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Global fishmeal production drops in the first quarter

Based on its membership, which accounts for 55% of global marine ingredients production, the marine ingredients organisation, IFFO, has provided an update on the main trends observed from January to March 2024 in a selection of countries*.

The update says: “In Peru’s North-Centre, almost 50% of the 2.475 million mt anchovy quota has been caught during the first 23 days of the 2024 first fishing season. Peru’s quota setting is of critical importance considering that the country accounts for 20% of global fishmeal and fish oil production in an average year.

“When we look at the first three months of 2024, global fishmeal production dropped by approximately 27% compared to the same period in 2023. Such a decrease is driven by the early onset of the second fishing season in Peru’s North-Central region back in 2023, along with a lower-than-average granted quota, resulting in a diminished catch at the tail of the fishing season at the beginning of 2024. Chile, the USA and the African countries have been showing a positive trend in fishmeal production compared to 2023.

“As for fish oil, globally, cumulative output through March 2024 was 30% down year over year, mostly due, here again, to the timing of the Peruvian fishing season last year. In 2024 so far, the USA and the African countries are the only ones that have registered a positive trend compared to January-March 2023.

“In China there is weak demand for feed ingredients. The fishing ban imposed on May 1st will last until September. The annual decrease in the cumulative fishmeal imports through March 2024 confirms the challenging conditions prevailing in both the pig and aquaculture markets.

“The aquaculture industry is struggling to reduce stocks given the current tepid demand among consumers. Initial estimates indicate that aquafeed production in the first quarter of this year is expected to be lower compared to the same period last year, reflecting a subdued trend in feed ingredients consumption.

“Conversely, the outlook of the pig sector, another user of marine ingredients, has turned rosier recently. Market analysts are suggesting a recovery in the second quarter of 2024.

“Import statistics for soybean and rapeseed are showing a year-on-year decline through the first quarter of 2024.”

* Peru, Chile, Denmark / Norway, Iceland / North Atlantic, USA, African countries, Spain.