October 8, 2003

 

 

Germany Fishery Products Overview in 2002-03

 

Executive Summary

 

Germany is the fourth largest fish processor in the EU-15, after the U.K., France, and Spain.  However, only 21 percent of the raw fish is sourced domestically. 

 

Production value of fish and fishery products at factory level was stable at U.S.$1.815 billion (1.582 billion Euro) in CY 2002, while production volume decreased by 2.3 percent compared to CY 2001 to 441,150 MT (product weight).

 

Calculated per capita consumption dropped to 14 kg in CY 2002, from 15.3 kg in CY 2001, but is still higher than in CY 2000, before the BSE crisis, when per capita consumption was at 13.7 kg.

 

Germany is the biggest net-importer of fish and fishery products in the EU.  Total imports of fish and fishery products into Germany in CY 2002 amounted to 787,544 MT (product weight) at a value of U.S. $ 2.77 billion (Euro 2.41 billion).

 

The U.S. supplied 60,439 MT of fish and fish products in CY 2002 at a value of US$ 170 million (Euro 148 million). This amounts to 7.7 percent of the German import market.  Frozen Alaska-pollock fillets, frozen Pacific salmon, live lobsters, and caviar substitutes are the most successful U.S. fish products on the German market.  In 2002, the U.S. was the biggest supplier of frozen Alaska-pollock fillets to Germany.  This was partly due to the fact that China, a major competitor, faced import restrictions because of deficiencies in its residue monitoring system.

 

Production

 

The total catch of the German fishing fleet (landings in domestic and foreign ports) amounted to 247,000 MT (catch weight) in CY 2002, this is an increase of 9,000 MT or 4 percent compared to CY 2001.  125,000 MT of this were landed in foreign ports, 81,000 MT in domestic ports and 41,000 MT originated from aquaculture or river catch.  Aquaculture mainly consists of pond raised trout and carp.  Only a few closed aquaculture systems exist in salmon production but their production in Germany is marginal.

 

28.9 MT of wild salmon was caught in the Baltic Sea. 

 

The major fishing regions for the German fleet are the North Sea (about 36 percent), followed by the Northeast Atlantic (34 percent) and the Baltic Sea (18 Percent). 

 

On January 1, 2002 the German ocean fishing fleet consisted of 2,282 ships, 13 deep sea fishing vessels plus 2,269 cutter and coastal fisheries vessels.  Total tonnage amounted to 71,270 gross register tons, engine power totalled 167,587 kW.  That is a reduction of 33 ships, 179 gross register tons and 152 kW compared to the previous year.  In CY 2002 a total of 10,126 workers were employed by 95 fishing and fish processing companies, 937 workers less than in CY 2001. (Note: Only companies with more than ten employees were counted)

 

Germany is the fourth largest fish processor in the EU-15, after the U.K., France, and Spain. 

 

Production value of fish and fishery products at factory level was stable at U.S.$ 1.815 billion (1.582 billion Euro) in CY 2002, while production volume decreased by 2.3 percent compared to CY 2001 to 441,150 MT (product weight).

 

Fish preparations, such as canned fish, baked fillets or fish sticks, make up the majority of production followed by frozen and salted fish.  Fresh fish production is already the smallest segment and expected be less and less significant in the future. 

 

Almost the entire German catch of groundfish goes straight into the fresh market.  Less than one percent of the market supply of groundfish fillets is produced from fresh fish.  Most groundfish fillets produced in Germany are manufactured from imported fillets and further processed into smaller pieces or convenience foods and repackaged.  To avoid double counting, "production" in the PSD for groundfish fillets only reflects production from fresh fish.

 

Consumption

 

Total human consumption of fishery products added up to 1.151 million MT in CY 2002, down 9 percent compared to the record year of 2001 (1.265 million MT), when the German BSE crisis of November 2000, resulted in consumers switching from beef to alternative protein sources.  When consumers resumed beef consumption in 2002, calculated per capita consumption of fish dropped to 14 kg, from 15.3 kg in CY 2001.  But it is still higher than in CY 2000, before the BSE crisis, when per capita consumption was at 13.7 kg.  In CY 2003 per capita fish consumption is expected to increase again to 14.5 kg.  A long-term upward trend is expected to continue in line with increasing demand for light meals and convenience products.

 

German consumers' favorite fishes are Alaska pollock, herring and tuna followed by Atlantic and Pacific salmon.

 

Trends in fish sales by retail type

 

On a volume basis, 81 percent of fishery products are purchased at retail chains, this translate into 70 percent on a value basis.  Fish specialty stores account for 7 percent of the sales volume and other outlets such as farmers markets for 13 percent.  Sales dropped in all retail types in 2002 compared to 2001, but least so in discount markets.  The market held by discount stores (by volume) increased from 43 percent in 2001 to 45 percent in 2002.  The trend towards shopping in discount stores was aggravated by the tight economic situation in conjunction with a widespread consumer perception that retailers took advantage of the introduction of the Euro by raising their prices.  Various discount chains used this for marketing campaigns emphasizing their price leadership.  Consequently, the discounters' market share by value is much less than by volume.

