SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fishfirst] translated by Amy Zhong – September 21, 2017

The export value of New Brunswick seafood to China has reached as high as $15.66 million CAD (~$12.6 million U.S.) in 2016, which is 23 percent of the Canadian total seafood export. The province’s seafood export has ballooned by 238 percent from 2015 to 2016. And it is still working hard to promote seafood in this huge market.

On Sept. 8, a small-scale meeting was held in the Consulate General of Canada (Guangzhou). New Brunswick’s governmental officials, along with representatives for its three leading seafood companies, promoted the country’s high-quality marine resources during the event. And more than 30 seafood companies in Guangzhou also attended the meeting.

The representative for New Brunswick started with a brief introduction to the province’s seafood resources as well as their market performance. The province has a multitude of quality seafood thanks to geographical advantages. And it is also equipped with experienced fishermen, advanced processing and packaging technologies. It also is the the province with the greatest amount of processing plants in Canada.

Roughly 85 percent of frozen Canadian lobsters in the Chinese market are from New Brunswick and 65 percent of Canadian snow crab is also supplied by this province. The overall fishing quota of snow crab has declined this year, but the number has increased to 43,000 tons in New Brunswick. The province’s export volume to China in the first eight months has skyrocketed by 10 times from the total volume last year.

There are some changes to market performance of New Brunswick seafood in Chinese market within the past two years. Its seafood used to be delivered to mainland China through transfers at Hong Kong. But since last year, seafood like lobsters and salmon are transported to the mainland directly. Further, there has been a dramatin increase in its export volume and value to China.

Canada has been very active in advertising its commodities to Chinese consumers. New Brunswick has taken part in various events like expositions and conferences for the promotion of its seafood. It used to cooperate only with importers, but now companies from that province expand sales channels and supply seafood to consumers in China through supermarkets and e-commerce platforms. For example, Cooke Aquaculture used to export no seafood to China four years ago; however, its export value reached U.S. $50 million last year. Both the Canadian government and companies have stepped up their efforts developing the Chinese market, proving advantageous with a stable supply of commodities.

Now Cooke Aquaculture is adapting its strategies in accordance with the Chinese market. It is renowned as the largest salmon supplier in Canada and it owns aquaculture facilities or processing plants in regions like Canada, Scotland, the U.S., Chile and Brazil. Its annual salmon output reaches 275,000 tons. And it also sells other seafood like king crab worldwide.

Its farmed salmon is raised in clear water of the Atlantic Ocean and has acquired the 4-star BAP certification. The company has strict quality control and has established a traceability system covering the whole aquaculture process, said Andrew Lively, its marketing director. Its wild salmon also have gotten certifications like that from the Marine Stewardship Council. These salmon are popular in both American and European markets. Now the company is mainly providing its hot commodities like frozen salmon and the smoked ones to Chinese consumers. It also sells wild salmon from Alaska as well as the farmed ones from the Atlantic Ocean under the brand of True North.

The company has come up with many promotion activities designated for Chinese market in the past year, Lively said. Company staff specializes in developing Chinese market. Transportation also has become more convenient between China and Canada. All these factors contribute to dramatic increase of its seafood sales in China during 2016. Although the company’s seafood is popular in other countries, it is spending a great effort introducing its seafood to Chinese consumers. And the company adapts its strategies according to this new market like selling small bags of seafood through retailing.

Bay Shore Lobsters is specialized in the selling of Canadian lobsters and freshness is its selling point. Lobsters have also been one main export product of New Brunswick province. As the statistics show, China has become the second largest importer of Canadian lobsters, following only America. Demand has doubled for shellfish in China and its import value has risen from 27.5 million yuan (~$4.2 million U.S.) in 2011 to 162.8 million yuan (~$24.7 million U.S.) last year.

On July 14 this year, the Canadian government has cooperated with to promote its quality commodities. And one of the highlights was live lobsters from Canada priced at 79 yuan ($11.98 U.S.) each. The sale volume reached 140,000 lobsters on that day alone and Bay Shore was an important participant in that event.

Bay Shore is said to have exported 2 million pounds of lobsters to China in total during 2016. The export exceeded 90 percent of the company’s fishing volume that year. The company has 500,000 pounds of live lobsters in store and it packs 60,000 pounds, about 2,000 cartons, on a daily basis. After the event with JD, it also plans for some promotion activities in Christmas.

Meanwhile, the company has also sold frozen lobsters to Chinese consumers. Fishermen measure lobster length to ensure that they reach legally required sizes. And after fishing lobster, fishermen deliver them to processing plants nearby, pack them and then freeze them to maintain their good quality.

Unlike the other two companies, ACR World Wide mainly targets restaurants in the Chinese market and its main products are lobsters and sea cucumbers. This company was founded in 2009 and it mainly sells fresh seafood from the Atlantic Ocean to China. During 2012, it sold more than 1 million pounds of lobsters. And its main products consist of frozen lobsters, dried sea cucumbers and frozen ones.