August 25, 2016
Chinese tilapia production dropped 40% in 2015
Chinese tilapia production dropped by an estimated 40% last year due to unfavourable weather conditions coupled with continued lower demand in the US and the EU, both major markets, a FAO Globefish report said.
In 2015, the Chinese tilapia industry was also affected by antibiotic-related issues. Processing plants controlled production as result of the general slowdown in demand.
Total Chinese exports of tilapia in 2015, meanwhile, declined by roughly 24,000 tonnes to 391,200 tonnes. Frozen fillet exports, which make up 39% of Chinese tilapia exports, declined, primarily to the US. However, exports of frozen breaded tilapia to the main markets of the US, Mexico, Côte d'Ivoire and Zambia posted positive growths.
Average export prices of Chinese frozen tilapia fillets in 2015 weakened by 15.3% to as low as US$3.86 per kilogramme compared with 2014.
China is the leading supplier of tilapia to the US market. It was also the leading supplier to the EU in all product categories (such as frozen fillets and whole frozen tilapia) in 2015. EU's total imports of tilapia from China reached 21,177 tonnes in 2015, a slight increase of 0.9% from 2014.
Tilapia production this year is forecast to further decline due to the extreme cold weather in China in early 2016, which affected many tilapia farms, according to the UN agency's report.