Latest reports from the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO), covering key nations representing 55% of global fishmeal and fish oil production, reveal a concerning downward trend.
Cumulative total fishmeal production during the first 11 months of 2023 saw a significant dip of approximately 16%, in contrast to the production reported through November 2022, the IFFO said in a press release.
The primary factor behind this decline is without doubt the 41% year-on-year decrease in fishmeal production in Peru.
The El Niño phenomenon severely impacted Peru's fishing activities during 2023, leading to the cancellation of the April-June first fishing season. This setback had a substantial ripple effect on overall global fishmeal production, the IFFO notes.
In recent days, Peru has also closed its second fishing season with only 75% of the quota captured.
Fish oil fared no better in 2023, with a nearly 20% year-on-year decrease in total cumulative output during the same period.
Once again, Peru took the spotlight as the main contributor to this negative performance due to supply shortages resulting from reduced landings and lower oil yields.
Chile emerged as the sole exception, registering a positive change year-on-year thanks to healthier catches and higher-than-average oil yields in the southern region of the country.
The countries analyzed in the IFFO reports include Peru, Chile, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, UK, Ireland, Faroe Islands, USA, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, and Spain.
In parallel with this global decline in raw materials, China, a major player in the fishmeal market, is experiencing a slowdown in fishmeal imports.
Off-takes of imported fishmeal from China's main port warehouses are estimated at nearly 15,000 metric tons in week 2 of 2024. This figure is below the amount reported in week 1 of the same year and falls short of the average estimated for the same week over the period of 2014-2023.
The total fishmeal arrivals into China have recently slowed down, failing to compensate for off-takes from the main ports' warehouses. Consequently, the total stock of imported fishmeal has slightly decreased, though it remains above the average value reported for week 2 between 2019 and 2023.