European exporters avoiding China due to pricing, access problems

2022-05-18 13:08:41 Exim News

Executives interviewed at the 2022 Seafood Expo Global say signs exist that European exporters are pulling away from the Chinese market.

There are signs that European exporters are turning away from the Chinese market, according to numerous seafood executives interviewed at the 2022 Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, Spain in late April.

Difficulties with port backups due to more-stringent food safety checks

Difficulties with port backups due to more-stringent food safety checks and the threat of being banned from the Chinese marketplace if traces of COVID-19 are found on their products have scared some suppliers away from shipping to China.

Others are simply realizing higher prices in the European market.

Des Moore, the owner of Irish oyster farmer and exporter Belles Isle, has ceased shipping to China due to the turbulence he’s faced getting his products through Customs.

A general reluctance to service China with COVID and air cargo costs

“There has been a general reluctance to service China with COVID and air cargo costs. It’s just too uncertain the last two years,” Moore said

While sanitary checks have disrupted the live trade in seafood, China remains a strong market for frozen crustacean and shellfish from the U.K., according to C&N Chambers CEO Alan Price, whose Kilkeel, Northern Ireland-based firm exports brown crab, scampi, and whelk to buyers in China and Europe.

“Demand for imported seafood remains strong from the gift-box market,” Price said.

“Some of our customers in southern Europe are supplying supermarkets with frozen products and Portugal is now willing to pay higher prices, which they weren’t prepared to do previously,” Price said.

Price – who built up a large book of contacts in China in his previous roles as a director at Rockabill Shellfish, the Dublin, Ireland-based seafood firm owned by his wider family – said he has had no issues with COVID checks on his shipments, as his Chinese buyers handle the screening and quarantine process.  

Other Exim News

Advertisement