New Zealand exporting more seafood

Published on
December 20, 2016

Sales from New Zealand’s seafood exports jumped 13 percent as of June 2016, to NZD 1.8 billion (USD 1.25 billion, EUR 1.2 billion), according to a new report.

New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries said the increase was driven primarily by a 17 percent price hike due to a depreciating New Zealand dollar.
Seafood exports are expected to continuing growing over the next five years by an average of 4.4 percent per year, to reach NZD 2.2 billion (USD 1.5 billion, EUR 1.46 billion) for the year ending June 2021. And export prices are expected to grow by 3.2 percent per year through June 2021, due to a weakening currency and small increases in the underlying USD price.

“The outlook is bright. New Zealand seafood is in demand across a wide range of species and markets. For instance, we sell into 25 of the EU countries,” Tim Pankhurst, chief executive of Seafood New Zealand, told SeafoodSource.

New Zealand’s Quota Management System, now 30 years old, has ensured “well-managed, sustainable fisheries,” Pankhurst said. Recent news has shown the robustness of that system, with the country’s orange roughy fishery recently receiving Marine Stewardship Council certification.

“That sustainability stamp is an endorsement of our fisheries management and it is already driving increased demand and prices in the U.S.,” Pankhurst said.
Key export markets for New Zealand seafood continue to be China (32 percent of the total value), Europe (16 percent), Australia (14 percent), the U.S. (13 percent) and Japan (6 percent).

“Demand from China, Europe and the U.S. has increased compared to the last year,” the report said. In fact, “European exports soared 31 percent for the year ending June 2016, surpassing Australia for the first time.

Mussel oil exports have been particularly successful for New Zealand in recent years, accounting for NZD 40 million (USD 27.7 billion, EUR 26.6 billion) worth of exports for the year ending June 2016. A potent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties, mussel oil is used in nutritional supplements. Its price averages NZD 3,000 (USD 2,076, EUR 1,997) per kg.

Meanwhile, the average per-unit price for wild seafood is growing faster than that of aquaculture species, and MPI projects a slight improvement in wild-capture export volumes in the latter part of the outlook period as fisheries rebuild.

“The price growth for wild capture is good news for New Zealand, as wild capture fisheries accounts for about 78 percent of our total seafood export revenue,” the report said. “However, there is a limited scope for production growth from wild capture fisheries, due to sustainability constraints.”

Aquaculture production will continue to rise, the report said, particularly from two new salmon farms owned by New Zealand King Salmon.

Contributing Editor



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