IFFO’s analysis on marine ingredient market trends (March 2023)

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By Milthon Lujan

A taste of the many statistics and analyses that can be found in the market intelligence reports that IFFO dedicates to its members is reported below, covering IFFO’s analysis on marine ingredient market trends until March 2023. A specific and additional focus is made on China given that China is by far the main market for marine ingredients.

For the regions for which IFFO regularly tracks production of marine ingredients*, roughly worth 50% of the global output, we found that overall, the raw material used was about 15% higher in February 2023 compared with the same month in 2022. This was due to better catches in all the regions, bar Spain and the Icelandic and North Atlantic area.


Cumulative total fishmeal production during the first 2 months of 2023 was up by more than 55% compared to the cumulative production reported through February 2022. The larger production of fishmeal in Peru due to the late start of the second fishing season in the North-centre area of the country was the main driver, but most regions have started the year with an improved availability of raw material.

As for fish oil, total cumulative output in the first 2 months of 2023 was 20% down year over year, mainly driven by the drop in the fish oil production reported in the Icelandic and North Atlantic area.

Peru’s second fishing season in the North-Centre region was officially closed on February 5, with 84% of the 2.283 million-mt quota landed. No catches are being reported in Peru at the moment; the industry is expecting the government to shortly conclude the evaluation of the Peruvian Institute for Marine Studies (IMARPE)’s report on the status of the anchovy biomass; official announcements on the quota and the starting date of the next fishing season in the North-centre of the country could come soon.

China’s marine ingredients and aquafeed production remains subdued

Little time is left before the new fishing ban along the Chinese coastline will be re-imposed on May 1. By-products from processed fish destined to direct human consumption are getting more important as a source of raw material for reduction, together with imports of marine ingredients.

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Aquafeed production in the first months of 2023 has remained subdued, partly because of the seasonal activity slowdown in both the aquaculture and pig farming sector, partly because of the Covid wave that hit the country and the long holidays breaks. Aquafarming activities have so far remained confined to some areas of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces. It is expected that the sector will reactivate when temperatures rise in April-May.

The pig sector is still facing a situation where over supply has to deal with seasonally weak demand and rising numbers of African Swine Fever (ASF) being reported in the northern provinces. Understanding the ups and downs of the Chinese pig industry is of great importance as this is a sector capable of consuming significant amounts of fishmeal per year.

  • Peru, Chile, Denmark / Norway, Iceland / North Atlantic , USA, African countries, India, Spain.

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