Fish Feed Market: Opportunities and Challenges

fish feed price benchmark key regions by product key regions

The significant development in the fish feed market is escalating due to the high demand for fish consumption. Considering the fact that there is limited availability of marine feed resources, the farming trend is expected to increase in the future. This will bring up opportunities for the feed market to expand.

The feed should be nutritionally well-balanced and provide a good energy source for better growth. Herbivorous farmed fish requires protein like soy or corn, vegetable oils, minerals etc. whereas carnivorous fish requires fish oil and proteins.

The highest consumption of fish is noticed in the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions.

Current trends in Fish Feed Market

 Seafood consumption in the US was around 7.2 kg per capita in 2009. The consumption of fish and seafood in Europe hit the mark of 24.35 kg per capita in 2017. Highest per capita consumption in the EU was generated through Portugal.

The level of income and consumption is related to the increasing consumption of fish and other seafood at the same expense as that of staple foods. Driven by higher incomes and urbanization, global consumption of fish has risen. Fisheries and aquaculture are increasingly becoming a primary source of livelihood, protein and foreign exchange.

The global salmon market last year saw steady growth in volume terms. A marginal decline in value terms was observed last year because prices dipped steeply in mid-2019.

Canada, as we know is the only largest producer of Atlantic salmon, but due to adverse situations, it experienced a drop in harvest volumes by 2 percent this year.

In 2020, the market situation has transformed completely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a strong demand for farmed salmon, COVID-19 situation has generated uncertainty and volatility. It will take a considerable amount of time for the foodservice and demand to return back to the pre-pandemic situations.

Challenges in the market

One of the biggest challenges faced by this industry is the demand and need to make maximum use five million metric tons of fishmeal and an average of one million metric tons of fish oil. The need to find non-marine and various other alternatives that meet the nutritional needs of both fish and humans is rising.

We already have promising scientific research ready to be revealed for a better and more sustainable path for fish feed.

According to new research from IFFO, the fish feed group and the University of Stirling, in the United Kingdom, focuses on the point of sea-food by-product being a simpler solution to cost and supply issues.

The researchers have identified multiple factors that could hamper the industry’s growth.

For small-scale producers in this industry, up-front costs can be a huge hurdle. There are farmers who cannot afford investments in feeding and harvesting equipment. Permittivity required in the process and environmental impact assessments are identified as barriers to entry and growth.

 Though there a bunch of producers who are capable of renting equipment from larger enterprises yet the smaller producers are left at a disadvantage.

The lack of low-cost and readily available raw materials is another challenge that encapsulates the fish feed industry.  Producers have difficulty in sourcing micronutrients like vitamins, proteins and good quality fishmeal which in turn leads to the inconsistencies in finished feeds.

From the producers’ perspective, feed is represented as the biggest production cost and hurdle. Increasing feed capacity and quality can play a crucial step in strengthening aquaculture ventures.

Storage of the feeds in a proper should be a priority too. Manufactured diets consist of perishable nutrients and it is essential that feed storage period on the farm prior to feeding should be kept with adequate storage facilities.

Dry feed lines demand to stores under clean dry ventilated conditions which must be within a room with a concrete floor and walls. High humidity and direct sunlight can hamper the quality and nutrient. The feed must be consumed within two months of manufacture.

This industry has got to feed billions of farmed fish. Considering the fact that it must be prevented from hunting or foraging, they are left to watch hail of nutrients tossed from above.

Opportunities in the market

Although the demand for fish farming and fish feed covers the spotlight, traditional export markets have been stagnant throughout.  Intraregional trade business within Asia has been increasing.

With the growing middle-class community, China is now demanding imports of high-quality aquaculture products and fish feed with safety and traceability. Other countries of the region which includes Indonesia and Vietnam, will be direct beneficiaries.

Domestic consumption of fishery products is probably going to increase in Southeast Asia. It is expected to boost domestic aqua feed widely in Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam. Outbound investments are expected to rise in these countries.

The companies here also claim that it can be manufactured without any complicated process of arable land and requires almost no water. 

They are now planning to expand its production in China in 2022, and have decided to supply in Asian markets exclusively.

It already aims to produce 20,000 tonnes of the feed per year in starting stage but eventually has plans to expand this to 80,000 tonnes.


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