China: Record High Seafood Imports in 2018

In 2018, China continued to be the world’s largest seafood producer, with production stable at 64.5 million metric tons (MMT) as a decline in wild catch was offset by growing aquaculture production. The decline in wild catch is expected to continue to challenge overall seafood production growth in 2019. In 2018, seafood imports increased, driven by China’s large seafood processing capacity aimed at value-added seafood product exports. Domestic demand for seafood also remained strong. In its annual tariff announcement, China Customs reduced the applied MFN tariffs on many seafood products by between 3 and 10 percent. U.S. fishery exports to China declined in the last quarter of 2018, mostly in response to importer reluctance to purchase U.S. seafood due to the uncertainty in the U.S.-China trade relationship and the additional tariffs. The best U.S. export prospects include frozen fish, shrimp, and high-value live seafood.

China: Record High Seafood Imports in 2018