Market

Mussel in the EU: Case Study

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By Milthon Lujan

mejillon UE 2022 1

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

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

The EU is the second largest mussels producer in the world. In 2020, it produced circa 430.800 tonnes, contributing to 20% of the global mussels production. Spain is by far the main producer in the EU (47% of the EU production in 2020), followed by France (14%), Italy (12%), the Netherlands (8%), Denmark (7%), Greece (4%) and Ireland (3%).

The same year, the total mussels supply amounted to 552.636 tonnes LWE, which was mainly based on the EU production (78% of the EU supply) and to lesser extent on imports (22% of the EU supply). EU imports from third countries mainly concern preserved products, with Chile being the main supplier. In 2020, apparent consumption at EU level was estimated at 537.212 tonnes LWE, corresponding to a per capita consumption of 1,2 kg.

In the EU, the value chain for mussels is still very country-specific. The production in France and Italy mainly goes to the domestic market and is completed by imports, while the Spanish production provides both the domestic market and other EU MS and the Irish production is mainly export-oriented. Consumption also differs in quantities consumed per capita as well as in terms of sizes, presentation (fresh, frozen preserved) and other types of market segmentation (e.g. organic, quality certification, etc.).

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The main outcomes of the Price Structure Analysis in Spain, France, Italy and Ireland are:

  • The first sale prices vary between 0,66 EUR/kg in Spain to 1,60 EUR/kg in France for “Bouchot mussels”, depending on the species, the mussel quality, the country of origin and the certification.
  • There is a difference in mussels prices depending on the end market in Spain, France and Ireland. For example, in France mussels sold to restaurants are sold at higher prices than those sold to large retailers (2,60 EUR/kg versus 2,30 EUR/kg).
  • The price in large retailers (excl. VAT) for mussels was different in Italian, Spanish and French markets: it was about 2,65 EUR/kg in Italy, 3.00 EUR/kg in Spain and 3,60 EUR/kg in France for “Bouchot mussels” and 3,71 EUR/kg for Irish mussels (imported in bulk from Ireland to be prepared by a French buyer). The raw material cost accounts for 20% of the final price at retail stage in Spain, 26% in Italy and 44% of in France.

Reference (open access)
EUMOFA. 2022. Mussel in the EU: Case Study. 90 p.

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