Asian economies have a tough start to 2019

A sharp drop in Chinese trade is taking a bigger-than-expected toll on its Asian neighbours.
A sharp drop in Chinese trade is taking a bigger-than-expected toll on its Asian neighbours.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Last year during the run up to Chinese New Year, Heru Purnomo, founder of Indonesia's biggest live fish exporter, Pulau Mas, could count on a spike in demand to prop up prices, as Chinese families and businesses splashed out on live lobster, grouper and other reef fish as part of elaborate banquets to ring in the New Year. A red coral trout, or snapper, would set a host back US$65/kg (S$88/kg). This year it's more like US$55.

"It's absolutely because the economy there is slowing down," Mr Heru said, referring to China.

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