A chartered plane carrying tons of Boston lobsters, a favorite on festive dining tables during Lunar New Year celebrations, arrived Monday evening in Zhengzhou, capital of the central province of Henan.
This is the first chartered air freight delivery of seafood ordered by Chinese buyers, another two planes will arrive before the start of the festival, which this year falls on Jan. 27.
It took the plane 19 hours to fly its cargo of 74.57 tons of Boston lobsters from Halifax Airport, Canada, to the transportation hub of Zhengzhou.
Dai Yanting, a quarantine official with the Henan Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, said his department had provided swift customs clearance on the fresh imports, which will be distributed from Zhengzhou to Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Lianyungang.
The market price for an imported lobster is around 500 yuan (about US$72) per kilogram.
Industry forecasts suggest that China will import around 8,000 tons of seafood in 2017.
The airport in Zhengzhou posted 275,000 tons of throughput of imported cargo in 2016, up 20.93 percent year on year. This included imported fruit, aquatic products, meat and live Australian cattle.