Peru closes anchovy season with 25 percent uncaught as global fishmeal production down 16 percent

Peruvian anchovy vessels floating at their moorings.

The Peruvian Ministry of Production (PRODUCE) closed the country’s second anchovy season on 12 January, leaving more than 25 percent of the fishery’s quota in the water.

Peru’s industrial anchovy fishing fleet launched its second season after the cancelation of the first season of 2023 a decision that cost the fishery an estimated USD 1.4 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) in lost revenue. The season had been underwhelming during its run and has now closed with roughly 75 percent of the 1.682-million-metric-ton (MT) quota caught.

IFFO – The Marine Ingredients Organization, a fishmeal and fish oil trade group, said in a recent market trend update that for the first 11 months of 2023 that global fishmeal production was down 16 percent compared to the same period of 2022. The biggest factor in the decrease was a 41 percent decline in Peru due to the closure of its first anchovy season.

The production of fish oil also dropped in the first 11 months of 2023. According to IFFO, cumulative global output of fishmeal dropped by almost 20 percent year over year, again largely related to the closure of Peru’s first anchovy season of 2023. 

Peru opened its second season on 26 October 2023, which, according to IFFO, helped boost overall fishmeal totals for the first 11 months.

“The commencement – in October 2023 – of the second fishing season in the North-Center area resulted in higher catches in November 2023 and contributed substantially to the overall surge in raw material usage,” IFFO said. “Larger catches were also reported in Chile and the North Atlantic region.”

Chile was the only country that had higher year-over-year production of fish oil “thanks to healthier catches and higher-than-average oil yields in the south of the country,” IFFO said.

IFFO also said that in the second week of 2024, fishmeal arrivals into China have slowed down. IFFO estimates offtakes of imported fishmeal in China’s main ports was at almost 15,000 MT in the second week of 2024 down from the first week.

“As a result, total stock of imported fishmeal has slightly decreased, although it remains above the average value reported for week 2 between 2019 and 2023,” IFFO said.

Photo courtesy of the Sociedad Nacional de Pesqueria


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