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China: seafood retail export opportunities

Market opportunity: Seafood retail opportunities

Key details

Opportunity: Seafood retail opportunities

Country: China

Sector: Food and drink


China plays a central role in the international seafood trade. China's seafood imports increased by 15.7% to 18 billion USD in 2021, making it the world's second-largest single-country seafood importer, after the USA.

During the Covid-19 outbreak in China, many new and emerging retail channels saw explosive growth within seafood categories as consumers were forced to eat at home instead of in restaurants and hospitality settings.

As China has recovered from Covid-19, most consumers have maintained this purchasing trend as well as returning to consuming seafood in food service.

Based on market intelligence, the most popular imported seafoods for online and offline retail sales are shrimp, salmon, crab, cod, lobster, oyster, mussels, scallops and abalone.

Scale of opportunity

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, China imported 1.47 million tonnes of seafood in the first quarter of 2020—a slight increase in volume of 4.5% against the first quarter of 2019.

The Chinese seafood market is highly seasonal and holiday dependent. During important holiday seasons, seafood is one of the main products purchased online, for example during Chinese New Year in 2019, during which seafood accounted for 38% of food sales on

Eligible companies

This opportunity is open to:

  • Scottish producers of fresh and frozen seafood who are already exporting to China market and could supply stable volumes of quality seafood at a competitive price
  • Scottish seafood producers keen to sell branded seafood products to target premium retail markets in China

Register your interest

If you are interested in this opportunity and would like to talk to one of our in-market specialists, complete our online form and we'll be in touch.

Register your interest

Register your interest

Get in touch with our in-market specialists to find out more about this export opportunity.