Due to quarantine procedures, several tons of Australian lobsters were exposed to have encountered customs clearance delays in China at the beginning of last month. To avoid risk, Australian exporters began to suspend lobster exports to China.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported on December 5 that after missing China’s largest buyer, the price of lobster in Australia plummeted.
The “largest rock lobster fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere” in MacDonnell, Australia, has been shut down, and fishermen “sitting there idle and waiting for the coming from China” News from the country”.
Fishermen from Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia supplied a record number of lobster to the domestic market after the export of lobster to China was blocked, the report said.
Some fishermen sell rock lobster directly at the wharf at a price of 30-50 Australian dollars per kilogram (about 1.85 yuan). Tasmanian fisherman Jason Hart said bluntly: “I have never been afraid of falling to selling lobster at the dock before.”
“I’m the third generation fisherman.” “We can still sell other seafood [in the past] even when the market is in a slump, and I’ve never seen this [now],” Hart said.
Hart revealed that the current lobster price has fishermen in trouble, because the cost price of operating fishing boats can only be maintained at 30 Australian dollars per kilogram of lobster. “So if we reduce the price to 30 Australian dollars (per kilogram), it is equivalent to playing. Even if it is sold for 40 Australian dollars, there is no profit.”
“But I think those who like them [lobster] can afford it.” Hart said.
The price of lobster in the Australian seafood market is almost half that of the same period last year, the Australian city guide website Broadsheet reported on December 7. Stephanie Kaparos, CEO of Melbourne Clamms Seafood, said that fishermen who cooperated with the company had reduced the price of lobster from 130-150 Australian dollars per kilogram to 70-100 Australian dollars.
Eric Poole, Supply and Business Development Manager at Sydney Fish Market, expects lobster prices to rise but not up to previous years as Christmas approaches, and if trade tensions cannot be eased, dragons Shrimp prices will remain low next year.
“This Christmas, everyone can afford [lobster]…” said Poole.
And in Caparos’ view, “If [lobster] prices remain at this level, that would be good for Australians, but for fishermen, they want exports to reopen soon… It’s really hard to predict what will happen.”
“The largest rock lobster fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere is closed to fishing”
Port MacDonnell is known as Australia’s rock lobster capital and has one of the largest rock lobster fishing fleets in the southern hemisphere. But at present, the local lobster industry is facing a serious crisis.
ABC said that the result of the trade tension with China is that the largest rock lobster fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere has been closed off the southeastern coast of Australia.
The report quoted Roger Cutting, president of the Port McDonnell Professional Fishermen Association, as saying that the future of the fishing industry is unknown. “This is the biggest industry crisis I have seen in 50 years. We don’t know what will happen… It doesn’t seem to be good.”
Of the more than 50 commercial ships moored in Port McDonnell, only a few are still in operation to supply the Australian domestic market. But he warned that the domestic demand for lobster will gradually decrease after Christmas, and people will gradually turn to more affordable seafood such as prawns.
He said bluntly that Australia’s domestic market cannot support the country’s lobster industry, and the Chinese market is crucial to the Australian lobster industry, not only because of its huge population, but also because of the Chinese people’s “love of lobster”.
As for India, another populous country, Karting said: “India has 1.4 billion people, but they don’t like lobster. They prefer ordinary fish.”
China is Australia’s largest export market for lobster. According to Australian government data, from 2018 to 2019, the total export value of lobster from the country was 752 million Australian dollars (about 3.534 billion yuan), of which about 94% were sold to China.
Cartin said that in Port McDonnell, most fishermen “sit there and do nothing” waiting for news from #China.