Aussie seafood set for aquaculture-led recovery
A new report has found the Australian seafood industry is on the brink of an aquaculture-led recovery, with salmon, prawns and oysters expected to help lift the sector back into positive territory.
Data from the ABARES Outlook 2021 report reveals production value is forecast to slide 6% in 2020–21 to $2.9 billion because of COVID-19 and trade disruptions.
But thanks largely to a projected uplift in aquaculture production, overall industry values are set to climb — at an average annual rate of 1.6% to 2025–26 — with export values also on the up.
ABARES fisheries and aquaculture forecaster Robert Curtotti said the impact of COVID-19 has been complex, disrupting usual trade — particularly for highly export-orientated products, such as rock lobster and abalone.
“However, we see signs that recovery is imminent, and the expected growth of aquaculture is set to contribute positively to the industry overall. Products focused on the home market are expected to do better over the outlook period than those focused on exports,” he said.
“Salmonid production is expected to grow at a yearly average of 4.4%, reaching $1.1 billion in production value by 2025–26 and accounting for 35% of the industry’s entire value of production that year.”
The ABARES forecast also predicted other aquaculture species such as oysters, abalone and other finfish varieties, including barramundi and kingfish, are expected to rise.
Between 2021–22 and 2025–26, real export value is projected to increase by 1.8% to $1.4 billion, with an average annual growth of 0.4%.
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