in a CAGR increase of 25.6% (2014-18).

China's imports of crustacean products from the world, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - crustaceans 1,846.9 2,394.0 2,817.5 3,271.0 5,716.7 32.6 100.0
Shrimp and prawns 614.9 976.1 1,036.2 1,101.0 2,358.0 39.9 41.2
Lobster 641.5 716.4 893.5 1,091.5 1,882.4 30.9 32.9
Crab 546.6 641.3 814.3 996.9 1,395.6 26.4 24.4
Other crustaceans 43.9 60.2 73.5 81.6 80.7 16.4 1.4

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

China's imports of crustacean products from the Canada, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total- crustaceans 378.0 519.7 569.7 733.1 940.2 25.6 100.0
Shrimp and prawns 87.8 154.3 167.8 214.5 221.5 26.0 23.6
Lobster 110.0 151.0 193.7 255.3 458.3 42.9 48.7
Crab 180.2 214.0 208.2 263.3 260.1 9.6 27.7
Other crustaceans[1] 0.0 356,681 76.0 373.0 256,768 −10.4 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

1: Actual value in Canadian dollars

Shrimp and prawns

China's top shrimp and prawns import sub-category from the world was frozen shrimp and prawns at Can$1.8 billion, which represented 75.0% of its shrimp and prawn imports in 2018. Frozen cold-water shrimp and prawn imports consisted of 16.6% market share, followed by fresh shrimp and prawns excluding cold-water (7.6%) and prepared shrimp and prawns in airtight containers (0.7%). All categories in this sector have resulted in moderate to significant growth between 2014 and 2018, at the exception of dried/salted/in brine/ smoked/cooked in shell or not shrimp and prawns that declined at a CAGR of −39.4%.

In 2018, Chinese imports from Canada totaled Can$221.5 million, which accounted as the 5th largest supplier of shrimp and prawn products with a global market share of 3.9%. Most all of Canada's shrimp and prawns supply to China consisted of frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns (93.7%), followed by frozen shrimp and prawns other than cold-water species (6.3%), and only a small amount of either fresh (cold-water or not) shrimp and prawn products. Chinese shrimp and prawn imports from Canada resulted in a CAGR increase of 26.0% (2014-18).

China's imports of shrimp and prawn products from the world, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - shrimps and prawns 614.9 976.1 1,036.2 1,110.0 2,358.0 39.9 100.0
030617 Frozen shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 330.3 571.8 591.5 611.3 1,769.2 52.1 75.0
030616 Frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns 164.5 250.6 279.8 344.8 390.6 24.1 16.6
030636[a] Live/fresh/chilled shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 116.0 147.0 154.6 142.0 179.3 11.5 7.6
160529 Prepared shrimp and prawns (in airtight containers, excluding smoked) 3.3 5.2 8.3 10.4 16.6 50.0 0.7
160521 Prepared shrimp and prawns (not in airtight containers, excluding smoked) 0.403 0.810 1.5 0.670 1.2 32.7 0.1
030635[b] Live/fresh/chilled cold-water shrimp and prawns 0.355 0.622 0.574 0.641 0.973 28.7 0.04
030695 Shrimp and prawns, dried/salted/ in brine/smoked/cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.163 0.099 −39.4 0.004

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030636 previously reported under HS 030627 from 2014 to 2016

b: HS 030635 previously reported under HS 030626 from 2014 to 2016

China's imports of shrimp and prawn products from Canada, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - shrimp and prawns 87.8 154.3 167.8 214.5 221.5 26.0 100.0
030616 Frozen cold-water shrimp and prawns 82.4 142.1 161.8 203.6 207.6 26.0 93.7
030617 Frozen shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 5.4 12.1 6.0 10.4 13.9 26.5 6.3
030636[a] Live/fresh/chilled shrimp and prawns (excluding cold-water) 0.0 0.037 0.0 0.0 0.032 N/A 0.01
030635[b] Live/fresh/chilled cold-water shrimp and prawns 0.018 0.108 0.054 0.057 0.024 7.5% 0.01
160529 Prepared shrimp and prawns (in airtight containers, excluding smoked) 0.0 0.0 0.045 0.497 0.0 N/A 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030636 previously reported under HS 030627 from 2014 to 2016

