Fishmeal production expected to jump in Peru

© iStock/Tuomas_Lehtinen
© iStock/Tuomas_Lehtinen

Fishmeal production along with corn and soybean meal imports are on the upturn in Peru based on feed demand, says USDA.

Although the US is not the main supplier of soybean for Peru, imports from the US increased by almost 50% in 2016/17, said the US Department of Agriculture in a Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) attaché report released Monday.

Fishmeal production is expected to see an 11% increase for the 2017/18 market year (MY), the attaché said. Overall production is forecast to be 730,000 metric tons.

However, the current increase in generation of the feed ingredient does not mean an end to the challenges faced by the industry going forward, the department said.

“Peru is attempting to better regulate its domestic fishing industry,” said the department. “Overfishing in previous years has adversely affected Peruvian anchovy stocks.”

Fishmeal, oil production

Although production of fishmeal is expected to increase for the 2017/18 marketing year compared to the previous year, overfishing and management of fish stocks continue to present questions for future production, said the attache.

“This increase is, in reality, a return to normal levels since fishmeal production in MY 2016/2017 fell 12% compared to the previous year,” he said. Also in that year price per metric ton fell about 5% to $1,572 per metric ton.

The drop in production for 2016/17 stemmed from a reduced anchovy catch and large number of young fish, he said. Permitted fishing seasons also were shortened.

The catch quotas have been reduced in recent years in an ongoing effort to protect and rebuild stocks, said the attaché. However, the efforts have not been successful so far with much of the concern reportedly being generated by actions of small-scale/artisanal fishing vessels.

“The small-scale/artisanal vessel catch is supposedly intended for low cost, direct human consumption,” he said. “But despite…