US tilapia demand falls

Americans’ consumption of tilapia has fallen in recent years, while demand from Russia has surged, according to a new report.

While the United States is still the largest importer of tilapia, imports slid an estimated 10 KT in 2017, according to a Fact.MR report.

The U.S. trends mimic the global tilapia market, which declined 6 percent in the first two quarters of 2017, thanks to weakening consumer demand, Fact.MR found.

Consumers globally are buying other specialty fish and are more interested in pangasius, analysts said. 

“A special palate for pangasius has been witnessed among seafood consumers worldwide,” Fact.MR said in the report. “The U.S. and China continue to remain the largest consumers of pangasius. Following the increasing domestic demand and lower prices of pangasius, Chinese tilapia farmers are adopting farming of other fish varieties including pangasius.”

Meanwhile, the Russian Federation imported 4 KT more tilapia in 2017 versus 2016. 

“The Russian Federation tilapia market is expected to report a steady demand for tilapia through 2022, while presenting emerging opportunities for Chinese suppliers in the future,” Fact.MR said in a press release.

The largest tilapia producer, China, will maintain its dominion with an estimated production of 1,989 KT in 2017, or around 28 percent of the global production, the report claimed. 

However, Egypt and Indonesia were estimated to account for more than 36 percent of global tilapia production in 2017, “while significantly curbing the share of the Chinese tilapia market,” Fact.MR said.

China, Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, and Uganda are expected to account for 90 percent of the global production by the end of 2028.

Photo courtesy of Fact.MR


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