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To keep up with the day-to-day status of the current trade war between the U.S. and China is a challenge.
Five primary things worth noting.
Let’s look at the impact on the U.S. seafood supply. So clearly the impacts of the U.S. tariffs have had a broad effect on fishery imports from China, but note the decline has not been as great as we move through the mid-summer months. This chart shows imports of all seafood products from China. From January to March, those imports were down more than 55 per cent. From April through July, however, those imports are down only 7.5% as businesses start to adjust to the reality of the tariffs.
We see this same trend in U.S. imports of frozen Tilapia fillets. Imports from China were down 62.3% year over year through March, but since then imports have increased by 19%. So from an overall supply standpoint, the tariffs are having less of an effect as time goes on, but clearly the importers and exporters are having to deal with how to account for the additional tariffs and no doubt profit margins have been affected.
Frozen fillets and fillet blocks make up the majority of the Pollock imports into the U.S. Note that here not only do we not see a decline, but a pretty large increase in the imports of fillets, particularly over the May through June period. It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact the tariffs scheduled to go into effect on December 15 will have on these imports.
Turning to U.S. seafood exports to China, we do not see a recovery in the levels of total exports as the year progressed with exports in 2019 lagging the prior year’s level consistently through July.
U.S. Exports of All Wild Alaska Pollock Products to China are Down 15.3% through July.
Interestingly, H&G exports to China are down about 25% despite re-exported product from China not being subject to the tariffs. Also, note that exports of fish meal from Alaska (all species) to China are down about 20% YOY through July.
The fillet production, up until October 19, is the most we have had in 14 years.
The board of GAPP has decided to start its program in Europe and all are welcome.