According to statistics from China Customs, China’s total seafood imports in 2020 are about 12.7 billion U.S. dollars, a 20% decrease from 2019 (15.6 billion U.S. dollars); the total export value is about 18.3 billion U.S. dollars, a decrease of 8% from 2019 (21.5 billion U.S. dollars).
The import market contracted more severely in the second half of the year. The total import value was about 5.95 billion U.S. dollars, down 31% from the same period last year; in the first half of the year, it was about 6.72 billion U.S. dollars, down 6% from the same period last year.
In this regard, the president of the China Aquatic Products Distribution and Processing Association (CAPPMA) made the following declarations in an interview with UCN: “Affected by the epidemic, China’s aquatic product import and export trade definitely declined in 2020. It is expected that the import market will continue to be sluggish in 2021 and it may be difficult to return to the level of 2019.
As for the seafood import market trend this year, the key depends on the specific epidemic prevention situation, including the progress of vaccination in the second half of the year, and the performance of the global economic recovery. We expect the total import of aquatic products to be approximately 5.5 million tons in 2021, unchanged from 2018, far below the 6.2 million tons in 2019.
Everyone is cautious about imported seafood, including Chinese importers and foreign suppliers. The speed of customs clearance has slowed down, products must be disinfected after they arrive at the port, and the detention period is prolonged, leading to higher costs for companies.”