EUMOFA: Oysters in the EU

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By Milthon Lujan

EUMOFA is pleased to announce the publication of a new Price Structure Analysis entitled “Oysters in the EU“.

Price Structure Analysis entitled "Oysters in the EU"
Price Structure Analysis entitled “Oysters in the EU

The study analyses oyster production and market trends at the EU level, focusing on price structure along the supply chain in France, Ireland and the Netherlands.

With a total production of almost 98.000 tonnes in 2020, the EU-27 was the world’s fifth largest producer (2% of total volumes). EU production has been relatively stable between 2011 and 2020 (+1%) but has decreased by 7% between 2019 and 2020. In 2020, almost 83% of EU oyster production took place in France (circa 81.000 tonnes). Ireland followed at a distance, with a production amounting to 9.475 tonnes (10% of the EU production). Other main producers include Portugal (4%) and the Netherlands (2%). The EU exports to third countries are higher than imports. In 2021, the EU trade surplus amounted to EUR 54,4 million. France is the main exporter and main destinations are the Asian markets, mainly China and Hong-Kong. In 2020, oyster apparent consumption in the EU was estimated at 91.488 tonnes live weight equivalent (LWE), with an estimated per capita consumption of 0,20 kg.

The oyster supply chain varies between France, Ireland and the Netherlands. While France is both a major producer and consumer, the Irish and the Dutch markets are small, with small national consumption. Production in both countries is export-oriented. There are also common practices among producers in France to sort and pack the products based on size and quality, whereas a significant share of the Irish production is exported in bulk. In the Netherlands, there is a significant activity of processing and packing, as both national and imported products are packed before being exported.

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The supply chains studied for the Price Structure Analysis reflect the difference between the oyster supply chains in the three countries. These concern the following products:

  • France: oyster under PGI sold in supermarkets.
  • Ireland: 1) high quality special oyster produced in Ireland and exported in bulk to France; 2) high quality special oyster produced in Ireland and exported packed to China.
  • The Netherlands: oysters sold in restaurants.

The main outcomes of the Price Structure Analysis are:

  • The ex-farm prices ranges from 1,80 EUR/kg to 5,50 EUR/kg, depending on size and quality.
  • The retail price (excl. VAT) of oysters varies from 6,58 EUR/kg in France to 19,32 EUR/kg in the Netherlands.
  • The prices of Irish oysters in the export market show significant differences based on the destination: Irish packed oysters are sold at 9,50 EUR/kg on the French market (ex-packer stage) and at 11,50 EUR/kg on the Chinese market (ex-wholesaler stage).

Reference (Open access)

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