OECD expects fish demand, prices to rise more than most commodities

June 20, 2013, 4:13 pm

By John Sackton, Seafood.com

Economists expect a continuing strong growth in fisheries, according to summaries published from the upcoming OECD/FAO ten year food supply outlook (due June 26).

This will result both in higher supply and higher prices.

World per capita consumption (round weight) is expected to increase 8% over the decade, from 19 kg to 20.6 kg per person.

Most of this growth will be supplied by aquaculture.

For the coming few years, fish will maintain a price advantage over beef, as low levels of livestock herds and high feed costs will keep beef prices at very high levels.

In the later half of the next decade, increases in fish prices will bring it closer on average, and the increased prices are expected to slow the rate of growth in seafood consumption.

The chart below, from the OECD, allows to compare the commodity price forecasts over a range of products, including fish and various other proteins:

Other highlights from the report:

Capture fisheries’ output is projected to rise by only 5% by 2022 with aquaculture increasing by 35%, despite a slowing growth rate due to higher feed costs and more limited availability of production locations. Aquaculture is projected to surpass capture fisheries as the main source for human consumption by 2015.

Fish product prices are projected to rise strongly over the coming decade as a result of strong demand, rising production costs and slowing production growth with continuing price volatility associated with supply swings. Rising prices are also projected for fish-meal and fish oil to 2022 with continuing rapid growth in per capita consumption and slowing production trends.

When the comparison is made in real terms, only in the case of beef, pork, and fish do prices average higher in the projection period relative to the base period and the last decade.

Beef prices in real terms are projected to average 13% higher, pork 16% higher and poultry meat price 21% higher in 2013-22. Milk powder prices are expected to average 8-10% higher in real terms, while fish prices are projected to be 9% higher.

In making the comparison with the average level of prices in the base period (2010-12), real price increases over the projection period are only projected for beef (3%), pork (2%) and fish products (1%). For all other commodities, prices are projected to be lower in real terms.

World fisheries production is projected to expand over the course of the projection period, to reach 181 Million metric tons by 2022. This represents an increase of more than 18% above the average of the base period.

Recovery of certain fish stocks due to the implementation of better management of resources as well as reduced fish discards and waste levels, as required by changes in legislation governing national fisheries, should lead to a slowdown in world capture fisheries production to just a 5% expansion over the projection period.

Aquaculture production is projected to continue to expand over the projection period, albeit at a slower pace of 2.4% per year, down from nearly 6% in the last decade, to reach 85 Mt in 2022, an increase of 35% from the base period.

This slower production growth will be mainly due to lower availability and less optimal production locations; the high costs of fishmeal, fish oil and other feeds; and increasing energy costs, along with the growing scarcity of suitable sites for farming. Notwithstanding the slower production growth, aquaculture will still remain one of the fastest growing sectors when compared to other food-producing systems.

The share of aquaculture in total fishery production is projected to grow from 41% on average in 2010-12 to 47% in 2022.

Consumption of fish products is expected to increase strongly over the coming decade. World per capita fish food consumption is projected to reach 20.6 kg in 2022, up from nearly 19 kg on average in 2010-12. The average annual growth rate will be lower in the second half of the Outlook when fish start to become more expensive as a protein source in comparison with meats.

Per capita fish consumption is projected to increase in all continents except Africa, with Oceania and Asia showing the highest growth rate.

Per capita fish consumption will continue to be higher in the more advanced economies.

Aquaculture’s share of human consumption of fish is projected to exceed that of capture fisheries in 2015 and to reach 53% of total human consumption by 2022. Consumption of fishmeal and fish oil is expected to be constrained by production which will continue to be dependent mostly on the highly regulated capture fisheries.

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