b: HS 030635 previously reported under HS 030626 from 2014 to 2016

N/A: Not applicable

Lobster

China's top lobster import sub-category from the world was fresh rock lobster and other sea crawfish at Can$609.8 million, which represented 62.8% of its lobster imports in 2018. Fresh lobster imports consisted of 30.6% market share, followed by frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish (4.0%) and frozen lobster (2.2%). Fresh lobster (including rock lobster) and other sea crawfish, along with frozen lobster (including rock and Norway lobster and other sea crawfish) showed positive growth between 2014 and 2018; especially in the frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish category (CAGR:113.9%). Fresh Norway lobster were imported from the world on and off over the last five years and both prepared lobster (excluding smoked) and dried/salted/smoked/in brine/cooked in shell or not lobster had declining CAGRs of −26.6% and −26.2%, respectively over the same period.

In 2018, Chinese lobster imports from Canada totaled Can$458.3 million, which accounted as the 2nd largest supplier of lobster products with a global lobster market share of 24.3%. Canada's lobster supply to China mainly consisted of fresh lobster (90.8%), followed by frozen lobster (8.8%), and frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish (0.2%). Chinese lobster imports from Canada resulted in a CAGR increase of 42.9% (2014-18).

China's imports of lobster products from the world, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - lobsters 641.5 716.4 893.5 1,091.5 1,882.4 30.9 100.0
030631[a] Live/fresh/chilled rock lobster and other sea crawfish 445.6 437.4 511.8 609.8 1,181.4 27.6 62.8
030632[b] Live/fresh/chilled lobster 177.1 239.0 326.1 388.0 575.1 34.3 30.6
030611 Frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish 3.6 19.0 27.8 58.8 75.9 113.9 4.0
030612 Frozen lobster 10.9 16.4 22.6 26.6 41.6 39.8 2.2
030615 Frozen Norway lobster 3.9 4.3 5.2 7.5 7.7 18.9 0.4
030692 Lobster, dried/salted/smoked/in brine/cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.705 0.521 −26.2 0.0
160530 Prepared lobster (excluding smoked) 0.464 0.284 0.029 0.118 0.135 −26.6 0.007
030634[c] Live/fresh/chilled Norway lobster 0.0 0.073 0.0 0.011 0.0 N/A 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030631 previously reported under HS 030621 from 2014 to 2016

b: HS 030632 previously reported under HS 030622 from 2014 to 2016

c: HS 030634 previously reported under HS 030625 from 2014 to 2016

N/A: Not applicable

China's imports of lobster products from Canada, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - lobsters 110.0 151.0 193.7 255.3 458.3 42.9 100.0
030632[a] Live/fresh/chilled lobster 91.7 130.5 169.9 227.8 416.2 46.0 90.8
030612 Frozen lobster 9.6 15.4 21.7 25.8 40.3 43.2 8.8
030611 Frozen rock lobster and other sea crawfish 0.472 0.857 0.740 0.854 1.1 23.5 0.2
030692 Lobster, dried/salted/smoked/in brine/cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.705 0.521 −26.2 0.1
160530 Prepared lobster (excluding smoked) 0.0 0.0 0.018 0.118 0.134 176.5 0.03
030631[b] Live/fresh/chilled rock lobster and other sea crawfish 8.3 4.2 1.4 Negligible Negligible −75.8 0.01

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030632 previously reported under HS 030622 from 2014 to 2016

b: HS 030631 previously reported under HS 030621 from 2014 to 2016

Crab

China's top crab import sub-category from the world was fresh crab at Can$1.0 billion, which represented 73.7% of its crab imports in 2018. Frozen crab imports consisted of 25.7% market share, followed by prepared crab excluding smoked (0.6%). All crab sub-categories registered positive growth between 2014 and 2018; especially in the prepared crab category which has increased its small import value since 2014 at a CAGR of 56.8%.

