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The bream scene: new light shed on the gilthead market in Europe

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
1 February 2022, at 7:17am

EUMOFA has published a new analysis of the market for farmed sea bream in the EU.

An aerial view of a sea bream farm in the Mediterranean
The EU accounts for 40 percent of global sea bream production, while Turkey accounts for 34 percent

Called Fresh gilthead seabream in the EU, the study analyses the production and market trends for the species focusing on the price structure along the supply chain in Spain, Germany, and France.

Over the last decade, EU production of gilthead seabream slightly increased by 5 percent, principally due to the expansion of aquaculture (which supplies 97 percent of total volume). Greece is by far the leading producer in the EU, accounting for 58 percent of EU production in 2019.

The EU-27, along with Turkey, are the main producers of farmed gilthead seabream in the world. In 2019, they accounted for 40 percent and 34 percent, respectively, of global production.

The total supply (production + imports) of gilthead seabream in the EU was 193,792 tonnes live weight equivalent (LWE) – half of which came from EU production and half from imports. At the same time, exports represented 82, 012 tonnes LWE, leading to apparent consumption of 111,780 tonnes LWE at the EU-27 level (production + imports – exports) in 2019. Consumption was the highest in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

The gilthead seabream supply chain varies between Spain, France and Germany. In Spain, the national market relies on both domestic farmed production and imports, whereas in France, domestic production is limited, so the market (especially the retail market) relies mostly on imports. In Germany, there is almost no domestic production, so the market depends exclusively on imported products.

The study is available in English, French, Spanish, and German and the main findings of the price structure analysis of the three member states surveyed are:

  • The farm-gate price for whole fresh gilthead seabream (either ex-farm or import prices) ranges from €4.30 per kg (import from Greece or Turkey) to €8.20 per kg (ex-farm in France).
  • The retail price (excluding VAT) ranges from €6.27 kg in Spain (for imported seabream) up to €14.70 kg in France for domestically farmed seabream.
  • The raw material cost amounts to between 39 percent (in Germany) to 70 percent (in Spain for imported seabream) of the final price at the retail stage.