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Global Growth in Production of Aquatic Products

10 November 2015

ANALYSIS - World production of aquatic products both from catch fishing and aquaculture is expected to grow by 2.6 per cent this year.

This is compared to growth of just 0.9 per cent last year according to a new report from the French food, agriculture and fisheries analysts, France AgriMer.

The report shows that catches in 2015 are expected to be stable or even to slow slightly but compared to 2014 aquaculture production could increase because of a return to normal anchovy catches for animal feed following a sharp decline in 2014 caused by the effects of El Niño.

France AgriMer says that China could redirect part of its aquatic production onto the domestic market rather than onto global markets, because of increased purchasing power from the growing, wealthier and ever more urbanised Chinese population.

It also predicts that there could be a similar effect in markets in South and South West Asia.

The international market for salmon is expected to remain strong because of a decline in production of Norwegian salmon alongside a fall in fish weight.

The EU, the largest importer of Norwegian salmon with around three quarters of its production, has shown strong demand for the product all year, particularly since Russia banned imports of Norwegian salmon in retaliation for measures put in place over the crisis in Ukraine. Salmon prices have risen on the EU market thanks to the sustained demand, but Norway is reported to be slowing exports to the EU.

However, Scottish salmon has suffered because of the fall in the value of the Euro against sterling and both export value and volume in the second half of 2015 have started to fall compared to the start of the year.

However, the report says that 2015 overall should show a global rise in production of salmon of around four per cent – although this is slightly smaller growth than the previous year.

Growth in production is expected to continue into 2016.

The market and prices for trout stabilised in the first half of 2015, but still remain below the levels before the Russian embargo.

Norway saw its exports of trout, which largely go to Poland and Belarus, fall by nine per cent in the first nine months of this year compared to the same period in 2014.

The price of cod continues to rise as the end of the 2015 quota nears and demand remains strong. According to France AgriMer, as the end of year festivities approach the strong demand trend is expected to continue and is expected to exceed supply.

The quota for the Barents Sea, which has been reduced, is expected to see stable catches in 2015 and 2016 at around 894,000 tonnes, which could make supplies tight.

Alaska Pollock catches are down and because of demand on the Russian market, there has been a sustained increase in price.

The market for small pelagic herring was hit by the extension of the Russian embargo to Iceland in August this year as Iceland was the leading exported of frozen herring to Russia.

While there is a seasonal decline demand for bream and bar in the EU this has been less pronounced because of a fall in the amount of bream and bar coming on to the European market following a drop in production in the aquaculture farms of Turkey and Greece. Prices in the first half of this year were higher than in 2014.

For tuna, there has been a seasonal decline towards the end of the summer although availability has been abundant. Prices have been affected by a fall in the value of the currencies in South America against the US dollar and this has hit demand for tuna from Ecuador.

France AgriMer says that as the holiday season approaches the price of shrimp has risen.

However, production in Indonesia has fallen because of poor juvenile growth, while in Thailand and Ecuador production has risen as has the Argentinian catch.

Chris Harris

Chris Harris

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