EUMOFA: new case study: “Portion trout in the EU”

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By Milthon Lujan

EUMOFA is pleased to announce the publication of the new case study: “Portion trout in the EU”. The study focuses on the price structure along the supply chain in Germany, Italy, and Poland. The study is available in English, French, and Spanish, and will soon be available in German, Italian, and Polish.

This new case study examines the supply chain of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the EU. The species is supplied to the market as whole or as a fillet. The commercial size for the portion-sized trout generally ranges from 350 g up to 600 g.

World trout production 

In 2019 the world trout production was 939.878 tonnes (FAO) and has been increasing since 2015 (+21% in volume between 2015 and 2019). Main species farmed is the rainbow trout which accounted for 97% of the total volume in 2019. The EU 27 is the second largest producer in the world (183.819 tonnes in 2019: 20% of world production), just after the Islamic Republic of Iran (206.050 tonnes: 22% of world production). 

The production has highly increased in the Islamic Republic of Iran over the last decade and was two times higher in 2019 compared to 2010. Other large producers of trout are Turkey, Norway, Chile and Peru. At EU 27 level, the main producers are France, Italy and Denmark with over 30.000 tonnes of production each in 2019. Following Member States (MS) are Spain, Poland and Finland with 14.000 to 17.000 tonnes of production. The production is below 10.000 tonnes in each other producing MS.

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Portion trout

“Portion trout” is generally a whole trout, below 500 g (or even below 450 g), with white or pink flesh. In some MS, portion trout may also be filleted or even smoked. “Medium-sized trout” is between 500 g and 1,2 kg, generally intended for filleting; “large-sized trout” is above 1,2 kg and generally intended for smoking. “Portion” and “medium” trouts are merged in several statistics (both in trade statistics and professional statistics from the Federation of European Aquaculture Producers (FEAP)). 

About two-thirds of the EU production is portion and medium-sized trout (64% in 2019, based on FEAP data) and about one-third is large trout (36%). The share of portion trout tends to decrease, as it accounted for 72% in 2014. Main producers of portion trout in the EU are Italy, France, Denmark, Poland and Spain, with production above 13.000 tonnes each (2019).

Intra-Eu flows

Regarding intra-EU flows, in 2020 half of the trout flow concerns smoked trout (in value), while portion trout accounted for 15%. Main intra-EU sellers of portion trout were Denmark (EUR 21 million sold in 2020), Spain (EUR 16 million) and Poland (EUR 9 million). Main intra-EU destinations for portion trout were Germany (EUR 23 million), Poland (EUR 20 million) and France (EUR 10 million).  

Apparent consumption of trout at EU 27 level was 208.657 tonnes2 in 2019. The total supply relied for 83% on EU production and for 17% on imports (mainly from Turkey and Norway). A limited share of the EU supply was exported (6%) and most of the volumes were intended for EU consumption (94%). 

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EU markets for trout

Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and Finland are the main EU markets for trout (from 14.000 to 73.000 tonnes of apparent consumption in each MS in 2019). Apparent consumption was below 10.000 tonnes in other MS. In Germany, most of the apparent consumption is for smoked trout while this is mainly portion trout in Italy and Poland. 

In Germany, the ex-farm prices for portion trout ranged from 4,37 EUR/kg to 7,79 EUR/kg in 2019 depending on the sales channels (higher with direct sales and lower toward wholesalers). The price transmission analysis focuses on the sales in a small retail shop, which is common on the German market, with a final price of 10,41 EUR/kg. Large-scale retailers mainly market imported portion trout, which price is lower than German one. 

In Italy, the ex-farm price for fresh portion trout was 3,30 EUR/kg in March 2021 and the retail price considered in the analysis is 9,90 EUR/kg in large-scale retail (from 7,90 to 9,90 EUR/kg at retail stage based on a store check, without discount). Portion trout in Italy is marketed in HoReCa, large-scale retail, angling (live trout) and exported (fresh, frozen or live). 

In Poland, the ex-farm price considered is 2,62 EUR/kg (based on interview, price in the 4th quarter of 2020). Two price transmission analyses are provided in this study: large-scale retail (packed) with a final price at 5,79 EUR/kg and traditional shop (unpacked) at 5,82 EUR/kg. The main market for trout in Poland is discount shop (59% of the sales, compared to 16% in fish shops, 14% in hypermarkets and supermarkets and 10% in other channels). 

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Reference (open access):
EUMOFA. 2021. Case study: “Portion trout in the EU”. 62 p 

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