CHINA - The aquaculture market in China is growing at a steady pace thanks to the geographical conditions in the country that favour the farming of large species of fish.
A new report from TechNavio shows that the aquaculture market is also thriving as the Chinese appetite for live and fresh aquatic produce, as well as processed products grows among a wide range of consumers.
While domestically, processed aquaculture products are primarily being exported, high quality, safe food, as well as premium aquaculture products are also gaining a foothold in China.
The aquaculture market in China is expected to reach aroundUS$100 billion by 2019.
Aquaculture production in China has become more concentrated in recent years with the top 11 provinces accounting for almost 90 per cent of the production.
Those regions are Jiangxi, Guangxi, Hubei, Liaoning, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guandong, Shandong, Anhui and Hunan.
These provinces are mostly situated on the eastern riverside, and many are coastal areas and some of these provinces specialise in specifically farmed products and unique aquaculture products.
In China, Aquaculture is booming because of the consumption demand for freshwater cultured products that are affordable.
Imported sustainably produced sea products such as squid, cod and mackerel that are domestically popular have produced an upsurge in domestic aquaculture production.
Busy lifestyles in China are also now driving the demand for processed aquaculture production of seafood such as prawns and tilapia fillets.
There is an increased appetite for ready-to-cook and processed foods, which is driving the demand for shellfish, shrimp, and fish.
Imported high-value seafood, which are popular in restaurants and hotels are also adding to the growth in the aquaculture market.
However, the aquaculture Chinese market, which can be divided into freshwater fish, molluscs, crustaceans and marine is highly fragmented and consists of a many small and mid-sized players, mainly composed of self-employed farmers.
There are four large aquaculture companies in the country that dominate the market - the Zhangzidao Group, Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products, Shandong Homey Aquatic Development and Shandong Oriental Ocean.
Other prominent companies include Baiyang Aquatic, Dahu Aquaculture, Hubei Wuchangyu, Liancheng Overseas Fishery, Ningde Xiawei Food and Xunshan Group.
Aquaculture production chains are geographically large, complex, and interlinked according to the report.
And those in the market are constantly looking for ways to enhance their production techniques, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.
They are also paying increasing attention to the optimisation of resources and human capacity.
China has approximately 300 seafood markets, which act as regional hubs for distribution.
TheFishSite News Desk