Canada lob­ster ex­ports to China ris­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XIAO LIXIN in Bei­jing xi­aolixin@chi­

The de­mand for Canadian lob­sters from Chi­nese con­sumers has wit­nessed a rapid surge in re­cent years and es­pe­cially now as the Chi­nese New Year ap­proaches less than a month away.

Canadian lob­ster is in high de­mand the world over by pro­fes­sional cater­ers seek­ing fla­vor, con­sis­tency and value. At present, Canada pro­vides more than half of the world’s sup­ply of both live and pro­cessed hard-shell At­lantic lob­ster and has long been over-de­pen­dent on ex­port to its neigh­bor to the south, as about three out of four Canadian lob­sters are ex­ported to the US.

Re­cent years have seen a new trend and in­crease in ex­ports to China, which has grown into its sec­ond-largest lob­ster ex­port des­ti­na­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est fig­ures from the Lob­ster Coun­cil of Canada, com­pared to only $6.7 mil­lion in 2010, Canada ex­ported live lob­sters worth $36.5 mil­lion to China in 2013, ex­ceed­ing ex­ports to the US for the first time ever.

Dur­ing the first 11 months of 2014, the amount reached $73 mil­lion, a year-on-year growth of 136 per­cent.

Since China’s Spring Fes­ti­val is in Fe­bru­ary this year, now is only a pre­lude to the busiest lob­ster pur­chas­ing sea­son, said Ste­wart La­mont, manager of Tang­ier Lob­ster, a Canadian ex­porter.

Lob­ster meat is low in fat and car­bo­hy­drates, high in pro­tein and con­sid­ered a good choice for a healthy diet. Trav­el­ing the long jour­ney live from Canada to China, the del­i­cacy known for its fresh­ness has re­ceived a warm wel­come in China, de­spite its steep price.

The Canadian crus­taceans have even be­come a sta­tus sym­bol of wealth for the Chi­nese, said Ge­off Irvine, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Lob­ster Coun­cil of Canada. “With grow­ing public con­cerns over seafood safety due to wa­ter pol­lu­tion, im­ported seafood has in­creas­ingly been pre­ferred by the Chi­nese,” he said.

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