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What to Expect in the Global Aquaculture Industry in 2022

Strong retail demand and the reopening of foodservice set the aquaculture industry up for another strong year in 2022, especially for salmon and shrimp. Sustainability-related investments are expected to ramp up this year, as major producers and retailers have set ambitious targets to reduce carbon footprints.

Rabobank just published a report summarizing the main takeaways from the Global Seafood Alliance (GSA) GOAL Conference, one of the seafood industry’s most anticipated events.

2022 poised to be a good year for shrimp

Following a strong rebound in 2021, 2022 is set to be another excellent year for major shrimp producers. New data presented at the GSA GOAL conference suggests year- on-year growth will potentially achieve well over 10% in 2021, putting shrimp production above pre-pandemic levels.

Global shrimp supply growth has been primarily fueled by Ecuador and India. “The demand dynamics that enabled this growth resulted from changing consumption patterns, which are expected to persist in 2022, with shrimp producers benefiting from growth in retail consumption in the EU and especially the US,” explains Novel Sharma, Seafood Analyst at Rabobank.

The strong rebound in shrimp production is expected to continue in 2022

The demand growth for salmon will be above supply in 2022

According to Rabobank’s report, the main salmon-producing regions can look forward to a profitable 2022, with minor increases in volumes produced while prices are set to remain well above-average levels.

Norway and Chile experienced complementary supply dynamics in 2021 as volumes in Norway grew by 10.2%, while Chile contracted by 14.1%. Now the Chilean industry is expected to grow at around 20% for a few months in 2022 before slowing down again to reach year-on-year growth of 8% to 9%. “This projection, combined with the expected normalized growth for Norway, should result in global supply expanding by 5% in 2022. In the current market, this is considered below demand growth and thus supportive to prices,” says Sharma.

Global Atlantic Salmon on a growth path despite the pandemic

Shifting consumer behavior favors farmed seafood

Seafood's newfound popularity in the retail channel in most western countries, combined with the expected further reopening of the foodservice sector, will add to overall demand in 2022. Furthermore, the report highlights that the retail channel has potential to grow further in 2022 if the industry can continue adding convenience options to its product ranges.

Moreover, beef and poultry prices have increased globally, which has led to a structural change in demand for seafood as consumers began to seek alternatives as well as additional healthy options.

Inflation will stay

With costs rising, GOAL survey respondents ranked market prices as their key concern. The main inflation drivers in the seafood sector are recovering demand, increasing labor costs, energy costs, feed prices, and logistical interruptions. On the bright side, the big gain in seafood retail and the reopening of foodservice channels will potentially trump inflationary challenges. In addition to that, when compared to other forms of protein such as beef and poultry, the relative price increase of seafood could allow it to take stomach share.

The need to fill the supply gap sustainably

"For many countries, 2022 will be the year they make reducing GHG emissions their leading policy. With COP26 in Glasgow nearly coinciding with the GSA GOAL conference, commitments to reduce emissions are more than just top of mind for the aquaculture industry; they are a new key priority for many companies in the industry,” highlights Sharma.

Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of about 10 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 offices throughout New Zealand.

Media contacts:

David Johnston
Marketing & Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525