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EU - New reports on the economic performance of the EU aquaculture sector

Using DCF and FAO data, it has been estimated that the aquaculture sector production in the EU-27 accounted for 1.32 million tonnes, with a turnover estimated at 3.99 billion Euros, in 2011. Spain, with 21% of the total EU production in volume, is the largest aquaculture producer in the EU, followed by France 18%), United Kingdom (14%), Italy (13%) and Greece (11%). These five countries account for more than 75% of the total EU aquaculture production in weight

December 11, 2013

Two new reports on the economic performance of the EU aquaculture sector are now available .

Using DCF and FAO data, it has been estimated that the aquaculture sector production in the EU-27 accounted for 1.32 million tonnes, with a turnover estimated at 3.99 billion Euros, in 2011. Spain, with 21% of the total EU production in volume, is the largest aquaculture producer in the EU, followed by France (18%), United Kingdom (14%), Italy (13%) and Greece (11%). These five countries account for more than 75% of the total EU aquaculture production in weight. In terms of value, the United Kingdom is the largest EU producer with 20% of the total EU aquaculture, followed by France (19%), Greece (15%), Spain (12%), and Italy (10%). These five countries are also responsible for more than 3/4 of all the EU aquaculture value. 

Aquaculture production by the 28 European Union Member States (EU-28) reached 1.28 million tonnes and 3.51 billion Euros in 2011 according to FAO. 

KEY FINDINGS 

 Aquaculture production by the 28 European Union Member States (EU-28) reached 1.28 million tonnes and 3.51 billion Euros in 2011 according to FAO. Volume and value of sales reached 1.35 million tonnes and 4.02 billion Euros in 2011 (DCF). 

 EU aquaculture production is mainly concentrated in 5 countries: France, Greece, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom, making up 77% in volume and 76% in value of EU totals. 

 Production in value increased by 8% while production has been stable (decreased by -0.3%) compared to 2010, according to FAO data. 

 Price falls of 2008/2009 during the economic crisis forced inefficient firms out of business and lead to mergers and acquisitions resulting in a more efficient industry which is now showing a strong recovery. 

 Vertical integration into the processing industry has, in some Member States, helped strengthen profits and add value to fish products often through smoking or packaging. 

 Almost 90% of the companies in the sector are micro-enterprises. Employment decreased by 5 to 10% to reach more than 80,000 people. There is an important significance of part-time labor. Female employment made up 29% of EU aquaculture employment and 23% of total FTE. 

 Profitability for the EU aquaculture sector was also positive in 2011 (ROI was 10% and EBIT margin 13%), confirming the recovery of the sector already registered in 2010. 

 The major cost items are feed (31%), livestock (18%), other operational costs (18%) and labor costs (15%) of the total costs. However, there are important variations by sector. 

 The future evolution of the EU aquaculture sector is uncertain due to the following 3 factors hindering the full potential of the EU aquaculture sector: fierce foreign competition that brings market prices down, high labour and capital costs and administrative burdens that slow down investments in the sector. 

 There is evidence that the market for farmed fish and shellfish products is capable of continuing the expansion it has shown in the last twenty-five years and that newer products from some of the more traditional wild species could be a source of expansion. 

Download the report and summary from the website of  the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF) from the links below:

The Economic Performance Report on the EU Aquaculture sector (STECF-13-29). 2013 (PDF) [This is a large file - slow download]

Summary of the 2013 Economic Performance Report on the EU Aquaculture sector (STECF-13-30). 2013 (PDF)

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