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Global Fishmeal Production Up - April 2012


Good fishing in South America and improved access to raw material has pushed fishmeal production higher over the last months with total production for 2011 about 40 per cent above 2010 levels in the major producing countries. The increased supply eliminated any market fears of possible shortages.

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Fishmeal production increased in Peru and Chile, the two main producing countries, to 1.6 and 0.5 million tonnes, respectively. Landings of small pelagic species were up during 2011, especially in Peru, + 127 per cent to 7.1 million tonnes. Chiles catches were also positive during the year, rising by nine per cent to 2.7 million tonnes.

Herring, mackerel and capelin catches in Northern Europe are increasingly used for direct human consumption. Bad weather in Northern Europe near the end of the year saw sprat landings fall in Denmark by 17 per cent to 250,000 tonnes.

As a consequence, fishmeal production in Denmark and Norway dropped 25 per cent to 256,000 tonnes and in Iceland, UK and Ireland by eight per cent to 134,000 tonnes. South Africa also saw production drop 36 per cent to 57,000 tonnes as a result of lower catches.


Peruvian shipments rise by 14 per cent during the first three quarters to 1.1 million tonnes, with Chinas purchases from Peru up 29 per cent during the period. Chilean exports fell back, down 14 per cent to 240,000 tonnes as the needs of the domestic salmon industry began to return to normal.


China: Chinese import volumes during 2011 (11 months) increased by 14 per cent to 1.143 million tonnes.

Germany: Germany has registered declining imports for some time with volumes during January-September falling 61 per cent to 98,000 tonnes.

UK: Imports are down from the previous year by 17 per cent to 66,000 tonnes. South America dominates the market with direct shipments of 63 per cent of the total.

USA: The negative trend in imports continues. All US imports are sourced from South, Central and North American suppliers.


Prices are not expected to change much over the next quarter. Despite the weakening of most economies, demand for fishmeal will be maintained as both terrestrial and aquatic animal production is expected to grow during 2012. High prices for species such as herring, mackerel and capelin for deliveries for human consumption will reduce the availability of these species for meal and oil production.

April 2012