SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Sina] translated by Amy Zhong – January 18, 2018

According to Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, Shanghai imported 52,900 batches of live seafood worth as much as USD $810 million in 2017. The two numbers are an increase of 9 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from 2016. The 2017 import value is close to seven times of that in 2010. These seafood imports mainly came from 42 countries and regions such as the United States, Philippines, New Zealand, England and Madagascar. There are 84 different species such as mud crabs, crayfish, oysters and geoducks that were part of the live imports. With regard to volumes, the eight largest export countries include the U.S., Canada, Philippines, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and England.

Imported seafood has been increasingly popular among Chinese consumers since the improvement of living standards during the past few years. New sales channels like fresh food stores and e-commerce platforms have eliminated middlemen between seafood suppliers and end consumers. This lowers seafood prices and makes them more common in Chinese households. As statistics show, Shanghai imported 10,000 tons of mud crabs in 2017, while its import volumes all exceed 5,000 tons for crayfish, Dungeness crab and lobsters. These seafood products are not only sold to Shanghai citizens but also those in neighboring regions. Features such as being fresh and exotic lure many Chinese consumers to buy seafood like king crab, Dungeness crab and lobsters despite high prices. Last year alone, Shanghai airport received about 35 tons of king crabs, which grew by more than 10 times compared with the year before. Its seaport has welcomed the largest import of live seafood, more than 50 tons of live king crab from Russia, to satisfy high-end consumers’ appetites.