During the first two months of 2022, the total cumulative production of fishmeal in the countries which are considered in the IFFO market intelligence report was down year-on-year by 11%, while the total cumulative production of fish oil was higher by 12%.
“This is mainly due to fewer catches in the North-Center of Peru in Quarter 1, 2022, while the higher capelin catches in Iceland have pushed up fish oil output,” explained Enrico Bachis, IFFO’s market research director. These countries' sample, based on the IFFO membership, covers approximately 50% of the world's production and can be taken as a proxy for global trends.
In terms of fishmeal, the Northern European countries, USA and India are the only countries considered in this report which increased their cumulative production during the first two months of this year. Similarly, in terms of fish oil, North European countries, USA and Spain have managed to report a higher cumulative production in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.
China: Decrease of fishmeal imports, expected long-term increase in fish byproducts
Amid severe disruptions due to COVID-19, domestic fishmeal and fish oil production remain subdued. In May, the new fishing moratorium will be imposed across the Chinese coastline. In September, the fishing fleet will be allowed to target wild fisheries again. This year, fishmeal and fish oil output from byproducts may ramp up as ready-to-eat meals are becoming more popular in China. Moreover, China is increasing the domestic processing of snakehead and channel catfish, which generally provide good sources of byproducts.
In terms of international trade, China’s fishmeal imports in January and February 2022 decreased year-on-year, with Peru, Russia and Vietnam being the top three providers. The rate of fishmeal offtakes from ports is beginning to accelerate. It was lower in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021. Among the reasons for such a decrease are earlier procurement from feed mills at the end of 2021 and logistics and sanitary prevention measures against COVID-19 at ports.
The first aquaculture season traditionally starts in April, but this year it is developing amid severe disruptions both in terms of logistics and consumption. Aquafeed production increased in the first two months of 2022 year-on-year.