FAO: global seafood imports reach USD 100 billion
FAO estimates worldwide seafood import for last year were valued at USD 104.7 billion (EUR 75.2 billion), while exports were estimated at USD 99.5 billion (EUR 71.5 billion).
The European Union accounted for more than 40 percent of world fish imports in terms of value, with USD 49 billion (EUR 35.2 billion) in 2008, which includes trade within the E.U.
Asia was the top region in terms of value, exporting USD 34 billion (EUR 24.4 billion) in seafood and importing USD 32.6 billion (EUR 23.4 billion). Japan topped import estimates at 14.5 billion (EUR 10.4 billion), after dropping its top spot to the United States in 2007, which came in with estimated import values of USD 14.1 billion (EUR 10.1 billion) in 2008. The U.S. exported USD 4.5 billion (EUR 3.2 billion).
About half of the global fish exports originate in developing countries, while 80 percent of world imports go to developed nations. Net seafood exports from developing countries reached USD 25.4 billion (EUR 18.2 billion) in 2008, emphasizing that fishery products are an important source of foreign exchange earnings for these areas, according to the FAO report.