Pakistan’s fish meal export to China topped 13,866 tons with a value of over $15.68 million, showing a year-on-year increase of 250.59% in the January-February period, Chinese customs data showed.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between Pakistan and China has increased significantly. Pakistan’s exports to China stood at $670.72 million in January-February 2022, up 22.77% from $546.30 million in the same period of previous year.
According to the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), flours and meals of fish from Pakistan, used in animal feed, crossed $15.68 million with a total volume of 13,866 tons, while last year it was $4.47 million with a total volume of 4,917 tons in the January-February period.
Data showed that in 2021, the total fish meals used in animal feed, imported from Pakistan, stood at 40,654.92 tons worth $40.53 million.
Khurram Naseeb from A-One Fish Meal in Karachi said that there are several reasons for the growth, including short supply from other countries.
“Almost all suppliers including Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, the US, Ecuador, Mauritania and Morocco limited fish meal export, whereas only Pakistan, India and Peru are exporting to China,” he said.
At the beginning of this year, prices for other agricultural commodities increased, such as soybean meal, corn, rapeseed meal, due to the pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Khurram added.
Therefore, animal feed relies heavily on fish meal, which comes from juvenile fish usually.
He mentioned that Pakistan’s fishery processing industry needed improvement to enhance exports following the second China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement in which more than 313 items are now enjoying duty-free access to China including fisheries. There is still a need to build jetties for local fishermen.
“We can increase our export and prices by improving our boats, loading time from boats to trucks and transportation of raw fish from port to factories because Pakistan has more potential than what they are achieving now, roughly 85,000 tons per year,” Khurram stated.
THE ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON THE CHINA ECONOMIC NET
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2022.