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            september 19, 2019

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Canadian live lobsters triumph in US-China trade war


Canadian live lobster exports to China have soared in recent months mainly due to the trade war between the US and China,according to Shipping Gazette.
Exporters and shippers of live crustaceans from Canada are reporting a huge growth in the number of air cargo shipments to China with all that fighting, which is proving to be a boon for the Nova Scotia lobster industry - the main provider of Canadian live lobster.
The steep tariffs on US goods means Canadian lobster is a whole lot cheaper to buy in China than crustaceans from our American neighbours, reports CBC News.
General manager of Chinese-owned First Catch Fisheries, Yang Xue, which now operates three charter flights a week carrying live lobster from Halifax to China, said: "Our market share is getting more and more for this July, August and September, much more than last year and the last couple of years."
The first month China imposed a retaliatory 25 per cent tariff on lobster from the US, Canadian shipments nearly doubled compared to the year before. Shipments to China went from 627,000 kilos in July, 2017 to over 1.25 million kilos in July 2018, according to Canadian government statistics. The value rose from CAD12 million (US$9.2 million) to nearly CAD21 million.
Most of that is flown out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport on jumbo jets carrying about 80,000 kilos of live lobster per trip.
"It's pretty massive," said Abbey MacDonald, operations manager at Flying Fresh Air Freight, a freight forwarding business. "We never would have imagined this amount of freight moving."
Industry sources say live lobster inventories have been well drawn down by now. There have been fears Maine lobster, which is effectively shut out of China, is being imported into Canada and then shipped out as Canadian lobster to avoid the Chinese tariffs.
It's a concern expressed by Geoff Irvine, of the Lobster Council of Canada at a fishermen's forum in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
"Some of our live shippers are worried it could erode the Canadian market. It would undercut our market advantage [in China] and the prices we have, and we don't want that," Mr Irvine told CBC News.

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