In 2018, Chinese crab imports from Canada totaled Can$260.1 million, which accounted as the 2nd largest supplier of crab products with a global crab market share of 18.6%. Canada's crab supply to China consisted of frozen crab (58.9%), followed by fresh crab (40.9%), and prepared crab excluding smoked (0.3%). Chinese crab imports from Canada resulted in a CAGR increase of 9.6% (2014-18).

China's imports of crab products from the world, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - crabs 546.6 641.3 814.3 996.9 1,395.6 26.4 100.0
030633[a] Live/fresh/chilled crab 369.3 417.7 521.4 629.3 1,028.2 29.2 73.7
030614 Frozen crab 175.9 220.5 283.9 356.8 359.1 19.5 25.7
160510 Prepared crab (excluding smoked) 1.4 3.2 9.0 10.8 8.3 56.8 0.6
030693 Crab, dried/salted/smoked/in brine /cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.071 0.0 N/A 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030633 previously reported under HS 030624 from 2014 to 2016

N/A: Not applicable

China's imports of crab products from Canada, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - crabs 180.2 214.0 208.2 263.3 260.1 9.6 100.0
030614 Frozen crab (including smoked) 100.8 117.4 113.0 178.1 153.1 11.0 58.9
030633[a] Live/fresh/chilled crab 79.4 96.6 94.8 84.0 106.3 7.6 40.9
160510 Prepared crab (excluding smoked) 0.0 0.0 0.401 1.2 0.697 31.9 0.3

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: HS 030633 previously reported under HS 030624 from 2014 to 2016

Other crustaceans

China's top 'other crustacean' import sub-category from the world was other fresh crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) at Can$49.6 million, which represented 61.5% of its remaining crustacean imports in 2018. Other frozen crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) imports consisted of 25.4% market share, followed by other prepared crustaceans (12.9%), and other crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets); dried/salted/ smoked /in brine/cooked in shell or not (0.3%). All other crustacean sub-categories showed an overall positive growth at a CAGR of 16.4% between 2014 and 2018; especially in the other prepared crustacean category at a CAGR of 147.9%. Growth in the 'other crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets); dried/salted/ smoked /in brine/cooked in shell or not' category also, has increased over last two years (2017-18) at a CAGR of 413.1%.

Chinese imports of remaining crustaceans from Canada was small and more or less have started to be imported starting in 2018 (since 2015) totalling Can$256,768, which accounted as the 12th largest supplier of other crustacean products with a global market share of 0.3%. Canada's other crustacean supply to China mostly consisted of the growing global, 'other crustaceans' (flours, meals and pellets), dried/salted/ smoked/in brine/cooked in shell or not' sub-category (75.0%), followed by other frozen crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) at a 25.0% market share. Nevertheless, the Chinese other crustacean imports from Canada resulted in a 5-year CAGR decrease of −10.4% (2014-18).

China's imports of other crustacean products from the world, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - other crustaceans 43.9 60.2 73.5 81.6 80.7 16.4 100.0
030639[a] Other live/fresh/chilled crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) 39.8 45.5 51.4 49.6 49.6 5.7 61.5
030619 Other frozen crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) 3.9 13.4 20.3 24.9 20.5 51.7 25.4
160540 Other prepared crustaceans 0.276 1.2 1.8 7.1 10.4 147.9 12.9
030699 Other crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets); dried/salted/smoked/in brine/ cooked in shell or not 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.040 0.207 413.1 0.3

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

a: Previously reported under HS 030629 from 2014 to 2016

China's imports of other crustacean products from Canada, in Can$ millions (2014 to 2018)
HS code Category 2015 2016 2017 2018 CAGR* % 2015-2018 Market share % in 2018
Total - other crustaceans 356,681 76 373 256,768 −10.4 100.0
030699 Other crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets); dried/salted/smoked/in brine/cooked in shell or not 0 0 373 192,692 N/A 75.0
030619 Other frozen crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) 6,925 0 0 64,076 N/A 25.0
160540 Other prepared crustaceans 0 76 0 0 N/A 0.0
030639[a] Other live/fresh/chilled crustaceans (flours, meals and pellets) 349,756 0 0 0 N/A 0.0

Source: Global Trade Tracker, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

N/A: Not Applicable

a: HS 030639 previously reported under HS 030629 from 2014 to 2016

Retail domestic sales - fish and seafood

In 2018, total fish and seafood products in China had retail value sales of US$17.6 billion, equivalent to volume sales of 5.3 million tonnes. Fresh fish and seafood sold over the counter had the largest retail sales at US$9.2 billion, followed by chilled raw both processed and whole cuts packaged fish and seafood (US$5.1 billion), and frozen whole cuts fish and seafood (US$1.3 billion) products. Total fish and seafood sales in China grew at a CAGR of 4.7% (2014-18) and is expected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 5.0% (2019-23).

