OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook › Fish and seafood
The growth of aquaculture production will be concentrated in Asia. It remains one of the fastest growing food sectors and surpasses capture fisheries for human consumption in 2014.
The fish sector has been recently characterised by rather high and volatile prices. With the 2002-04 average price set to 100, the aggregate FAO Fish Price Index climbed steeply to a record high of 164 in December 2013. This growth reflects an inadequate supply that pushes prices upward for selected farmed species, e.g. salmon and shrimps/prawns that are two of the world’s major traded species, but also increases in prices for some wild species such as cod and certain pelagic species. In contrast, fishmeal prices, after having reached historic highs in January 2013, experienced a downward trend (minus 20% during January 2013-January 2014), but still remain on a high plateau.
After a period of instability, that started in the mid-end of 2012 and early 2013, fishery trade bounced back during the rest of 2013 and early 2014. In 2013 the overall exports of fish and fishery products peaked at over USD 136 billion, representing more than 5% increase compared with the previous year. This strengthening was in part a reflection of higher prices, but it was also stimulated by a recovery in high-income economies, which are the main importers of seafood commodities. Overall exports from developing countries increased partly because of this revitalised import demand but also because of flourishing demand for high value species such as salmon, tuna, bivalves and shrimp, by emerging economies.
Led by continued growth in aquaculture output, global fishery production (aquaculture plus capture) reached a new record in 2013, at more than 160 Mt. Per capita apparent fish consumption grew by more than 2%, compared to previous year, reflecting the increased availability of farmed products, which are in the process of overtaking capture fisheries as the main source of fish food supply, but also the growing volumes of wild species going to direct human consumption instead of being reduced into fishmeal/fish oil.
Figure. World prices in real terms expected to remain high
Nominal (left) vs real (right) fish prices
Note: Fish food traded: world unit value of trade (sum of exports and imports). Aquaculture: FAO world unit value of aquaculture fisheries production (live weight basis). Capture: FAO estimated value of world ex-vessel value of capture fisheries production excluding for reduction. Fishmeal: 64-65% protein, Hamburg, Germany. Fish oil: any origin, N.W. Europe.
Source: OECD and FAO Secretariats.