GSMC: Panelists review pangasius, tilapia outlooks in 2016


Michelle McNickle, Digital Product Manager

Published on
January 20, 2016

Panelists gathered to discuss whitefish at a panel at today’s Global Seafood Market Conference in Miami Florida.

The pangasius outlook for 2016 into 2017 isn’t all “doom and gloom” said one panelist, as some have painted it to be. “It has to do with emerging market growth and a lot more raw material grown,” he said. Farmed material has started to scale back, but demand continues to grow where market requirements are less strict.

Raw material pegged for China is larger, the panelist continued. “So I feel similar production next year to this year. There may not be any real decrease.” The panelists also touched on Indonesia, where production is high but the desire to export is low. “Our market likes white fillets because that’s what buyers demand. But in Indonesia, it’s more yellow fillets.”

India is also moving up to be in the top five or six of importers of pangasius, panelists said. “There’s incredible demand in emerging markets, so that’s something to keep an eye on,” one panelist said.

With regard to tilapia, there’s “straight line growth” in up and coming countries like Egypt and Thailand, one panelist said. The US market for frozen tilapia has product coming in from Indonesia. However, looking at the Chinese market, Chinese tilapia represents 90 percent of the US market, said one panelist.

“From 2011 to estimated numbers in 2016, [there’s been] no growth in tilapia in China, which seems interesting after incredible growth [we saw] in 2008.”

Tilapia pricing is all over the board, panelists said. This is due mainly to seasonal fluctuations, The last two years trended downward in pricing. For the future, panelists looked at a pricing ladder, which trended high in March and low in September consistently over the past 8 years.

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