Market size of fish and seafood in China, historical and forecast retail value in US$ million
Category 2014 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Total- fish and seafood 14,595.3 17,563.3 4.7 18,431.2 22,414.5 5.0
Shelf-stable fish and seafood 561.2 644.6 3.5 669.5 777.6 3.8
Chilled raw packaged fish and seafood 4,284.6 5,053.6 4.2 5,280.5 6,289.8 4.5
Processed fish and seafood 1,904.5 2,169.1 3.3 2,247.5 2,576.1 3.5
Whole cuts fish and seafood 2,380.0 2,884.5 4.9 3,033.0 3,713.7 5.2
Dried fish and seafood 852.9 1,028.9 4.8 1,080.8 1,318.5 5.1
Fresh fish and seafood (counter) 7,442.1 9,199.5 5.4 9,708.8 12,081.1 5.6
Frozen fish and seafood 1,454.5 1,636.8 3.0 1,691.6 1,947.5 3.6
Processed fish and seafood 310.1 342.5 2.5 352.4 397.9 3.1
Whole cuts fish and seafood 1,144.4 1,294.3 3.1 1,339.3 1,549.5 3.7

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Market size of fish and seafood in China, historical and forecast total volume in million kilograms (Mkg), based on retail volume sales
Category 2014 2018 CAGR* % 2014-2018 2019 2023 CAGR* % 2019-2023
Total- fish and seafood 4,818.3 5,295.5 2.4 5,414.8 5,898.5 2.2
Shelf-stable fish and seafood 292.9 303.2 0.9 305.8 316.1 0.8
Chilled raw packaged fish and seafood 1,009.9 1,078.8 1.7 1,096.0 1,164.1 1.5
Processed fish and seafood 429.1 439.1 0.6 441.6 449.8 0.5
Whole cuts fish and seafood 580.8 639.7 2.4 654.4 714.3 2.2
Dried fish and seafood 218.6 239.8 2.3 245.1 266.8 2.1
Fresh fish and seafood (counter) 2,788.3 3,150.0 3.1 3,240.3 3,608.5 2.7
Frozen fish and seafood 508.6 523.7 0.7 527.5 543.0 0.7
Processed fish and seafood 126.4 127.8 0.3 128.2 129.6 0.3
Whole cuts fish and seafood 382.3 395.9 0.9 399.3 413.4 0.9

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Foodservice distribution channels of fish and seafood

fish and seafood within the foodservice industry in China contributed to an on-trade value of US$28.5 billion in 2018. Foodservice profit operators selling fish and seafood products represented 99.2% of the market share distributed mainly in the restaurant services (97.7%), followed by accommodation (0.4%) and leisure (0.3%) operators. Meanwhile, institutional non-profit operators held the remaining small market share of 0.8% distributed in the healthcare services (0.4%), educational services (0.2%) and both the military and civil defense and welfare and services at 0.1% each, in 2018.

Distribution channels of fish and seafood in China by outlet type, in US$ millions and % share
Outlets Retail sales (US$ millions) Market share % in 2018 CAGR* % 2016-2018
2016 2017 2018
Foodservice (profit operators) 26,396.6 27,810.4 28,500.2 99.2 3.9
Accommodation 118.3 125.3 128.7 0.4 4.3
Leisure 88.1 93.2 95.8 0.3 4.3
Mobile operator 28.8 30.4 31.1 0.1 3.9
Pub, club and bar 57.9 61.1 62.7 0.2 4.0
Restaurant 25,993.7 27,384.7 28,063.4 97.7 3.9
Retail foodservice providers 16.2 17.1 17.5 0.1 4.1
Travel 51.2 54.0 55.3 0.2 3.9
Workplace 42.4 44.6 45.7 0.2 3.9
Institutional (cost operators) 207.8 221.2 227.8 0.8 1.0
Education 63.3 66.8 68.5 0.2 4.0
Healthcare 88.2 95.2 98.8 0.4 5.8
Military and civil defense 26.0 27.5 28.2 0.1 4.2
Welfare and services 30.3 31.7 32.4 0.1 3.3
Total- fish and seafood 26,604.3 28,031.5 28,728.0 100.0 4.7

Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate

Competitive landscape

Leading brands and their companies in the Chinese fish and seafood sector were Zhenglong (Zhejiang Zhenglong Food Co., Ltd., 1.4% value share), Ming Xiang - Dried fish and seafood (Shishi Huabao Ming Xiang Food Co., Ltd., 0.7%) and Ma Ling (China Agri-Industries Holdings Ltd. (COFCO), 0.4%) in 2017. Private labels accounted for a value share of 33.7% and 'other' companies in the Chinese fish and seafood sector held the largest value share at 63.6%, in 2017.

Top fish and seafood brands in China by retail sales, US$ millions and % share in 2017
Trademark owner Brand Retail sales (US$ millions) Market share % in 2017
2015 2016 2017
Zhejiang Zhenglong Food Co., Ltd. Zhenglong 212.9 221.0 230.1 1.4
Shishi Huabao Ming Xiang Food Co., Ltd. Ming Xiang (Dried fish and seafood) 113.0 118.3 124.0 0.7
China Agri-Industries Holdings Limited (COFCO) Ma Ling 57.7 59.6 61.9 0.4
Citilink Citilink 12.8 13.3 13.9 0.1
Ding Hai Zhen Ding Hai Zhen 11.6 12.4 13.2 0.1
Others Others 9,794.5 10,219.1 10,678.0 63.6
Private label Private label 5,155.1 5,393.4 5,650.2 33.7
Total operators in China- fish and seafood 15,371.2 16,051.5 16,786.7 100.0
Source: GlobalData Intelligence Center - Consumer, 2019

Conclusion

Given the ever busier lifestyles in China, Chinese consumers are looking for easy-to-cook and ready-to-eat fish and seafood products. Among the top sales of Canadian seafood products include frozen cooked lobsters which are particularly in high demand, cold water shrimp, spot prawn, surf clams, salmon and scallops, etc. Cold water shrimp is also very popular among the Chinese consumers, since the shrimps are already cooked and are made available in small packages, making it easier and quicker for Chinese consumers to cook shrimp within their homes. Some local importers and processors further prepare the cold water shrimp to cater to local consumers' taste.

For those in the fish and seafood industry, it is important to develop a strong supplier/client relationship by being able to access first hand market intelligence on the ground and learn more about the latest evolving and changing market/consumption trends. The China Fisheries and Seafood Expo (CFSE) is an annual AAFC flagship show held in Qingdao, where thousands of local seafood buyers visit the show and identify products of interests. The client is encouraged to attend and/or exhibit at the show to promote their products. In addition, some market development activities such as business seminars, B2B match making, networking reception often are organized by BEJING/Post, and it would be useful for the client to take advantage of attending these events to get to know potential business partners.Footnote 1

The major concern that the local importers have for Canadian seafood products is unstable supply. Any suppliers who can provide sufficient products during the low season period would be considered as a strong competitor to succeed within this market.Footnote 2

For more information

International Trade Commissioners can provide Canadian industry with on-the-ground expertise regarding market potential, current conditions and local business contacts, and are an excellent point of contact for export advice.

For additional intelligence on this and other markets, the complete library of Global Analysis reports can be found on the International agri-food market intelligence page, arranged by region.

For additional information on the tradeshow, China Fisheries and Seafood Expo (CFSE), 2019 in Qingdao, China please contact:

Ben Berry, Deputy Director
Trade Show Strategy and Delivery
Agriculture and Agri-food Canada
ben.berry@canada.ca

Resources

Sector Trend Analysis – Crustacean trends in China
Global Analysis Report

Prepared by: Erin-Ann Chauvin, Senior Market Analyst

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