Norwegian salmon exporters fish for sales
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.