By Sally Murphy of RNZ.
Sealord is still working to get exports from one of its processing plants into China, the company says.
Earlier this year New Zealand's biggest trading partner suspended exports from two seafood processing plants - a Sanford facility in Havelock that processes mussels and a Sealord Facility in Nelson that processes finfish and fishmeal - citing Covid-19 hygiene food safety fears.
Last year it stopped exports from an Auckland coldstore for the same reason.
Sealord chief executive Doug Paulin said the suspension had cost the company $3 million.
"It's a complicated process, once you get delisted as a processing plant for China to get yourself relisted, you've got to follow a relatively bureaucratic process in regards to that relisting.
"So if you if you look at what China has done across the course of the last 18 months, I think it's in excess of 5000 pack houses have been delisted. In terms of the ability to export to China, none of them have been relisted to date."
Paulin said China was busy dealing with its own Covid-19 response so relisting international packhouses was low on the priority list
"So unfortunately, whilst it's a significant impact for Sealord, and our business, when you look at it across China, it's a relatively small thing. So look, we are still working with MPI closely. And for us, the impact of this year has already happened. So we've dealt with that. So really, it's what do we do about next year."
He said Sealord was able to process some fish in other manufacturing plants around New Zealand that can still export to China.
But they couldn't export the same amounts and using other plants cost more money - leading to the $3 million downside in business.
Doug Paulin said about 18 per cent of Sealord's product is sent to China.
The Ministry for Primary Industries said it's still working with counterparts in China to get exports from the three processing plants restarted.
It says it hasn't received communication from Chinese Authorities relating to suspending exports due to the current outbreak.