News from SeafoodNews on February 3 that under the influence of the epidemic, imported salmon has encountered huge challenges in the Chinese market. It is estimated that the total amount of frozen salmon imported by China has decreased by about 50%. However, this market is too”tempting” to give up, and exporters are still confident about their future there.
Some investors plan to increase investment to boost local demand, while some exporters have updated their development plans to seize a larger market share.
The outbreak in early 2020 forced quite a few restaurants in China to close temporarily, or even forever, which led to a sharp drop in Chinese salmon consumption, because most salmon are sold through local restaurants. After a short-term rebound, in June, the coronavirus was found on the imported salmon packaging to exacerbate the”tension” situation in the market, and exports were almost suspended for about a month or two.
Although the market is so sluggish, many people still believe in the potential of this market. For example, Victoria Braathen, director of the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) China, said that Chinese consumers now pay more attention to product quality, traceability and sustainability, which means that Norwegian seafood has more opportunities in the Asian market.
This confidence is by no means blind. According to existing data, although Norwegian salmon exports to China were unstable last year, and even dropped to a level close to zero in February, the total export volume in 2020 was only 17,000 tons. Compared to previous years, this is an impressive record. However, the volume of transactions in the second half of 2020 has been on the rise for six consecutive months.
Some exporters did not hesitate to wait for the development of the market, but came up with a new development plan. Chile is a good example. The country plans to invest 200,000 US dollars in the virtual market (e-commerce platform) to provide Boost China’s demand.
Although the epidemic has not changed the exporters’ view of this oriental market, it has indeed changed their development plans. Salmon was sold through restaurants in the past, and now the seller has turned more attention to the development and research of online sales channels and personal consumption habits.
According to industry insiders, the growth of the retail industry has largely helped them make up for the loss of restaurant sales. More importantly, this type of sales is expected to continue to grow.
In order to better promote salmon to individual consumers, some salmon production companies have already taken actions. For example, Marine Harvest uses its processing plant in Shanghai to launch new products for individual consumers. At the same time, Cermaq has established a traceability system so that Chinese consumers can learn about salmon traces by scanning relevant codes.
Analysis pointed out that it is undeniable that it is difficult for salmon exporters to rekindle Chinese enthusiasm for imported salmon. With the increase in global salmon production this year, competition may become more intense, but enthusiastic buyers are worth it. Producers and exporters do this. During the coronavirus infection period, household consumption in most markets increased by 30%-40%. In China, salmon may have greater potential, but the first task is to rebuild consumer confidence, which is not so easy.