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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 664 | AIRED 10/30/2023

China Update: Post-COVID Seafood Expo, Tilapia Scarcity, Salmon Fluctuations, Chinese New Year Closures, Freight Rates

Oct 30th, 2023 - The pulse of the Seafood Market in China beats strong as several key trends are shaping the industry's dynamics - against the backdrop of the eagerly anticipated first post-Covid China Seafood Show which spanned from October 25th to 27th and saw companies from all over the world gather in Qingdao.

Starting with Tilapia, raw materials are a significant challenge with anticipated scarcity until the next harvest season likely in May or June 2024.

Consequently, prices are expected to remain strong until then.

Next, several chinese processing plants are disrupting the market by offering seafood products, particularly Cod loins and Pink salmon portions, at remarkably low prices.

These prices often undercut production costs, creating opportunities for buyers - however, unsustainable pricing strategies may affect long-term reliability.


The Salmon market is experiencing unprecedented fluctuations with historical low raw material prices attracting buyers from the EU and North America.

Forward bookings for 2024 are underway, yet the risk of order retractions amidst rising prices demands buyer vigilance and discerning negotiation strategies.

Complicating the market further are preparations for the upcoming Chinese New Year, prompting early shutdowns, possibly as early as January 10th, due to lagging orders.


However, amidst this backdrop, Hake emerges as a star, with sustained demand in both the EU and North America, offering a strategic avenue for buyers to meet market needs.

And finally, freight rates have reverted to pre-Covid levels, creating an opportune situation for shipping companies as they anticipate a surge in bookings before the Chinese New Year, which would enable them to increase freight rates.

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However, there are no signs of a significant increase in bookings as of now.

Our recommendation is to keep Tuned-In to the market, prioritize sustainable sourcing, and monitor the market for opportune buys - and the perfect place for that is our TradexLIVE Seafood Offers Platform where at any given time, there is over 300,000 pounds of seafood available to the global markets.

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