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Analysis & Reports

Tridge Analysis

Senegal and Mexico Gain Market Share in Portugal’s Frozen Octopus Market

Updated Nov 30, 2022
•Senegal and Mexico are now the third and fourth largest exporters of frozen octopus to Portugal, and had a combined market share of 10% in terms of volume from Jan-Sep 2022, up from 3% in Jan-Sep 2021.
•Both Senegal and Mexico offer frozen octopus at a lower average price compared to Portugal’s top two suppliers.
•Octopus demand in Portugal is high, while prices in Mauritania have recently dropped, which might open an opportunity for an increased trade flow among countries.

According to data from Eurostat, in January-September 2022, Portugal imported 10.5 thousand mt of frozen octopus with a total value of EUR 106.7 million. In terms of volume, imports rose 5.1%, while in terms of value, imports rose 31%.

Most of Portugal's octopus imports continued to come from Spain, with 64% of total volume and 67% of total value coming from its neighbor. Spain lost market share in Jan-Sep 2022 compared to the same period last year, when its share in the Portuguese import market was 70% in volume and 72% in value.

Following Spain comes Mauritania, with 7% of the total share in volume and 9% of the share in value. Senegal comes in third, with 6% of the share in volume and 6% of the share in value. Mauritania's market share was virtually unchanged.

It is worth noting that Senegal's share in volume grew from 3% in Jan-Sep 2021 to 6% in Jan-Sep 2022, surpassing Tanzania and Morocco. It also experienced a notable growth of 108% in export volume and 182% in export value to Portugal. Senegal's average price stood at EUR 10.10/kg, lower than Spain's EUR 10.58/kg and Mauritania's 13.13/kg.

Following Senegal came Mexico, which supplied 5% of Portugal’s frozen octopus imports on a value basis and 3% on a volume basis in Jan-Sep 2022. Portugal didn't import frozen octopus from Mexico in Jan-Sep 2021,. Among the top five import origins, Mexico had the lowest average price, at EUR 7.69/kg.

Portugal's frozen octopus import prices stood at EUR 11.59/kg in September, up 2% month over month and 19% year over year. Prices also reached the highest level since at least January 2021.

Portugal imports very little fresh octopus, at 574 mt (EUR 4.82 million) in Jan-Sep 2022. Prices for fresh imported octopus stood at EUR 9.55/kg in September, also its highest level since at least January 2021, and up by 27% MoM and 20% YoY.

Source: Tridge and Eurostat

Portugal Octopus Demand on the Rise, Prices in Mauritania Declining

According to Guilherme Rua, Tridge representative in Portugal, octopus is currently in high demand, with the Christmas season approaching. A shortage of large size octopus from the Portuguese coast has been reported, opening more demand for imports. In the meantime, Essaid Elabyad, Tridge’s representative in Mauritania, reported that the country had postponed the fishing season from December 2022 to January 2023, as there still is considerable stock from summer. This has resulted in a lower price in Mauritanian octopus in recent days. An opportunity for Portugal might be opening. 

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