UN Forecasts Fish Production Rise

Global fish production is expected to grow by 1.1 percent in 2017, in line with the long-term trend, according to the biannual report on global food markets by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Stagnating capture fisheries production continues to contrast with an aquaculture sector that is growing consistently at four to five percent annually, the report said. The contrast between the lack of growth in traded volumes over the last three years and the steady increase in total production, points to strong growth in the domestic market demand of major seafood producing countries, particularly in the developing world.

The impact on supply due to El Nino, disease and an algal bloom in Chile in 2016 saw prices rise for various species, with the FAO fish price index rising 10 points over the year.

This year, the forecast for production increases, for a number of species, is likely to exert downward pressure on seafood prices across multiple markets and commodity categories, the UN entity said.

On the demand side, seafood trade in the United Kingdom and the United States could be negatively affected by the UK’s impending exit from the European Union and the policy decisions of the current U.S. administration, the FAO report said. More broadly, early indications in 2017 suggest that political uncertainty in multiple world regions is suppressing growth in international seafood trade, with the total annual value of seafood trade expected to decline by one percent in U.S. dollar terms.

The complete report is available online at http://www.fao.org/3/a-i7343e.pdf