The caviar market: Production, trade and consumption in and outside the EU

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By Milthon Lujan

EUMOFA (European market observatory for fisheries and aquaculture products) has recently published a study on “The caviar market. Production, trade and consumption in and outside the EU”. The case study is available in English.


Since overfishing has brought several sturgeon species to the brink of extinction, wild catch is banned by most countries. Farming of sturgeon gradually increased from the mid 80’s to the beginning of the 2000’s when it started increasing rapidly year by year. Today, nearly all caviar on the global market is harvested from farmed sturgeons.

The rapid increase in sturgeon farming in the world is driven by China. In 2002, the global production was 4.100 tonnes, half of which took place in Russia and the remaining part in the EU. By 2016, the global production had increased to 105.000 tonnes, of which China accounted for 85%. This corresponds to an estimated global production of caviar of 340 tonnes in 2016.

According to the “Federation of European Aquaculture Producers”, sturgeon production in the EU has been relatively stable over the last six years and the EU production in 2016 was estimated to almost 2.700 tonnes. EU production of caviar in 2016 was estimated to 126 tonnes, an increase of 17% from 2015. Most of the production is consumed in the EU, but along with the increased production, exports to countries outside the EU are increasing as well. In 2016, more than 32 tonnes were exported.

The increase in volume is clearly affecting the price. Both intra- and extra-EU trade have shown decreasing price trends over the last 4-5 years.

Read this and more in the latest EUMOFA publications: 

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