Chinese consumers' appetite for lobsters has given a strong boost to the industry.
According to a report released by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Chinese consumed 879,300 tons of lobsters in 2016, an increase of 32.47 percent from 2014.
The country's lobster farming area exceeded 9 million mu (600,000 hectares) in 2016. The output of lobsters rose 30.36 percent from 2014 to 899,100 tons in 2016, making China the largest producer of lobsters in the world.
Lobsters generated 146.61 billion yuan ($22 billion) of aggregate economic value and created nearly 5 million jobs in 2016.
Value created in the primary industry, mainly in aquaculture, came to 56.41 billion yuan; that in the secondary industry, represented by processing, arrived at 10.2 billion yuan; and that in services, amounted to 80 billion yuan.
China's lobster exports declined since 2015 as a result of increasing domestic demand and technical trade barriers. In 2016, China exported 23,300 tons of lobsters, down 6,400 tons or 21.48 percent from 2014.
The United States and Europe are the major export market for Chinese lobsters. Exports to the US came to $100 million in 2016, accounting for 40 percent of the total. About 90 percent of the lobsters on the European market came from China.
People participate in a lobster feast in Xiangyang, Hubei province [Photo/VCG]