Fin Fish study key findings for our tuna and shrimp products

In September 2023 a new Finfish study was prepared by AIPCE (EU Fish Processors and Traders Association) and CEP (European Federation of Importers and Exporters of fish) (established in 1959), this has been a useful tool in explaining the fish and seafood processing industry and sector.

After supply lack in 2021, in late 2022 importers received their products at very high prices, the need to fill the gap was huge. Due to high prices and cold stores full with unsold products sales dropped a lot end of 2022 - beginning of 2023, which, compared to the year before, resulted in much lower profits for most companies in the EU.

Not only the high prices and the huge stocks in Europe were affecting the market, traders and industry were affected by the reduced supply from Russia. Also, the Brexit continues to complicate the trade between UK and EU , and the negotiations between Norway and EU are not settled yet.

The biggest challenge in the market for importers is sourcing raw material, while it is still difficult to find suitable labor .

Key findings in this Fin fish study are as follow

  • total market supply (EU - production + third countries imports) for EU accounted to 12,092 thousand tonnes in 2022
  • EU domestic supply for consumption reached 3,236 thousand tonnes in 2022
  • 8,856 thousand tonnes of seafood for consumption was imported from third countries in 2022
  • exports to third countries accounted for 2,241 thousand tonnes in 2022
  • total EU consumption (EU domestic supply + Imports – Exports) in 2022 was 9,851 thousand tonnes
  • the per capita consumption in 2022 was 22.1 kg
  •  the minimum EU import dependence rate for 2022 grew to around 67% of total supply

This means the following for the 2 main products of our product range:

The total EU shrimp supply accounted for 8898 thousand tonnes in 2022. This is excluding the non-quota species like brown shrimp (Crangon crangon). From this supply, 881 thousand tonnes of shrimp were imported from third countries and 9 thousand tonnes came from shrimp fisheries under fishing quota management in the EU. This shows that the EU is heavily depending on imports for shrimp. Most of the shrimp were imported from Ecuador (22%; farmed white shrimp Penaeus vannamei), Greenland (14%; wild Borealis shrimp), Vietnam (14%; farmed Pacific white shrimp & black tiger shrimp), India (11%; farmed Pacific white shrimp & black tiger shrimp) and Argentina (9%; wild Argentine red shrimp Pleoticus muelleri).

Total supply of tuna products from third countries accounted to 1,167 thousand tonnes in 2022 in WFE. From this total EU fisheries landed in total 59 thousand tonnes of quota tuna in 2022. Around 20 thousand tonnes of tuna was farmed in the EU in 2022. This results in a self-sufficiency of 5%. This self-sufficiency is an underestimation, where non-quota tuna fisheries is not included. The EU tuna fishing fleet lands a significant higher amount of tuna than the quoted volume mentioned earlier. Total tuna landings by EU vessels are over 500 thousand tonnes. However, the great majority is landed outside the EU. Spain is the number 1 producer, followed by France and Italy. Most of the tuna captured by the EU fishing fleet is landed and exported in ports near the tropical fishing regions in Western Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana) and Indian Ocean (Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar), where it is processed into tuna cans and then reexported to EU under preferential trade regimes inherited from the Cotonou agreement, namely the Economic partnership agreements with ESA (Eastern and Southern African) and Western Africa (ECOWAS).

Source: Finfish Study AIPCE-CEP September 2023 (