Greek Fish Farming: Stability in sales, boosting exports, intense competition, and concern about the increase in production costs
Stability in production, improved prices, further enhancement of exports, but also intense concern due to ongoing inflationary pressures, devaluations, and increasing competition are the main conclusions of the 9th Annual Aquaculture Report, issued by the Greek Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO), presenting the developments in the industry for the past year.
In more detail, in 2022, sales of Greek aquaculture fish amounted to 137,000 tons, worth 744 million euros, showing a marginal increase of 1% in volume and a 14% increase in sales value compared to the previous year. Sea bream and sea bass accounted for 92% of sales (126,700 tons), with all other species representing 8% (10,300 tons).
Furthermore, the industry’s outward orientation was further strengthened as exports reached 104,192 tons, valued at 600.6 million euros, showing an increase of nearly 4% in volume and 20% in sales value. 82% of the production was distributed to the EU and third countries, while the remaining 18% went to the domestic market. Traditional markets for Greek aquaculture fish continue to be Italy, Spain, and France. Despite increased competition, average prices for both main product types improved throughout 2022 (+3% for sea bream, +19% for sea bass).
Simultaneously, the implementation of co-financed production investments from the Fisheries Operational Program continued intensively, along with actions to enhance the sustainability of the industry, with a focus on protecting marine ecosystems and improving the well-being of farmed fish.
Challenges faced in the past year include intense inflationary pressures and an additional 10% increase in production costs due to the revaluation of the raw materials used in fish feed. Competition from Turkey was also intense, as not only did they significantly increase their production, but the devaluation of the Turkish lira made their products highly competitive and aided their penetration into the markets.
In light of the publication of the 9th Annual Aquaculture Report, Mr. Giannis Pelekanakis, Director of European Affairs at HAPO, commented, “2022 was a unique year as the industry managed, within a challenging global economic environment, to maintain its production and successfully supply the markets, further enhancing its outward orientation. The improvement in trading conditions during a difficult year demonstrates the trust that consumers worldwide have in Greek aquaculture fish and provides an incentive to explore new opportunities in existing markets and seek new markets and product forms that could further strengthen the industry’s outward focus, profitability, and overall outlook for the years ahead. On the other hand, in 2023, the loss of purchasing power of consumers in key EU markets has become evident, with consumers turning to cheaper products, affecting the course of Greek exports. Additionally, fluctuations in prices are observed, which is expected to restrain the industry’s developmental path next year. It is not clear when the market will stabilize and what the implications will be for Greek aquaculture, as everything will depend on the duration and severity of this economic crisis. At present, industry companies are exploring all possible solutions to control production costs and enhance their competitiveness and resilience.”
Regarding the Greek Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO):
With the aim of sustainable development of Greek Aquaculture and its Members, the private non-profit Greek Aquaculture Producers Organization (HAPO) was founded in 2016 when the first 21 Members decided to join forces and support the creation of a national identity for their products and promote them in selected markets using their own resources. Today, HAPO consists of 23 Members, representing approximately 80% of Greek aquaculture production. In addition to a complex array of promotional activities, HAPO provides multifaceted support and benefits to its members in terms of cooperation, support, information, networking, development, education, collective action, progress, problem-solving, communication with government bodies, and much more. The fresh Greek fish produced by HAPO’s Members are characterized by the collective label Fish from Greece.
you may download the 2023 Annual Report, here.