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Salmon exports. (Photo: SalmonChile)

Non-US seafood exporters to China benefit from trade war with US

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Monday, September 10, 2018, 22:50 (GMT + 9)

Non-United States seafood exporters to China have been granted unexpected benefits from the tariff tensions that are bedevilling US-China bilateral trade.

Salmon exports from Chile doubled year-on-year in the first six months of this year and Thailand is bullish about the export potential of its seafood to China, which has reduced seafood imports from the US following the trade row, China.Org.cn reported.

Since July 6, China started to impose an additional 25 per cent tariff on a number of US seafood items, including salmon and lobster, in response to tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the US.

Until recently, salmon was the US biggest item on its list of seafood exports to China, with its value reaching USD 318.5 million last year, according to a report by Zacks, an investment research firm.

Besides, Maine lobsters, Alaska crabs and California squid have seen their prices rise in the China market, and this has benefitted seafood exporters from other countries.

Now, China's tariff on US lobsters is 32 per cent. Chinese buyers can get the same variety of lobster from Canada, which attracts only 7 per cent tariff. China also imports lobsters from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mozambique, Mexico and Jamaica.

In the first half of this year, China's demand for Chilean salmon doubled compared with the same period last year.

From January to June, China's purchases of Chilean salmon reached nearly 24,000 metric tons from 12,000 metric tons in the same period last year, according to a report in Chilean newspaper El Mercurio.

For his part, Arturo Clement, president of industry group SalmonChile, said the sector expects sales to China "to keep growing, driven by an increase in demand."

"In addition to the marketing we do in the United States, the second country we should focus on is China," said Clement.

In total, salmon sales of Chile reached 452,000 tons from January to June, an increase of 25 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the Thai Ministry of Commerce said the country's seafood exporters, especially those dealing in fresh and frozen shrimp and crab, have benefitted from the shift in the China market's demand from the US to Thailand.

Last year, China imported seafood worth USD 2.5 billion in total from across the globe, including USD 150 million worth of Thai seafood. According to udnbkk.com, a Chinese newspaper published in Thailand, the Thai Ministry of Commerce said it is bullish about the potential of exports of shrimp, fish, and squid to China.

"It's natural for a country to import items from other sources when the traditional suppliers resort to harmful or unfriendly trade policies," said Li Guanghui, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Unfair import tariffs will further push US meat and farm produce exporters out of the China market. Seafood, wheat, fruit, wine, chicken and pork will now be imported by China from countries and regions such as Thailand, Vietnam, Argentina, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

Related articles:

- Alaska seafood industry fears 'devastating' effect of trade war with China
- Alaska complains about Chinese seafood import steep tariffs


 
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Photo Courtesy of FIS Member  SalmonChile - Asociación de la Industria del Salmón A.G
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