World demand to rise 7.4% annually through 2017
World demand for aquaculture supplies and equipment is forecast to advance 7.4 percent per year to $63.5 billion in 2017. Rising feed costs will drive advances as fishmeal and fish oil prices continue to grow rapidly, and the ongoing transition from extensive and semi-extensive to intensive aquaculture production supports greater feed demand. However, higher fish product prices -- due in large part to increasing feed costs -- will result in slower growth in global per capita fish consumption, and bring advances in world aquaculture demand to more sustainable levels. The corresponding moderation in world aquaculture output will be particularly significant in China, which is forecast to grow at a slower pace than not only the rest of the Asia/Pacific region, but also South America and the Africa/Mideast region.
Aquafeeds dominate world aquaculture demand
Aquafeeds dominate world demand for aquaculture supplies and equipment, as an increasing share of aquaculture producers have turned to manufactured products, rather than depending on natural food sources. The impact of higher fishmeal and fish oil prices will be partially mitigated by the increasing use of lower cost vegetable fats and proteins, and by declining feed conversion ratios as higher quality feeds allow farmers to use aquafeeds in smaller volumes.
The general trend of increased intensification in production that is contributing to expanded aquafeed use is also expected to continue to positively affect demand for other aquaculture supplies. More intensive production requires the use of different types of equipment, such as pumps, filters, and feeders. Water in tanks or ponds containing dense populations of fish can quickly foul, posing dangers to both the farmed fish and the natural ecosystem, which will promote elevated demand for water treatment chemicals. Feed supplements and pharmaceuticals will benefit from greater pressure from disease and growth problems, which become more significant as stocking densities rise. Although increasing numbers of farmers are using aquafeeds instead of natural food sources, fertilizer demand is expected to grow as farmers in developing countries begin utilizing chemical inorganic fertilizers for carp, tilapia, catfish, and shellfish culture.
Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast regions to see fastest gains
Asia was the largest and one of the fastest growing aquaculture producing regions from 2002 to 2012, with China alone accounting for 61 percent of global aquaculture production and 51 percent of aquaculture supply demand in 2012. While growth in Chinese demand for aquaculture supplies and equipment is expected to moderate, demand in the rest of the Asia/Pacific region is expected to grow rapidly, with only the Africa/ Mideast region exhibiting faster gains. Central and South America is also expected to significantly expand its presence in the global aquaculture industry through increased production and higher demand for aquaculture inputs. More mature markets, such as Europe and North America, are also expected to show healthy growth in line with the more modest expansions expected in aquaculture production from these regions.
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