Growth recorded in 2014 forecasts positive trends for 2015

15 June 2015

The global seafood industry in 2014 was characterized by sustained high prices for many important species, and a continuation of major trends in production and consumption growth

In 2014, the expected shift in seafood consumption towards relatively greater consumption of farmed species compared with wild fish was realized. On the production side, reduced anchovy catches as a result of El Niño, led to slightly lower capture fisheries production while the global aquaculture sector continued its steady expansion.

In price trends for 2014, international prices grew faster than production, pointing to the continued strengthening of demand for seafood around the world.  However, there were some exceptions to these high prices trends. Tuna prices declined significantly due to weak demand, while fresh salmon prices also fell back somewhat as the import ban and a deteriorating economic situation in the Russian Federation meant other markets were forced to absorb higher global production. Meanwhile, world mackerel prices fell on increased catches. 

At the end of the third quarter in 2014, it seemed possible for annual trade revenue growth in developed countries to exceed that in developing regions, a departure from the prevailing trend. However, booming demand in Eastern Asia, together with a strong increase in fishmeal prices and impressive export revenues for shrimp producers in Latin America and Asia, ensured that developing countries continued as frontrunners in the expansion of global trade in 2014.

For 2015, the overall trend is generally positive, although there are declining prices forecasted for some species. Shrimp production is increasing, and this will exert downward pressure on prices, while salmon price expectations have been revised downwards due to a number of uncertainties. In terms of supplies, anchovy catches are predicted to increase in 2015, which is good news for the growing number of aquaculture producers around the world who increasingly have to compete with human consumption markets for fish oil supplies. Finally, the tuna industry is hoping that early 2015 indications, demonstrating that demand is picking up, will be sustained for the longer term.