China\'s aquatic production in 2012 continued its growth trend, rising four percent to 58 million tons on aquaculture production gains fueled by domestic demand. China remains the world largest aquaculture producer with total cultured aquatic production accounting for about 70 percent of the world total in recent years, according to the USDA.
The USDA FAS Fishery Products Annual Report for China says total aquaculture water area reached 7.83 million hectares (MHa) in 2011 from 7.65 MHa in the previous year, with the majority (164,000 Ha) expansion in freshwater facilities. While the majority of cultured facilities are fresh water due to available natural resources, growth in seawater facilities has outpaced that of freshwater facilities over the past four years, rising 33 percent between 2008 and 2011, compared to 15 percent for freshwater.
Overall, investment in facility expansion is slowing, with 2011’s 2.5 percent expansion cooling significantly from 2009’s 14 percent expansion.
Aquaculture fish production dominates this sector with a total production of 22.8 million tons, accounting for 69 percent of total fish production in 2011. Carp remains the most popular cultured freshwater fish with total production of 15.6 million tons in 2011 (up from 15.1 million tons in 2010), accounting for 72 percent of total freshwater cultured fish production.
Tilapia, another popular cultured product, is estimated to reach 1.5 million tons in 2012, up from 1.4 million tons in 2011. After a decade of rapid development averaging an annual growth rate of 11 percent, cultured tilapia production growth slowed in 2010 following abnormal weather conditions, but rebounded eight percent in 2011. 2012 cultured tilapia production continues to rise in response to increased domestic and foreign market demand, with export volume climbing 12 percent in the first ten months of 2012 over the previous year. Some fairly serious challenges threaten the overall rebound, however .
Total cultured catfish production is estimated at 610,000 tons in 2012, up from 598,000 tons in 2011 in response to dynamic domestic consumption. Cultured catfish production for export remains soft in response to uncertainty regarding pending U.S. import policies.
Shellfish production, primarily seawater cultured, continues to rise with 2011 total production at 11.8 million tons, up from 11.3 million tons in 2010 (See tables 3 and 4).
Cultured crustacean production in 2012 is expected to reach 3.4 million tons, a slight increase from the 3.3 million tons in 2011, in response to stronger domestic demand; Cultured penaeus vannamei (production exceeded 1.37 million tons in 2012, up from 1.3 million tons in 2011, accounting for 40 percent of total cultured crustacean production.
Eel production is concentrated in Fujian, Guangdong, and Jiangxi provinces, and much of the production is destined for the Japanese market.
Download the complete USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Global Agricultural information Service GAIN Report Number: CH12073, By M. Melinda Meador, WU Xinping , Joshua Lagos from the link below (PDF)