Eleven Brazilian tilapia processing plants have been approved to sell fish products in China, opening a gateway to the much coveted Asian market for the South American nation’s producers.

The development, the fruit of a year’s work with Chinese authorities, has left industry executives brimming with optimism about the future.

“It’s a great conquest for Brazilian aquaculture,” Francisco Medeiros, CEO of aquaculture producers trade body Peixe BR told IntraFish.

The next hurdle will most certainly be for the industry to overcome the coronavirus health crisis, which means the date for the first shipment to China is unclear.