Local grouper, tilapia prices rise due to economic growth

May 24, 2011 11:16

The prices of Taiwan's grouper and tilapia, which saw a significant drop in 2009, have risen this year as a result of the economic recovery, representatives of the aquaculture industry in southern Taiwan said, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to Focus Taiwan.

 The southern city of Tainan -- the major production area for tilapia -- accounts for 25 percent-30 percent of the total amount of fish farmed in Taiwan, according to the Agriculture Bureau of the Tainan city government.

 Taiwan is a global leader in tilapia farming, and exports the fish to the United States, Europe, South Korea, Japan and the Middle East, said Chen Lien-yi, honorary chairman of the Nan Yin Aquaculture Association.

 In addition to the economic recovery, the March 11 earthquake in Japan has also helped increase demand for Taiwanese tilapia and has boosted the export price to around NT$40 (US$1.4) per kilo, up from a 2009 low of NT$18 per kilo, Chen said.

 The cultured grouper industry in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City has also seen strong growth in 2011 due to high demand in Taiwan and China, said Ho Tse-liang, chairman of the Yungan Fishermen's Association.

 The price of grouper reached a high of NT$520 per kilo several years ago but dropped significantly to NT$150 per kilo in 2009, rising to around NT$300 last year, Ho said.

 Annual grouper production reached more than 10,000 tons, with a market value of more than NT$2 billion, according to another association official, who added that 70 percent of Taiwan's groupers are exported to China and Hong Kong, with the remaining 30 percent sold locally.

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