Global Aquatic Product Market: 2017 Assessment

While global consumption is still growing, the increase in production is ensured by aquaculture, which now accounts for 55% of volumes. In France, consumer purchases of frozen aquatic products are down sharply in 2017.

According to the latest FAO report, world production of aquatic products in 2017 is around 174 million tonnes (in live weight equivalent), an increase of 2.3% compared to 2016. Unsurprisingly, catches The fishery has a ceiling of 90.4 million tonnes, and even in 2017, it has registered a slight decline of 0.9% compared to the previous year. Conversely, aquaculture production is still growing by 4-5% to 83.6 million tonnes. And if we exclude from this report the catch of the fishery purely intended for animal feed, the balance of power leans even more in favor of aquaculture. Its share of world human consumption of aquatic products is now 55%.

World consumption still rising

For its part, the consumption of aquatic products is still driven by global demand, particularly from emerging countries. In particular, 2017 saw a very significant increase in demand in Russia and Brazil. “Thanks to their rising standard of living, consumers in these countries want to enrich their animal protein diet by turning to aquatic products,” says one at France Agrimer. In the end, Even though production has continued to increase slightly, particularly because of the surge in aquaculture, it can not compensate for the increase in world demand. So that prices have remained rather upward (read below the balance sheet by large species published by France Agrimer).

Imports lagging in the U.E.

In the EU, imports shrank by 10% in volume and 8% in value, while exports fell by 9% in volume and value. With an average price increase of almost 4%, EU cod imports decline by 8% in volume and 4.5% in value. At Alaska, imports fell by almost 3% in volume and by 10.5% in value with an average price down by almost 8%. Prices of Ecuador’s tropical shrimp and frozen octopus, on the other hand, continue their upward trend.

Finally, the panel of households monitored by Eumofa (the European Observatory for Seafood) in the main seafood consuming countries shows that household consumption has increased in value and volume over the first 11 months of the year. 2017 in Germany and Italy. In contrast, household consumption in value and volume is declining in Denmark, Spain, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, and Portugal. In France, the Netherlands and Sweden, it decreases in volume but increases in value. On the contrary, in the United Kingdom, volumes are rising but the value of purchases is declining, still in the first 11 months of the year.

World production and price trends

Balance by major species


The price of Norwegian salmon has come down in 2017 after having experienced historic highs in 2016. But for the whole of 2017, its price is only down 4% after having increased more than 50% in 2016 compared to 2015. The world’s second largest producer of salmon, Chile had a year of recovery in 2017 with production up 4.4% compared to 2016 to reach 760,000 tonnes. At the same time, markets are changing with a shift in demand to markets in East and Southeast Asia. Indeed, as salmon prices peaked, traditional developed markets (EU, US, Japan) were reluctant to buy salmon; demand from emerging countries remained intense.


Aquaculture analysts estimate that shrimp production is in a phase of moderate growth in 2017. While Chinese farms seem to be declining by 10 to 20%, affected by the climate too hot, as in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Japan. Thailand, on the side of India, they increase by 25% compared to 2016, and by 14% in Ecuador. Imports from the EU-US-Japan triad were higher in 2017 than they were in 2016, in line with the economic recovery of the rich countries.


Whitefish prices strengthened due to lower catches induced by lower quotas. In particular, cod is at low production levels in 2017 due to lower catches, which is itself linked to lower quotas. The average price of cod is therefore high in 2017. Except for blackcap, the market prospects for 2018 are still driven by sustained demand, but increased competition is expected for access to the resource for producers.

Skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna

The price of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) increased again in 2017 after 3 years of low prices. Good catches in the central Pacific and a drop in demand for canned food in Europe and the United States are up for grabs. The fishing effort has decreased in the Indian Ocean, however, due to the stopping of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) imposed on the Spanish fleet in the autumn because of quota depletion. European prices for skipjack tuna and yellowfin tuna are falling but tuna loins remain stable.

Bar and sea bream

Bar and sea bream production have been dynamic in 2017, both in Greece and Turkey. Despite an improvement in the European market context, this has put downward pressure on prices.