DUBLIN, Ireland -- Global finfish production outlooks given at the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)'s annual Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference suggest both pangasius and tilapia are set to rise in the next two years.
Survey data presented by Ragnar Tveteras of the University of Stavanger -- collected from GAA members -- shows the rate of growth for tilapia has been, and will continue, to slow; pangasius though looks set for quicker growth than it has seen recently.goal 2017
Production growth in Bangladesh and India is expected to drive global pangasius volumes in 2018 and 2019. As the graph below shows, 2017 production of pangasius in key producer nations is expected to total 2.44 million metric tons.
Vietnam — which produces some 50% of global pangasius — is expected to remain flat in the next two years, at largely the same levels it has produced since 2015.
However, India is predicted to grow from 550,000t in 2017 to 625,000t in 2019, while Bangladesh could rise from 554,256t in 2017 to 749,746t in 2019.
If these predictions are correct, both countries will have seen significant growth since 2015: India at 56%, and Bangladesh 85%.
Indonesia, which has remained at 100,000t of production since 2015, is expected to increase to 125,000t in 2018 and 150,000t in 2019, according to survey respondents.
Tilapia demand no longer rising with supply
Between 2007 and 2014, US tilapia import prices for frozen fillets rose as did supply globally, showing the strength of demand for that product, noted Tveteras.
However, since 2014 prices have dipped sharply as production has continued to rise.
This picture of falling US demand for tilapia is one that US Foods category director Jennifer Wandler said she recognized. “In foodservice especially I think that’s noticeable, and at US Foods we’ve been working hard to try and halt that decline,” she said.
Methods include promoting four-star Best Aquaculture Practices certification and developing premium product lines, she said.
“We see it as pretty important to keep that relationship with tilapia, especially as we just don’t know what will happen with pangasius at the moment.” Pangasius shipped from Vietnam to the US faces a number of bumps in the road at present, from the currently-under-proposal hike in tariffs on imports, to the quest to gain equivalency for Vietnamese product to US Department of Agriculture standards.
In production terms, China is by far the largest producer. It's volumes are predicted to remain stable at around 1.7 million metric tons for 2017 and 2018, said Tveteras.
However, the next three largest producers are all looking to drive their production up.
Egypt anticipates a rise in output to almost 900,000t in 2017, and greater leaps again for 2018 and 2019.
Indonesia is expected to reach around 800,000t in 2017, with a slight increase from that for 2018 and a significant bump up in 2019.
And Bangladesh should surpass 400,000t in 2018, with another leap bringing it close to 450,000t in 2019, according to the graph.