Pakistan’s seafood industry makes significant strides in Chinese market Breaking

July 09, 2024

Pakistan’s vibrant seafood industry has made significant strides in recent years, with mud crabs emerging as a star export product, Gwadar Pro reported on Tuesday. As Pakistani exporters continue to tap into the global market, they are increasingly focusing on China as a key destination for their high-quality mud crabs, renowned for their rich flavor and succulent meat. According to Volza’s Pakistan Export data, mud crab export shipments from Pakistan stood at 5.5K, exported by 46 Pakistan exporters to122 buyers.  Recently China has emerged as the largest market for Pakistani mud crabs, with exports to the country surpassing those to other destinations such as the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Pakistan is now ranked as the third-largest exporter of mud crabs globally, highlighting the country's strong position in the international seafood market. The surge in Pakistani mud crab exports to China can be attributed to the country's commitment to quality and the optimization of supply chains. Pakistani exporters have capitalized on the rising demand for high-quality seafood in China, where mud crabs are highly valued for their culinary appeal and nutritional benefits.

“Our average weight per box net weight of 16 kg. We exported about 3,000 tons of live mud crabs to China over the last 3 years” said Mr. Tehseen Patel, CEO of Areeba Enterprises, a leading Pakistani mud crab exporter.  Areeba Enterprises, which started exporting Pakistani mud crabs internationally in 2016, has seen success in the Chinese market, driven by the company’s focus on quality control and sustainable fishing practices. According to China’s customs statistics, the import of live, fresh, or cold mud crabs (Chinese Customs code 030633) from Pakistan has increased significantly in recent years.  In 2023, China imported live, fresh or cold crabs from Pakistan (Chinese Customs code 030633) for US $42,594,065, up 141% from US $17,658,045 in 2020.  This trend highlights the growing demand for Pakistani mud crabs in China and the potential for further expansion in the market. Driven by the robust appetite for seafood in China, Areeba Enterprises has established a robust supply chain, shipping live mud crabs directly to major cities like Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Kunming.  The journey from Pakistan’s shores to China’s bustling markets typically takes between 24 to 48 hours, ensuring the freshness and vitality of the crabs upon arrival.

As the Pakistani exporter continues to tap into the global market, Tehseen Patel is investing in modernization and sustainability to meet the evolving needs of international buyers.  Areeba has embarked on a mission to train local fishermen in best practices, invest in state-of-the-art hatcheries and conditioning facilities, and integrate sustainable practices throughout its supply chain. The Chinese seafood market is a vibrant landscape with a wide array of products in high demand. In the Chinese market, there is high demand for shrimps, fresh and frozen fish (ribbonfish, croaker, and mackerel), crabs, lobsters, scallops, and squid.  In addition to mud crabs, Areeba Enterprises also exports a diverse range of seafood products, including shrimps (white-leg shrimp and tiger shrimp), live lobsters, etc. The company has ambitious plans to further expand its footprint in the Chinese seafood market. “We are committed to diversifying our product range and forging closer strategic partnerships with local distributors, retailers, and e-commerce platforms.  By doing so, we aim to not only satisfy the ever-growing demands of the Chinese market but also contribute to the sustainable development of Pakistan’s seafood industry,” Tehseen Patel added.

Credit: Independent News Pakistan (INP) — Pak-China