Global fishmeal production down 27 percent in Q1 2024, but trending positive for rest of year

An Austral Group cargo vessel unloading bags of fishmeal onto trucks
Global fishmeal production was down at the start of the year, but analysts predict production will ramp up | Photo courtesy of Austral Group
2 Min

Global fishmeal production decreased approximately 27 percent within the first three months of 2024, compared to the same period in 2023. 

The decline was driven by the the second fishing season in Peru's North-Central region in 2023, which had a below-average quota. That lower quota lead to reduced catches at the start of 2024, according to IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organization. 

The Peruvian anchovy fishery closed its second season on 12 January, and left 25 percent of its quota in the water. That compounded earlier shortages caused by the cancelation of the first season of 2023

The sluggish start to 2024 is trending positive thanks to the latest fishing quotas for Peru's anchovy fishery. In Peru’s North-Central region, approximately 1.2375 million metric tons (MT), or 50 percent, of the 2.475 million (MT) anchovy quota has already been caught within the first 23 days of the 2024 fishing season. 

So far this year, Chile, the U.S., and African countries have been showing more positive trends in fish meal productino compared to 2023 thanks to the higher quota.

Fish oil production was also down in the first three months of 2024. Production was down 30 percent – again due to the Peruvian fishing season. So far in 2024 only the U.S. and African countries are trending positive.

IFFO reported ongoing weak demand for feed ingredients in China, and a decrease in fishmeal imports through March 2024, confirming "challenging conditions prevailing in both the pig and aquaculture markets." 

“The aquaculture industry is struggling to reduce stocks given the current tepid demand among consumers," IFFO said. "Initial estimates indicate that aquafeed production in the first quarter of this year is expected to be lower compared to the same period last year, reflecting a subdued trend in feed ingredients consumption.” 

However, analysts predict a recovery in the second quarter of 2024 in the pig sector, which could shift demand. 

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