Aquaculture for all

Dutch Processing Sector Takes Off


The turnover of the Dutch fish processing industry and wholesale sector rose nominally in the period 2005-2009 by 15 per cent from 2.7 to 3.1 billion. The actual growth amounts to 10 per cent.

Table 1: Distribution of companies and turnover according to economic main activity in 2009
Economic main activity Companies in % (274 companies) Turnover in % (3.1 bn Euro)
Round and flat fish 21 21
Importers 6 14
Processing of shrimp 3 12
Processing of herring 6 5
Salmon and eel smokehouses 10 5
Shellfish industry 9 9
Sale of sea-frozen species 2 8
Domestic fish wholesalers 20 11
Other fish processing companies and fish wholesalers 23 15
Total 100 100

The value of Dutch exports in 2009 amounted to €2.2b. Compared with 2005, the nominal value of exports has remained fairly stable. Imports of fish products rose further from €1.3b in 2005 to €1.8b in 2009. The sector has become increasingly dependent on countries outside the EU for its raw materials. In 2009, 53 per cent of the import value came from countries outside the EU; in 2005 this was still 34 per cent.

In 2009, the fish processing industry and wholesale sector consisted of 274 companies. The concentration of the Dutch fish processing industry and wholesale sector is not high. In 2009, 38 companies had a turnover amounting to over €25m. The joint turnover of these 38 companies is 57 per cent of the total turnover. The concentration within the various sub sectors is considerably higher.

Due to rising market demand for certified fish products, attention for sustainability in the Dutch fish processing industry and fish wholesale sector has increased. Interest in certified fish products mainly plays a role in retail chains. Retail chains are also responsible for an increasing share in the sale of fish products.

The Product Board for Fish and Fish Products requested LEI to perform an analysis of the economic position and the most important developments in fish pro-cessing industry and fish wholesale in the Netherlands. The report is an update of similar studies commissioned by the Product Board for Fish and Fish Products 2000 and 2005.

The study is largely based on financial data from fish processing companies and wholesalers. Data from the Chamber of Commerce and trade data from the CBS, Eurostat and Comtrade were also used.

May 2011
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