Thailand to a ban on importing fish from Japan, promote opportunities to export

    Mr. Poonpong Naiyanapakorn, director of the Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPP), stated that in the event that the Chinese Customs Department suspends imports of marine products. (including fresh sea animals) from Japan since 24 Aug. 66 due to concern over the risk that seafood may be contaminated with radioactive substances. 

After Japan released wastewater contaminated with radioactive substances which is treated from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. Similarly, the Hong Kong government has ordered a ban on the import of seafood products from several Japanese provinces such as Fukushima, Tokyo, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano and Saitama. Products that are prohibited from importing include fresh, chilled, frozen, dried or otherwise processed seafood, including sea salt and seaweed, etc. However, Japanese authorities have confirmed that Water released into the sea is safe. It has been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA, which is an agency under the United Nations. 

The implementation of such measures is expected to have a considerable impact on Japanese seafood exports. Because China is Japan’s number one export market for fishery products (HS 03).  Proportional 26.9 percent (first 7 months of 2023), while China imports only 2.7 percent of fishery products from Japan. The high fragmentation of import sources gives China a variety of alternative import sources. Can be changed to other import sources when risks arise, such as Elcuador, Russia, Canada, India, the United States, Norway, Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, and Thailand, etc. Using such measures will not affect China. As for seafood that China likes to import from Japan, it includes scallops, tuna, sea urchins, sea bass, and sea cucumbers, etc. While for processed fish (HS 1604), China’s import sources are rather concentrated in South Korea and Thailand, with proportions of 39.7 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively.

Japan is the third largest source of imports, accounting for only 11.1 percent. 7 only. The high fragmentation of import sources gives China a variety of alternative import sources. Can be changed to other import sources when risks arise, such as Elcuador, Russia, Canada, India, the United States, Norway, Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, and Thailand, etc. Using such measures will not affect China. As for seafood that China likes to import from Japan, it includes scallops, tuna, sea urchins, sea bass, and sea cucumbers, etc. While for processed fish (HS 1604), China’s import sources are rather concentrated in South Korea and Thailand, with proportions of 39.7 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively. Japan was the third largest source of imports with only 11.1 percent. 7 only. The high fragmentation of import sources gives China a variety of alternative import sources. Can be changed to other import sources when risks arise, such as Elcuador, Russia, Canada, India, the United States, Norway, Vietnam, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, and Thailand, etc. Using such measures will not affect China. As for seafood that China likes to import from Japan, it includes scallops, tuna, sea urchins, sea bass, and sea cucumbers, etc. While for processed fish (HS 1604), China’s import sources are rather concentrated in South Korea and Thailand, with proportions of 39.7 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively. Japan is the third largest source of imports, accounting for only 11.1 percent.   

    China has suspended imports of fish from Japan due to fears of radioactive contamination. As a result, Thailand has the opportunity to export seafood products and gain more shares in the Chinese market. To compensate for the lost market share from Japanese exports Fishery products that may benefit from an increase in exports to China include fresh, chilled, frozen and processed squid and mussels, chilled and frozen fish meat. Chilled and frozen fish Fresh, chilled and frozen shrimp Prepared and processed fish Since it is a product that Thailand already exports to China in a large proportion and with good production quality control in Thailand, it will be able to increase production capacity to the Chinese market. Exports of canned and processed seafood to China were USD 221.9 million (+45.5%), while canned and processed seafood exports to China were USD 31.4 million (+48.7%).

    Impact on Thailand in terms of imports Thailand imports a small proportion of fishery products from Japan. According to the Ministry of Commerce’s import data, it was found that in the first 7 months of 2023, Thailand imported fresh, chilled, frozen, processed and semi-finished aquatic animals from Japan worth US$ 94.7 million, amounting to 63,951 tons. 5.3%, followed by India, Taiwan and China, and now there is no measure to prohibit the import of fishery products from Japan. As for the relevant agencies, they have raised the level of surveillance of seafood before it enters the country to ensure the safety of consumers. If contamination is found, the government will take measures to return or destroy. and immediately publicize information to the public 

     When going deeper into the list of Thai fishery products imported from Japan, such as salmon, trout, cod, mackerel, imported worth 21.0 million US dollars ( -24.8% ), it is the 4th largest import source after Chile and Norway. and China, the tuna group imported worth USD 22.6 million (+29.5%), being the 10th largest import source. Other aquatic animals and products (such as frozen sardines) frozen mackerel fillets Other Pacific Salmon, frozen until frozen Frozen long fin tuna fillets Frozen shell squid, etc.) imported with a value of 46.5 million US dollars ( -32.0% ), making it the third largest source of imports after India and Vietnam. 
    
      Mr. Poonphong concluded by saying that Thai fishery exports are carried out in accordance with relevant regulations on sanitation. This ensures quality, safety and reliability. Therefore, it is an opportunity for producers and exporters of aquatic products to enter the Chinese market, which is the world’s second largest importer of fisheries products. Meanwhile, concerns over fish imports from Japan will also create opportunities for domestic salmon and trout farmers. 

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