Nor­we­gian salmon ex­porters fish for sales

Global Times US Edition - - BIZOVE - By Wang Han in Shang­hai

The im­prove­ment of Nor­way-China re­la­tions is giv­ing Nor­we­gian salmon ex­porters stronger con­fi­dence in their mar­ket prospects in China as they eye op­por­tu­ni­ties from the na­tion’s con­sump­tion up­grad­ing, some Nor­we­gian salmon pro­duc­ers at the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) said.

Tar­iffs im­posed by China on US seafood in re­sponse to the US’ pro­tec­tion­ist tar­iffs on Chi­nese goods has put US prod­ucts at a dis­ad­van­tage in com­pet­ing with other coun­tries. It’s a good op­por­tu­nity for China to diver­sify its seafood im­port chan­nels, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese in­dus­try in­sid­ers.

“The tar­iffs on seafood prod­ucts will in­crease prices, which helps other coun­tries to grab more mar­ket share in China,” Ma Wen­feng, a se­nior an­a­lyst at the Bei­jing Ori­ent Agribusi­ness Con­sul­tancy, told the Global Times on Wed­nes­day.

“In the first seven months of this year, we had growth of 382 per­cent of fresh salmon ex­ports into the Chi­nese mar­ket com­pared with the same pe­riod in 2017,” said Knut Roald Sør­lie, com­mer­cial coun­selor of the Royal Nor­we­gian Em­bassy, at a re­cep­tion or­ga­nized by the Con­sulate Gen­eral of Nor­way in Shang­hai on Mon­day the oc­ca­sion of the CIIE.

Many Nor­we­gian salmon pro­duc­ers be­lieve their ex­ports to China are very likely to wit­ness fast growth in the next few years.

Emily Zhang, a China re­gional sup­ply chain man­ager of Marine Har­vest, the largest Nor­we­gian fresh salmon ex­porter to China, told the Global Times on Mon­day that be­cause of grow­ing mid­dle-class de­mand, the com­pany’s sales in China in 2017 were five times higher than in 2012.

Con­sump­tion up­grad­ing is hap­pen­ing in China, and there­fore Chi­nese con­sumers are look­ing for prod­ucts with good rep­u­ta­tions and brands, Zhang noted.

“We started to build our com­pany brand eight years ago, and this gives us strong mo­men­tum for growth in the Chi­nese mar­ket,” she said.

The man­ager also noted that the com­pany’s tar­get con­sumers are peo­ple in first- and sec­ond-tier cities.

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