15 Dec 2014

NZ mussels record massive export increase

5:52 am on 15 December 2014

New Zealand's seafood industry is flexing its muscles in Asia, where a reduction in tarrifs and new trade agreements are being credited for a massive growth in the popularity of New Zealand's greenshell mussels.

Exports to Thailand have grown 450 percent in the past five years and other Asian countries are not far behind.

greenshell mussels


China is now the mussel industry's fourth biggest market and on his recent visit to New Zealand, the Chinese President Xi Jinping told producers there was more Chinese demand than they could possibly supply.

New Zealand's Trade Commissioner in Bangkok Karen Campbell said her biggest problem was dealing with distributors calling her asking why they could not get more mussels.

Aquaculture New Zealand chief executive Gary Hooper said the growth had been strengthened by the recently signed free trade agreement between the New Zealand and South Korean Governments, as well as the advance of trade agreement discussions with India.

However, he warned the challenge now was managing production, as climatic conditions two years ago reduced the supply of spat, or baby mussels, creating a largely flat production outlook for the coming year.

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