Tiger Fresh, the perishables forwarding arm of Hong Kong-based Tigers, is expecting a jump in demand for Western Australian rock lobsters into China after import tariffs on the crustaceans were lowered from 6 percent to 3 percent under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Demand for China’s lobster imports is typically seasonal, and the upcoming Chinese New Year on Feb. 16 is behind a sharp increase in demand that currently has up to 50 tonnes of live lobsters per day moving into China via Tiger Fresh.
Lobsters are Western Australia’s largest seafood export, with a total catch quota of 6.4 million kilograms per year. Tiger Fresh handles about 80 percent of the total catch, 99 percent of which is either exported to China via direct flights or smuggled via Vietnam as part of the “grey trade,” according to Tigers.
Shipments of lobster into China have picked up substantially since last July, when the value-added tax (VAT) rate was lowered from 13 percent to 11 percent. In 2019, tariffs on live lobsters will be lowered to zero, which Tiger Fresh expects will cause a further increase in Chinese demand.
Those interested in learning more about perishables supply chains are invited to join us in Shanghai at the Mandarin Oriental Pudong 23-25 April for Cargo Facts Asia. To check out this year’s agenda, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com