 

Discount markets are stores with a limited number of products, usually one per category and less than 1,000 in total.  They compete on price and do not offer much customer service.  The most successful discount chains in Germany are Aldi and Lidl.  These stores are very popular as Germany is a very price sensitive market. 

 

Trade

 

Total Imports

 

Germany is the biggest net-importer of fish and fishery products in the EU.  Total imports of fish and fishery products into Germany in CY 2002 amounted to 787,544 MT (product weight) at a value of U.S. $ 2.77 billion (Euro 2.41 billion). Of this, roughly 36 percent originated from other EU countries (281,162 MT at U.S.$ 1.06 billion or Euro 925 million).  Imports from third countries accounted for about 74 percent of total imports (506,382 MT at U.S.$ 1.7 billion or Euro 1.49 billion).  In terms of value, Denmark was the most important EU supplier of fishery products at U.S. $ 427 million (Euro 372 million), Norway was Germany's biggest non-EU supplier at U.S. $ 335 million (Euro 292 million). 

 

German imports from the United States surged in 2002.  They benefited from EU import restriction for animal products originating from China, that were imposed in January 2002 after an EU inspection team detected severe deficiencies in the Chinese residue monitoring system.  From February through June 10, 2002, imports from China were prohibited, from June 10 through September 27 imports of fishery products were allowed but 20 percent of import had to be tested for antibiotics (chloramphenicol).  The U.S. supplied 60,439 MT of fish and fish products in CY 2002 at a value of US$ 170 million (Euro 148 million). This amounts to 7.7 percent of the German import market.  In CY 2001 only 4 percent or 32,154 MT of German imports originated in the U.S.  Frozen Alaska-pollock fillets, frozen Pacific salmon, live lobsters, and caviar substitutes are the most successful U.S. fish products on the German market.  

 

Salmon Imports

 

Traditionally, Norway is by far the main supplier of salmon to the German market followed by Denmark, the U.K. and the United States with market shares of 72, 11, 5.3 and 5 percent, respectively (based on live weight for whole or eviscerated salmon in CY 2002).  Imports from the United States amounted to 2,963 MT.

 

Groundfish Fillets Imports

 

In 2002, for the first time, the U.S. managed to become the most important supplier of groundfish fillets (mainly Alaska-pollock) to the German market and break the traditional predominance of Russia and China in this market.  The U.S. market share exploded from 0.6 percent in 2000 to 11 percent in 2001 and 23 percent in 2002.  This big increase in 2002 is largely a result of import restrictions for animal products originating in China (see section on total imports).  These restrictions were lifted later in 2002, which resulted in a resumption of imports from China.  In the first half year of 2003, China was the largest supplier again.

 

However, prospects for U.S. exports remain good, as German importers value the sustainable sources and the stable supply, offered by the U.S.

 

Exports

 

German exports of fish and fish products in CY 2002 decreased in volume by 2.5 percent and in value by 1.4 percent compared to the previous year.  Exports reached 306,886 MT, valued at U.S.$ 1.1 billion Euro 957 million), including U.S.$ 955 million (Euro 832 million) to other EU countries and U.S. $ 143 million (Euro 125 million) to third countries.  Major export destinations within the EU were France, the Netherlands, the U.K., Italy, and Austria.  Poland, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania were major non-EU destinations.  Exports to the United States are marginal.  In CY 2002 they reached 704 MT, with a value of U.S. $ 2,964 million.

 

Marketing

 

Direct sales promotions and other marketing campaigns aimed at increasing sales are entirely the responsibility of individual companies.

 

Generic fish promotions are carried out by the Fish Information Center (Fisch-Informationszentrum, FIZ, www.fischinfo.de ) in Hamburg.  It was founded in 1997 and is part of the Federal Association of the German Fish Industry and the Fish Wholesalers (Bundesverband der deutschen Fischindustrie und des Fischgrosshandels e.V.).  It is open to private industry and associations and is funded through membership contributions.

 

The FIZ does not take part or fund sales promotion events, instead it focuses on public relations campaigns and on initiatives to create a positive image for fish and fish products and German fishing practices in Germany.  FIZ addresses questions like quality and health aspects, animal welfare and fish harvesting practices, resource protection, and the impact of fishing on the environment and for third world countries. 

 

For information concerning the trends in fish sales by retail type please see the consumption section above.

 

Seafood Trade Shows

 

Fish International is the leading international seafood show in Germany, and includes the following four areas: trading, technology, logistics and point of sale.  It is held bi-annually in Bremen.  The next show date is February 12 ¡§C15, 2004.  In 2002, 483 companies from 54 countries attracted more than 12,200 visitors.  For more information about the show and how to participate please visit:  http://www.fishinternational.com

 

European Seafood Exposition (ESE) in Brussels is another important trade show for the German fish market.  ESE is an annual show and the next show will be held on May 4-6, 2004.  For more information about the show and how to participate please visit:  http://www.euroseafood.com

 

 

Source: USDA