Season¢â‚¬â„¢s greetings from GLOBEFISH...

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    A difficult 2012 ahead but volumes should hold up well

    The increasing economic turmoil is having consequences for fish

    consumption, impacting demand in the short term and supply in the medium term. But it is maybe worth remembering the impact of the

    previous crisis in 2008, when trade values contracted during later part of the year, throughout 2009 and into early 2010. However, volumes held up quite well with a reduction in 2009 of global traded

    volumes for fish of less than 1%. The reason, of course, is that fish produced will come to market, but at the right price. The supply

    effect is more complex with fish farmers reducing planned production if prices get too low. Capture fisheries are normally more energy intensive, with the price of oil often being the determining cost factor,

    in addition to product price considerations.

    We are likely to see a similar scenario during 2012 with a strong consumer focus on value driving retailers, traders and processors all to demand lower prices. As usual, the producers will bear the brunt

    but there will be new pressure to increase efficiencies throughout the value-chain. One likely effect is more mergers among processors and

    fish farmers.

    2012, therefore, is expected to be challenging as operators adjust to

    harsh realities with trade finance and insurance also becoming more difficult to obtain. It still remains to be seen how the emerging

    markets will be impacted; not all markets will be affected in the same way and during the previous difficulties most emerging markets

    continued to show strong growth in both consumption and imports.

    Issue 12/2011 December 2011


    Groundfish 9

    Flatfish 9

    Tuna 10

    Small Pelagics 10

    Cephalopods 11

    Crustaceans 12

    Bivalves 13

    Salmon 13

    Trout 14

    Freshwater fish 14

    Non Traditional

    Species 15


    Meagre 15

    The European Fish Price Report, based on information supplied by

    industry correspondents, aims to provide guidance on broad price trends.

    Price information is indicative and should be used only for forecasting

    medium- and long-term trends. FAO is not responsible for any errors or omissions.

    Season’s greetings from


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    2011: China 10 years in the WTO

    China, the world’s largest fish producer and fish exporter, is celebrating its 10 year anniversary as a member of the WTO. It is important to recall that the WTO sets the

    overall framework for all international trade with specific rules on import tariffs, subsidies and the way quality and safety standards are set. The latter are particularly important for fish as import requirements on quality and safety have become the

    determining factor in whether a country or a company is allowed to export to any single market.

    For China, WTO membership has given it a more stable trade environment for its exports, at the same time forcing it to reduce import tariffs on a number of products,

    including fish. As a result, China is importing increasing amounts of fish targeted at domestic consumption, in addition to the large quantities imported for its processing

    industry and destined mostly for re-exports. EU-Morocco agreements to end

    On 14 December, the European Parliament rejected a proposed extension of the EU-

    Morocco fisheries agreement, saying that it was not clear that the people of Western Sahara would benefit from the deal. The current protocol will cease immediately. The EU has been paying EUR 36.1 million annually to Rabat in exchange for 119 licenses

    to fish in Moroccan waters, 100 of which belong to Spanish ships. Morocco has now ordered EU vessels to leave Moroccan waters.

    And Mauritania...

    The negotiations to renew the fishing agreement between the EU and Mauritania have stalled because of disagreement over compensation to be paid by the EU to

    Mauritania. The present agreement will expire in July 2012.


    Following the preliminary

    announcement of TACs in September, the Council of Fisheries Ministers in the EU will

    meet on 15-16 December to finalise the TACs for all species.

    Spain is particularly concerned about the proposed 11% reduction in the Gran Sol hake quota.

    At the beginning of December a

    new agreement was reached between the European Union and Norway for the management of shared fish stocks in the North Sea, Skagerrak and

    Kattegat for 2012. TACs for the various whitefish stocks were also set. While there is still cause for concern about the threat of reductions in the number of days fleets can

    go to sea, quotas for 2012 for haddock, plaice and whiting will go up by 15%, and the

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    North Sea cod quota will decrease by only 1% to 26 475 tonnes. However, the ‘catch quota’ scheme will continue in 2012, giving a further 12% extra cod above the quota

    to those fishermen participating in the scheme. The North Sea saithe quota will go down by 15% to 79 320 tonnes.

    The EU and Norway will discuss a discard ban for these areas in 2012.

    Figures provided by the Russian Federal Fisheries Agency show that fishermen caught 368 300 tonnes of cod in 2011, up by 10% compared with the same period last year.

    Most of the catches came from the Northern Fisheries Basin, where almost all of the quota was caught.

    In the USA, the Alaska pollock quota has been reduced slightly from previous recommendations and will be set at 1.2 million tonnes. The reduction makes way for

    an increase in the cod quota in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands. According to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, the Alaska pollock fishery, the world’s largest sustainable fishery, has been certified by Global Trust as conforming to the FAO

    guidelines for certification of marine capture fisheries.

    The Norwegian North East Arctic cod and haddock fisheries have gained MSC certification. In 2012 the expected 340 000 tonnes of cod and 153 000 tonnes of haddock will be entitled to use the MSC eco-Label. The certification includes the

    fisheries in the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone, from mid-Norway and northwards along the coast and into the Barents Sea.


    According to an Market Report, incoming volumes of turbot in Spain rose

    123% during the second week of December, after a rise of 31% the previous week. This is an increase of 35% compared with the same period last year. As supply increased, prices for all sizes declined. The price of small size turbot was below the

    average prices reported so far, but prices of medium and large sizes were higher.


    The flooding in Bangkok did not significantly reduce canned tuna production levels during the

    month of November. This coupled with much reduced deliveries of

    raw material to the Thai market resulted in an increase in the price of raw material from USD 1 850 to

    USD 1 950 per tonne for main size skipjack. Actual deliveries of raw

    material during November to Thailand were less than 30 000 tonnes, far less than the average

    60 000 tonnes normally delivered. Lower deliveries coupled with higher than expected production caused raw material inventories to decline to less than 30 000

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    tonnes, equivalent to about 30 days production requirements or about half of normal levels.

    The market is expected to remain firm as major fishing fleets operating in the

    Western and Central Pacific are unable to fish in some of the more productive fishing grounds as few fishing days remain available from the PNA countries. The Solomon Islands, Nauru and Tuvalu have already closed their fishing grounds from 20

    November until 1 January 2012.

    Fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific was fair with prices remaining stable at USD 1 900 to USD 1 950 per tonne for main size skipjack delivered to Manta, roughly equivalent to the price of tuna in Bangkok. Unless the price increases in Ecuador,

    there will be little, if any, raw material flowing to that market from the Western and Central Pacific. This is due to higher freight costs from the Western Pacific to Ecuador

    than to Bangkok. Fishing conditions were mediocre in the Indian Ocean with little movement in prices

    for raw material. Main size skipjack sold for about EUR 1 200 per tonne in the Seychelles. Yellowfin 10 kg up sold for EUR 1 800 in that market.

    West Africa continued to be the lowest value raw material market with skipjack at EUR 1 100/tonne ex vessel Abidjan.

    In Spain, despite low raw material inventories, skipjack pricing remained steady at EUR 1 200 per tonne and yellowfin 10 kg/up at EUR 1 950 per tonne whereas the

    price of yellowfin 10 kg/up in Italy was EUR 2 150. Pricing for cooked loins continued firm following the raw material market.


    At the same time as the agreement on groundfish TACs, the EU and Norway set TACs

    for pelagic species. The TAC for North Sea herring was doubled for 2012 and has been set at 405 000 tonnes following scientific advice. For herring and sprat in the

    Skagerrak and Kattegat, the TACs have been set at 45 000 tonnes and 52 000 tonnes respectively.

    The TAC for mackere