What 2022 looks like for the aquaculture industry

Wednesday, 12 January, 2022

What 2022 looks like for the aquaculture industry

Rabobank has released a report on the Global Seafood Alliance’s GOAL conference. It outlines what the report’s authors found to be the five most important factors from the 2021 event, which saw aquaculture experts gathering from around the world. Here are some of the key takeaways that the report notes from the event.

A good year ahead for prawns

Last year was a good one for prawns, as the market for them strongly rebounded. This is set to continue in 2022, with data presented at the GOAL conference suggesting that 2022 will see prawn production rising above its pre-pandemic levels. This is being fuelled primarily by Ecuador and India, with their exports growing between around 20% and 30% each.

A high demand for salmon

Atlantic salmon continue being popular and profitable this year — so popular, in fact, that demand is likely to outstrip supply. Norway and Chile will remain the primary salmon producers but overall production should increase by around 5%. This will have an impact on prices, keeping them high.

Consumers increasingly favour farmed seafood

The report notes that the seafood aisle is being regularly visited by consumers who are drawn in by its generally increased popularity, as well as its lower cost in relation to the rising prices of beef and poultry. As such, cheaply farmed seafood will be favoured by the market, especially if the products that come from it are of greater convenience for the average shopper.

Inflation is here to stay

The report notes that the participants of a GOAL survey listed market prices as one of the main concerns for the year and inflation is a driving factor in these prices; the inflation rate is higher now than any time in the last decade. A range of factors is impacting rising costs in the aquaculture markets, from increased labour prices to logistical interruptions. Regardless, the growing demand for seafood in the retail market and a strong showing in foodservice channels may deflect the problem of inflation in the first place. A lower retail cost than beef and poultry could also have a beneficial effect on the impact of inflation.

Supply has to be increased — sustainably

With rising demand for seafood comes a desire to increase supply, but it was noted during the conference that this must be done in a sustainable way. As countries set sustainability guidelines ahead of 2030 climate goals, aquaculture will have to respond by developing environmentally friendly techniques. Adoption of new technologies will let companies have ongoing growth that aligns with the requirements of a world impacted by high seafood demand and a changing climate.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/chiccaderrico

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