Global seafood markets expected to stabilize in 2016Reading time 2 min Staff writer ▼ | June 25, 2016
After a year of falling prices, seafood markets are expected to stabilize in 2016. Supply continues to grow, driven by a vibrant aquaculture sector.
2016 FAO Food Outlook Uncertainty, but growth
Global seafood markets will be characterized by uncertainty in 2016, but economic growth in the United States and the EU should have a positive effect on demand. Despite the economic slowdown in China, a major importer, exporter, processor and producer of seafood products, overall traded
volumes are expected to remain stable. The prevailing stability of capture fisheries supply and the steady growth of the global aquaculture sector are expected to continue, with world per capita consumption of fish also forecast to keep growing.
The value of global trade in fish and fishery products decreased in 2015, contrary to the long-term trend.
The drop was the result of a range of factors: the strengthening of the United States dollar relative to many other currencies, which contributed to a fall in USD denominated prices for the most important traded species, the effects of El Niño on production, and the economic slowdowns of important emerging markets.
In 2016, however, more stability is expected, overall, and a rebound in the value of trade is possible in the second half of the year. This would be partly led by recovery on international quotations, as a tightening of supply is likely to drive prices higher for farmed salmon, cephalopods, seabass and seabream.
Economic difficulties in Russia and Brazil and slowing income and consumption growth in China are behind a softening of international demand for fish and fishery products in 2016, even though imports by the United States and the EU are expected to rebound. In Japan, a weaker currency and declining overall demand for seafood continue to represent significant challenges for importers.
The picture is brighter in many emerging economies, particularly in Africa and South and East Asia, where increasing income growth and urbanization is driving expansion of seafood consumption.
In 2016, the major exporting countries will continue to benefit from the strong US dollar, which has made their exports more attractive for buyers in the United States.
At the same time, a range of different factors, including a strong El Niño, are negatively impacting production volumes in many regions, in particular of salmon and bivalves in South America.
The international community’s efforts towards ensuring the sustainability and legality of catches is getting a strong boost from the FAO Port State Measures Agreement, which is to enter into force on 5 June 2016. ■