Australian rock lobster sales are expected to double during the Chinese New Year, said Matt Rutter, director of marketing for Australia's gyongteng fisheries cooperative, in an interview. Demand has started to rise in China, and the Australian rock lobster is in the fishing season. With 65 per cent of the rock lobster quota in western Australia, it is Australia's largest exporter of lobster, and it is the country's largest export market.
Normally, the quota for the western Australian rock lobster is released in January, and fishermen in the western Australia area begin fishing to catch up with the pre-spring shopping season.
At present, western Australia rock lobster prices remain firm. According to the price quoted by jiulongteng on January 9, the average price of rock lobster landed at 60.56 Australian dollars per kilogram (different prices), which is similar to the price of 2016-2017.
From the price trend of western Australian rock lobster in 2017, the fluctuation is obvious. In the first half of 2017, the price of the rock lobster in western Australia dropped by about half from the previous peak, and by July it recovered slightly. Close to National Day and the Mid-Autumn festival double festival, the western Australian rock lobster prices rose sharply in early October.
But the south Australian rock lobster is clearly not so lucky, because the south Australian rock lobster catch quota is announced at the end of July every year. Over the past few months, the catch has gone smoothly, with market prices so strong that only 20 per cent of the south Australian rock lobster quota has been allocated this season, which is unlikely to meet the strong demand in the Chinese market.
Australian lobster is gaining popularity in the Chinese market, but according to Australian customs data, most Australian lobsters enter the Chinese market via Vietnam, and border trade smuggling is difficult to contain.
According to the international trade center statistics, in January 2017 to October, the Australian rock lobster exports (HS code: 030631) totaled $554 million, including 395 million Australian rock lobster are exported to Vietnam, only a $116 million rock lobster exports to China. It can be said that almost half of the Australian rock lobster is smuggled.
High value and high demand is the origin of the western Australian rock lobster in border trade smuggling.
Since this year, the tariff on Chinese imported Australian rock lobster (HS code: 030611) has fallen from 4% to 2%, and is expected to drop to zero next year, according to the website of China's free trade service. This will help to curb the rampant smuggling of Australian rock lobsters, but VAT remains unchanged at 11 per cent, and there is still a long way to go.