Markets: Frozen Foods - China

China has a clearly positive foreign trade balance. According to UbiFrance it represented 1.2 billion € in 2004. Imports are mainly centred on sea foods because of foreign companies, in particular from the USA, outsourcing their activity to China in search of cheaper labour costs. It mainly concerns fisheries: salmon, cod and Alaska pollock are transported from the fishing areas, thawed, filleted transformed and then re-exported, primarily towards the USA and Japan. Meat follows: 550 000 tons, mainly pork offal and cut chicken, are imported every year, mainly from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Japan, South Korea and the USA are the main destinations (60%) for exports. Fish flesh and fillets represent 30% of this, followed by cephalopods (cuttlefish and squids) mainly for the Asian market. More recent developments in frozen fruit and vegetables (mainly for Japan and South Korea) could expand in coming years. Meat at a very low price, for Russia and North Korea, is also a key export. Trade with the EU is relatively restricted (only 15% of exports). The main European destination is Germany, far ahead of the UK and the Netherlands. The domestic market is growing 10% each year. In 2004 it amounted to 7 billion USD (3.6 million tons). For the moment average annual consumption is 2.8 kg/capita and is stimulated by rising income, increasing use of equipment and life style changes. Most frozen foods consumed in China are convenience products: 1 million tons, i.e. 39% of the trade, is in products such as dumplings, spring rolls or stir-fried rice.