Siam Canadian: Rush to beat tariffs, typhoons may have boosted tilapia prices : Sep 19, 2018
Chinese tilapia is about to get much more expensive in the US thanks to the new tariffs ordered by the US Trade Representative (USTR), but its price was already climbing months before, Siam Canadian Frozen Seafood Exporters notes in a blog on its web site.
At RMB 9.00 ($1.31) per kilogram, the price of raw material tilapia in China is up RMB 0.40 since July and RMB 0.60 higher than its low in June, which the Asian seafood exporter attempts to explain.
The “reason is not completely clear, but [it] seems [the] most likely factor is that many China tilapia exporters have been rushing out shipments to [the] USA several months earlier than [their] contracted schedule to avoid [a] potential duty that will be imposed on China imports to the USA”, the group writes.
Other factors also were likely in play, Siam Canadian suggests, including the fear of typhoons hitting Guangdong province, China’s biggest tilapia production area.
“If ponds are flooded or damaged, tilapia suppliers expect raw material prices to move up further,” the blog said, noting that significant damage could impact the tilapia supply for up to six months.
The export company suggested that tilapia prices could soften in November if most processors have their US year-end contracts end the month before, but it predicted that prices would remain at about RMB 8.80/KG.
However, that was before the USTR announced it was moving forward with a 10% tariff on nearly 6,000 Chinese products, including tilapia, that would go into effect on Sept. 24 and rise to 25% on Jan. 1.