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Peruvian anchovy catch to reach 5 million MT in 2021

Fresh Anchovy
Fish
Peru
COVID-19
Price Trend
Feb 12, 2021
Written by
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Stelamari Ito
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Peru’s second season of MY 2020/21 has finished in mid January with 2.45 million MT in landings. Peru expects anchovy catches to reach the same levels as the previous MY and achieve 5 million MT in 2021. The fishmeal exports totaled to USD 1.18 million, a YoY decrease of 21.82%.

The National Fisheries Society of Peru (SNP) estimates that the stable conditions of anchovies' biomass on the coast of Peru will continue in 2021. This will allow Peru to set a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) similar to 2020 of 5 million MT. The Marine Institute of Peru estimates that the current biomass of anchovies borders 8.5 million MT and is in a healthy condition. According to SNP, the catch projections can be altered if climate or oceanographic conditions change, but if neutral conditions are maintained, that is a very close TAC. Another pressure point for the segment is the political changes that this year’s Presidential Elections can bring to the sector. The extraction and fishing industry is a very important part of the Peruvian economy representing on average 1.5% of the national GDP and combined with the processing industry it reaches about 2.5% of the total GDP. But it is strictly regulated by the government and any changes in policies can have a big impact on the sector.

Results on MY 2020/21 anchovy catch in Peru

Peru has two catching seasons during the year to avoid reproduction periods that allow the biomass of anchovies to recover from the intense fishing. The 2020’s two seasons were from May 13th to August 15th, and from November 12th to January 25th of 2021, the first season started with a delay due to the social distancing measures imposed during the pandemic. The landing of the first season was 2.36 million MT which achieved 97.97% of the TAC for the season, and an increase of 17.4% in comparison with the first season of 2019. The second season landing was 2.45 million MT which represented 88.2% of the TAC for the season, which was 2.78 million MT. The amount not achieved in the second season will contribute to the expected increase in landing for the MY 2021/22.

Importance of anchovy to livestock aquaculture

Anchovies are one of the biggest exploited fish in the world in volume. But its end use is not for human consumption. 99% is used as an ingredient for the livestock feed. The anchovies are processed into fishmeal and fish oil which are important protein sources for omnivorous farmed animals. The growth of aquaculture in recent decades has also become an important destination for fishmeal and fish oil. Peru is the biggest producer and exporter of these ingredients. The total export value of fishmeal (HS 230120) in 2019 was USD 4.37 billion, and the top five exporters of fishmeal in value were Peru, Denmark, Chile, the US, and Vietnam respectively responsible for 34.43%, 7.38%, 6.81%, 4.54% and 4.06% of the export total value.

Source: Tridge, ITC.

Although the official exports of fishmeal for the majority of the countries are not yet available, the Peruvian government has already released the exported values for the fishmeal. The total value exported in 2020 by Peru was USD 1.18 million, which is a YoY decrease of 21.82%. The decrease can be attributed to:

  • The earlier than expected closing of some fishing areas in the second season of MY 2019/20 due to the high amount of juveniles which shall be protected for ensuring the sustainability of the stock;
  • The late start of the first season of My 2020/21 which was delayed for almost a month due to the distancing measures of the pandemic;
  • The disruptions in trade, and the closing of importer countries due to the pandemic. China is Peru’s biggest importer of fishmeal, and in the first quarter had a lot of logistics problems.

Source: Tridge, Peru Government.

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