Chinese pig sector not aquaculture to see fishmeal intake boost this year

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Fishmeal factory in Norway © GettyImages/eugenesergeev
Fishmeal factory in Norway © GettyImages/eugenesergeev

Related tags covid-19 ASF Fishmeal IFFO

The fishmeal and fish oil markets have been negatively impacted by restrictions due to Covid-19 and unpredictable weather conditions, reported IFFO’s China Director Maggie Xu, who added that aquafeed output in China is expected to remain steady or slightly muted due to those circumstances.

Increased consumption of marine ingredients in that market should more so come from the pig sector, which continues to recover following the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks in China, the virus that decimated the country’s pig herd in 2019, noted Xu.

In terms of domestic supply of marine ingredients, China’s output from whole fish has decreased in recent years whereas supply from by-products has remained stable, she said.

Xu was speaking during a webinar hosted by The Marine Ingredients Organization (IFFO) for its members in a bid to give them a virtual debrief, during the Covid-19 pandemic, on the latest global industry developments.

Providing a more global perspective was IFFO’s market research director, Enrico Bachis. He gave a presentation on supply and demand marine ingredients, with the research outlined based on production, trade and price data proffered by IFFO’s company network.

In 2019, both fishmeal and fish oil output declined in comparison to 2018, with the decrease due to poorer catches that year, particularly in Peru, Iceland and Denmark, reported Bachis.

As usual, landings in Peru will play a major role in determining the global trend, and, for this year, the expectation is that output will reach a level slightly above that of 2019, he said.

Last year was not a good one for the Peruvian anchovy fleet.​ The second fishing season for Peruvian anchovy (November 16, 2019 – January 15, 2020) only reached 36% of the quota of 2.786m tons due to the high presence of juveniles and an unfavorable change in oceanic characteristics. The fleet hoped 2020 would be better. But the arrival of COVID-19 in Peru forced the vessels to stay in port.

Source: Global Fishing Watch 

In terms of global marine ingredients availability for 2020, fishmeal should come in just short of five million tons and fish oil should hit the one million tons mark, according to the outlook presented by Bachis.

The overall supply of fish oil this year could, at best, match that of 2019 on the assumption of a fish oil yield of 3.5% of the anchovy catches in Peru, although a small decrease is more likely given the poor results in Europe, said the market researcher.

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