October 14, 2017
Global fish production forecast to grow 1% in 2017
Global production of fish and fishery products is expected to slightly expand by 1.1% this year, compared with 2016.
According to FAO's fish-trade site GLOBEFISH, the growth is largely accounted for by the end of El Niño and the associated recovery of catch volumes for certain fisheries, particularly the anchoveta fishery in South America.
Aquaculture production, meanwhile, is forecast to continue to grow at a rate similar to last year. GLOBEFISH cited recent OECD-FAO projections that said this sector is set to account for the majority of all production (including non-food uses) by 2022.
"Driven by robust demand growth worldwide, a substantial proportion of global (aquaculture) production will be exported, with the value of world trade in fish and fishery products expected to increase by a projected 5.8% to US$150.9 billion in 2017", GLOBEFISH said.
The demand growth has had an upward effect on prices, pushing the FAO Fish Price Index up by 7 points year-on-year as of April 2017.
Salmon prices have gone up to record levels. Good demand for shrimp in both Western and Asian markets have offset production increases, while cephalopods and bivalves are primarily responsible for the increase in the "other fish" category.
White fish was the only species category for which aggregate traded prices have declined (-5 points), caused primarily by weak demand in major markets for pangasius and tilapia.
India and Chile are expected to be the standout seafood exporters in 2017. In India's case, bumper harvests of farmed vannamei shrimp are the main factor in the expected US$2.3 billion (+41%) increase in Indian seafood exports in 2017.
For Chile, a combination of a recovery in salmon harvest volumes and the high price level for salmon products will equate to a projected rise of $1.6 billion (+30 percent) in export value. Ecuador (primarily shrimp and tuna), Peru (primarily fishmeal and fish oil) and Norway (primarily salmon, groundfish and small pelagics) are also forecast to see substantial increases in exports this year, GLOBEFISH said.
On the importer side, both developed and developing markets are expected to perform well in 2017. GLOBEFISH said significant import growth is forecast for the Southeast Asian emerging markets in particular, while the traditional "big three" (the US, the European Union and Japan) will all see seafood demand boosted by improving economic conditions.