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China Investing Millions Into Growing Tuna Processing Sector China, September 2, 13

China’s tuna market has shown significant growth in recent years, but fierce competition is present in the industry. Investment in this business across different regions has caused key players to battle it out in attracting industrial customers as well as consumers with their tuna products.
Offering abundant nutritional value, the offshore fishing of tuna has become a major business in the country, with consumption habits of Japan rubbing off on its near-by nation. Sofar the focus of the Chinese processing industry has been on canned tuna for the domestic consumer markets, and for export to countries like the USA. Besides this, also pre-cooked tuna loins for industrial customers in Europe and the USA have been produced.
In recent years, the tuna industry, concentrated in the city of Zhoushan, has gradually increased production capacity from a value of less than USD 3 million to an annual export value of more than about USD 50 million.
Currently the city has a total of 15 enterprises engaged in tuna production, compared to just eight last year. China’s annual processing volume capacity currently stands at 25,000 tons of whole round tuna, still tiny compared to Thailand 700,000 tons. Nevertheless tuna fishing is said to have the potential to become one of China’s largest enterprises, which could cause a similar growth in processing.
Ningbo also contributes as an important Chinese city in the tuna industry. Ningbo Food Co. Ltd is located there and produces canned tuna, pre-cooked loins and other seafood products for exportation. In 2012 it reached canned tuna export figures of 22,300 tons, taking a substantial proportion of China’s total catch of skipjack and yellowfin.
With other regions hoping to mimic Ningbo’s success, tuna processing projects with an investment of approximately USD 180 million will be implemented in the province of Rongcheng, Shandong. Just over USD 80 million will fund the construction of a 15,000 ton, minus 60 degree processing plant.
The remaining nearly USD 100 million will go towards the building of two 40,000 ton raw material cold storages; a 20,000 square meter canned tuna processing plant and other related facilities. Once the project is fully operational, it will form China’s largest tuna processing base.
Combined, Zhoushan, Ningbo and Rongcheng are expected to eventually be able to produce a smooth flow of tuna products for the industrial supply chain, and the final consumer market. These areas are thought to make up a vital cluster in the development of this growing business in China.

Competition in the international market is fierce, but this is said to only contribute to the quality of products available to attract the domestic Chinese consumer, resulting in a thriving market for tuna processing.