Health Certificates are required when consignments of fish/fishery products and molluscan shellfish are being exported to countries within Asia and Oceania.
Specific requirements are in place in relation to Hong Kong, South Korea, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and Australia.
Exports to the four main Asian markets - China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan - together increased by an estimated 19% in value terms in 2018, compared to 2017. Overall, these four Asian markets accounted for 14% of total seafood export values in 2018.
Ireland exported €14.4 million worth of seafood to Japan in 2018, a very slight drop of 4% compared to 2017 when the export value was €15 million. Mackerel is the key species exported, with frozen mackerel representing 55% of all seafood export value to Japan. Frozen Jack and Horse mackerel saw value growth of 65% in 2018, up to €5.6 million.
China remains a key developing market. In 2018, seafood exports to China reached approximately €46 million, a value increase of 66% from the previous year. The volume of Irish seafood exported to China in 2018 was approximately 12,693 tonnes, a 31% increase on the 2017 figure. The average unit price per tonne, across all species, in 2018 was €3,617, an increase of 27% on the 2017 figure. It is a key export market for Irish Brown Crab and Oysters. Frozen Brown Crab saw a value increase of 94%, up to €6.7 million, while live Irish Brown Crab saw a value increase of approximately 175%, up to €4.5 million. Live oysters saw a value increase of 93%, up from €2.9 million in 2017 to €5.5 million in 2018. The Irish pelagic sector is also focusing on the Chinese market in an effort to diversify its customer base with exports reaching a value €11.4 million in 2018, made up mainly of frozen mackerel, Jack & Horse mackerel and herring.
In April 2017, agreement was reached with the Chinese government on an export certificate that facilitated the resumption of Irish Brown Crab exports to China which had been suspended.
China is predicted to become a €15.5 billion seafood import market by 2020.
Ireland exported approximately €8 million worth of seafood to Hong Kong in 2018. This was a decrease of 15% in value in comparison to the 2017 figure of approximately €9.5 million.
Taking into account the wider South East Asian markets to include Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, this region accounted for over 15% of total export values in 2018. This compares to a share of just 7% of seafood export values in 2013, demonstrating the increased focus by the Irish sector and Bord Bia in its market development and promotional efforts in this region over the last 5 years.
Bord Bia is currently reviewing potential markets in Asia and Oceania as part of their market development activities and a large number of deep dive studies have been undertaken in markets such as South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong to map out these seafood markets and to understand the potential for Irish seafood in these regions.