Demand Growing for US Seafood Exports to Hong Kong

American seafood exports are seeing tremendous growth to Hong Kong, the
trendsetter for taste and preferences in southern China and to the whole nation
in many ways, says a seafood marketing specialist in Kodiak.

US seafood exports to Hong Kong grew in volume from less than 2,000
metric tons in 2001 to more than 18,000 metric tons in 2011, University of
Alaska Professor Quentin Sai Wing Fong told fisheries industry participants in
ComFish Alaska 2013 in Kodiak in mid-April. In value, those imports grew from
less than $10 million to close to $130 million in a decade, he said.

Hong Kong, on China’s south coast, with a land mass of some 426 square
miles and population of seven million people, has no more natural resources and
is a food import dependent market, said Fong, himself a native of Hong Kong.
People from southern China and elsewhere in that country come to Hong Kong to
buy everything from real milk powder to branded products like Louis Vuitton
because they don’t trust shops in mainland China, he said.

By 2012, Hong Kong’s top seafood imports from the US included 1,706
metric tons of liv geoduck worth $28.28 million dollars, 1,259 metric tons of
live lobster, valued at $20.98 million, and 658 metric tons of live conch,
worth $8.87 million.

Also imported were tons of mollusks, sea cucumbers prepared, live fresh
oysters, lobster rock live and fresh, frozen sablefish, fresh sablefish, frozen
lobster rock, lobster (Homarus) frozen and frozen, dried, salted clams.

The Chinese, said Fong, “really love US shellfish.”

Collectively the 48,469.51 metric tons of fresh seafood was worth $271
million in US dollars, while the 144,017 metric tons of frozen seafood imports
were valued at $1 billion, Fong’s research showed.

Generally speaking the Hong Kong market is hyper competitive, sourcing
globally, with price sensitive consumers willing to embrace natural and organic

Country of original labeling is popular among high-end retailers and
there is a growing demand for western style and traditional fast/ convenience
foods, he said. US food products traditionally have a high reputation in Hong
Kong too, he said.