Export of groupers to China continuous to increase; government is actively creating new markets.
Export of groupers increases significantly, showing stable increase in volume and prices.
The Fisheries Agency (FA), Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan responded to a report by media on August 9th, which stated, “Bursting of the ECFA bubble, price of groupers drops below NT$100 at production site”. The FA would like to clarify that this report is untrue. The current domestic price of giant groupers at the production site still remains high at NT$443/kg, and the price of green groupers is NT$266/kg. The prices are lower than the average for the past three years, but this is due to an expansion in the scale of production. The FA also stressed that, from January to July 2012, the export of live groupers to China and Hong Kong amounted to 9,187 tons, an increase of 62% compared to the same period last year (5,671 tons). In view that the sale of groupers has become too concentrated in the China market, the FA is actively assisting the grouper industry to diversify markets and develop frozen sliced products for both the domestic and foreign markets.
The government actively assists the grouper industry to expand the domestic and international markets.
Since 2009, the Fishery Agency (FA) has been actively promoting the Grouper Production Value Double-up Program, aiming to expand the domestic and export markets, and is planning to bring the grouper industry into the domestic trading market. The policies have been promoted via the media. A program has also been implemented to develop markets for frozen sliced grouper products. For example, on August 6th, the FA organized a father’s day event, "A Grouper Feast for Happy Father’s Day", which aimed to expand the home delivery service market for frozen sliced groupers. At the same time, the FA subsidizes local governments to organize relevant marketing activities, for example, the “Grouper Festival Music Fest”, organized by the Kaohsiung County Yongan District Fishermen's Association and held at the Yongxin Fishing Port from August 11th to 12th. The Fangliao Fishermen’s Association of Pingtung County is also planning to organize a grouper cultural festival in mid-November. In addition, the FA is also assisting grouper producers to market their products, targeting the wedding banquet and festival celebration market in northern Taiwan, and planning to construct live fish storage and transport tanks at fish markets nationwide to expand direct sales from the places of production.
For the export market, the Council of Agriculture subsidized the Taiwan Frozen Seafood Industry Association to lead the food processing industry and exporters to participate in several international trade shows, including the Boston Seafood Show, the European Seafood Show, the Asian Seafood Exposition and the WorldFood Moscow Expo 2012. Participation in the international events is an effort of the Fisheries Agency to actively promote frozen processed grouper products and expand the possibilities for international orders. The Fisheries Agency is also planning to organize a team to participate in the 7th strait (FuZhou) Fisheries Expo in Fujian in September. The Taiwan Fisheries Hall will have a dedicated section for groupers. We will invite domestic grouper aquaculture, frozen grouper products, and grouper processing businesses to showcase the high-quality grouper products in this event and assist the industry to expand the market into China. For sustainable development, the Fisheries Agency will also assist the grouper industry to develop other international markets in the future.
The grouper industry is calling for consumer support.
For a long time, the production of groupers has been targeted for export; only around 30% was supplied domestically. Therefore, there is still room for growth in the domestic market. The supply of grouper has been quite stable in recent years and the price has stayed fairly reasonable. The Fisheries Agency calls for the public to support domestic production by taking action to purchase quality products made in Taiwan, including grouper products.