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World Congress on Cephalopods: Markets and Trade


About 370 participants gathered in Vigo, Spain, for the one-day conference on cephalopods on 3 October 2016. This was the fifth time that Conxemar, in cooperation with FAO, organized this conference.

In the first part of the conference, the focus was on production and trade of cephalopods in the most important supplier countries, like Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mauritania, and China. While cephalopods constitute a small part of total global landings, its share of the total supplies has increased from about 2 per cent in 1980 to over 5 per cent today. The general consensus was, however, that supplies of squid are low this year and will remain low for the rest of the year. Consequently, price increases are expected. For octopus and cuttlefish, the supply situation was considered better.

As a consequence of a much tighter supply situation, the volume of trade in squid and squid products has declined. However, for some countries, this trade has been in decline for some years, and the situation in 2016 will aggravate this. Because of low supplies, prices are on the way up. In some markets, like China, the price of squid has already doubled, and is expected to climb even higher.

In South America, most of the catch goes to the EU, in particular Spain. In recent years, as much as 80% of squid exports from Argentina went to Spain, but this is in the process of changing. Recently, China has taken more of the Argentinian squid, as much as 30%. For Peru also, Spain is an important market, but China is now the Number One market for Peruvian squid. In Chile, the main export markets for squid are Korea, Spain, Japan and China. USA has a strong domestic market, particularly for Loligo. The main foreign market is Europe. On the other hand, supplies in USA have been reduced because of La Niña. At the moment, the demand is not satisfied because of lower supplies in the country.

As much as 99% of the South African squid production goes to Europe, which is the main market with an average of 7 500 tonnes per year during the last ten years.

During the first half of 2016, Senegal's exports amounted to 1 581 tonnes of cuttlefish with a value of FCFA 4 400 million (EUR 6.6 millions. However, Senegal has lost around FCFA 50 000 million per year (EUR 75 million) because of the illegal fishing, according to Fisheries Minister Oumar Gueye. Indonesia is seeing growth in cephalopods landings, which in 2014 amounted to over 175 000 tonnes, of which 150 600 tonnes were squid, 18 000 tonnes cuttlefish, and 6 800 tonnes octopus.

Exports in 2015 amounted to almost 100 000 tonnes. The main markets for Indonesian cephalopods are China, Italy, Vietnam and Taiwan.

China's role as the main supplier of processed squid will be reduced in the coming year, as the country's industry is facing a very difficult supply situation. It is also expected that Chinese producers will have to increase their prices on world markets because of higher raw material costs.

Outlook -  The supply situation for squid will become more difficult later this year, with considerably lower volumes landed. El Niño has already heavily affected the Peruvian and Chilean fisheries, and this of course directly affects the squid market, pushing prices for most products upwards. China's dramatic fall in squid supplies will most likely increase prices only further. For octopus, supplies are growing, so prices for these products are not expected to increase much.


Read more about the conference:

World Congress on Cephalopods: Overview on Supplies

World Congress on Cephalopods: Sustainability and innovation

Announcement: #Vigo16: A consolidated yearly appointment for fisheries stakeholders


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