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GLOBEFISH - Analysis and information on world fish trade

Market access update: France trade profile


France produced 712 000 tonnes of fisheries products in 2015, with 70 percent from capture fisheries and 30 percent from aquaculture. France is the third largest fish and fishery products producer in the EU28, both in terms of value and volume. Major species groups from capture fisheries include demersal fish and pelagics.  France is also one of the biggest aquaculture producers in the EU28; the majority of production comes from shellfish farming. In 2014, France produced over 76 700 tonnes of oysters, accounting for 82 percent of the EU28’s oyster production. The country was the EU28’ssecond largest mussel producer in 2014, with a volume of over 80 850 tonnes.

France is a net importer of fish and fishery products with most trade done within the EU28.  Imports totaled 1.28 million tonnes in 2016, worth USD 6.9 billion. Top importing partners were Norway (USD 870 million), the United Kingdom (USD 646 million), Spain (USD 555 million) and Germany (USD 444 million).  Imports mainly consist of salmon, shrimp and prawns, tuna, cod, scallops and Alaska pollock.

In 2016, France exported USD 2.38 billion of seafood, with again most of the trade being done within the EU28. Indeed, the EU28 absorbed more than two thirds of French seafood in both value and volume terms that year. Top EU28 import destinations included Spain (taking a 16 percent market share in value), Belgium (14 percent), Italy (12 percent) and the United Kingdom (11 percent). In value terms, the main exported species are salmonids, tuna, oysters, shrimp, squid and cuttlefish.

France is the second most important processing country in the EU28 after Spain, with EUR 3.75 billion generated in processing sales in 2014 (EUMOFA, 2016). According to FranceAgrimer, the seafood processing sector included 302 companies that generated EUR 5 billion and employed 17 326 people in 2013. 25 percent of this value came from the canning industry, 22 percent from smoking and curing and 19 percent from freezing and filleting. Surimi and caviar is an important processing industry in France as well, it contributed 17 percent to the 2013 processing value. Smoked salmonids is also an important subsector to the processing industry, in 2013 France supplied almost 21 percent of the EU28 market’s volume. France sends one third of its salmon imports to be smoked, which includes 55 specialized companies (EUMOFA, 2016).

Cooking fish and seafood is deeply rooted in the culinary tradition in France. Average fish consumption was estimated at 34 kg per capita in 2015, of which one third comes from aquaculture (FranceAgrimer, 2017). Cod and salmon are the most consumed species, followed by scallops, oysters, mussels and prawns. Wild finfish represented 59 percent while farmed shellfish and crustaceans accounted for 19 percent of consumption. Farmed fish accounted for another 13 percent (FranceAgrimer, 2017). 

[Enter here the full profile, which includes the food safety regulations and the fisheries and aquaculture statistics]

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