Frozen tilapia in Spain    Overall attractivity    Outlook for the demand    Size of imports    Growth...
Tilapia in Spain                       uncertain. Therefore projections are hard to make. The best thing to do to stay up ...
Tilapia in Spain                        Currently, the import tariff rate is 9% for frozen tilapia fillets. A tariff of 5....
Tilapia in Spain                       own country, less stringent food safety requirements (of course within the boundari...
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2011 tilapia in_Spain


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2011 tilapia in_Spain

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2011 tilapia in_Spain

  1. 1. Frozen tilapia in Spain  Overall attractivity  Outlook for the demand  Size of imports  Growth of the market share of developing countries  Health consciousness  Willingness to buy sustainable tilapia Market The Spanish (39 kg per capita) eat seafood more often than the EU average (22 kg per capita). Spanish consumption is expected to stabilise until 2030 (Source: FAO, 2007). Spanish consumers prefer fresh products over frozen products. However, in recent years the increased demand for convenience products has lead to increased sales of frozen fish products. Industry experts states that the general trend is that tilapia is growing fast in the Spanish market. The demand is fuelled by the relative low-price. In 2010, Spain consumed around € 8.5 million, or 3.4 thousand tonnes of tilapia. nd Spain is the 2 largest consumer in value of tilapia in the EU, accounting for 20% of total EU consumption. Spain does not cultivate tilapia and therefore relies on imports to fulfil demand. nd In 2010, imports totalled € 8.6 million, or 3.4 thousand tonnes. Spain is 2 largest importer in value, accounting for 17% of all tilapia imports in the EU, above Germany st (13%) and below Poland (33%). Between the 1 half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, 1 imports of tilapia increased by an average of 57% . nd In 2010, imports from DCs were € 8.4 million, or 3.3 thousand tonnes. Spain is the 2 largest importer in value from DCs, accounting for 18% of the total imports from DCs, above Germany (13%) and below Poland (36%). Between the first half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, imports of tilapia from DCs increased by an average of 63%. DCs account for 97% of all tilapia imports. The most important supplying countries are Asian: China (97%) and Vietnam (0.6%). Spain hardly re-exports tilapia. Therefore, all imported tilapia is also consumed in Spain. The demand for tilapia is expected to grow above demand in the overall fishery product market. Although there is still a lot of competition from local fresh fish from other species, local supply does not meet local demand resulting in increasing imports of frozen products. Although growth is not expected to be as prominent as in other EU countries, Spain does represent good opportunities in terms of volume. In autumn 2011, Spanish GDP was expected to grow by 0.7% in 2012 and 1.4% in 2013 (Source: European Commission, 2011). The prospects for coming years do not look very optimistic. Although economic conditions are slightly improving the demand for is not expected to grow very fast. The most recent economic crisis had a large impact on the consumer spending in Spain. DCs are however expected to keep gaining market share. Please note that at moment of writing the economic climate in Spain is 1 Tilapia has only been registered as a separate product group in Eurostat since January 2010. Eurostat is complemented by statistical information from other sources and qualitative information.
  2. 2. Tilapia in Spain uncertain. Therefore projections are hard to make. The best thing to do to stay up to date is closely monitor the economic developments and talk to Spanish buyers. Market trends Tilapia is a white fish with a neutral taste. It therefore competes with a number of other similar fish in a market where price is a deciding factor. The white fish market is open to new species. Spanish retailers are interested in value addition. The market for higher-added value products is expected to be the largest riser in the food industry. Examples of tilapia value-added products are different sizes, packages, skin-on, skin-off, deep-skinned, ozone dipped, carbon monoxide-treated, individually quick frozen (IQF), smoked, sashimi grade, and as izumi-dai. In Spain tilapia is sold as "perca". In the beginning of 2010, the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) has recommended to reduce the consumption of tilapia to once a week after it became known that imported products contained pesticides and mercury. Although the amount of substances were within legal limits these warnings can negatively influence demand. The United Kingdom (UK) could become a competitor for DCs exporting to Spain. The cultivation of tilapia is starting to develop in several parts of the UK. The UK production is sold generally as fresh in supermarket and in the foodservice market in the UK. It is not expected that the UK producers can reach the price levels of DCs but it is marketed as a more sustainable product than Chinese tilapia. The producers have recently started exporting (on a very small scale) to Spain as well (Source: Seafoodsource, 2011). Price developments In the first half of 2011, the average price of imported tilapia in Spain is € 2.44/kg. Between the first half of 2010 and the first half of 2011, prices increased by 15%. Since almost all imports come from DCs, this applies also to imports DCs. The average price of tilapia imported into the EU is € 2.60/kg (source: Eurostat, 2011). Spain imports a large part of unprocessed products with low added value. Chinese prices are taken as a standard, Table 1 Price of exported tilapia from China (Source: Globefish, 2010) because Chinese companies dominate global production. Prices of frozen fillets dropped from 2008 due to increased production. Recently, prices started increasing again (Source: Global Aquaculture Advocate). In the past, the relatively higher price of tilapia (compared to other cultivated white fish such as pangasius) has kept its demand back. At the moment, tilapia prices are competitive (although still higher than pangasius, but with a better quality). With the growing dominance of China prices are expected to drop in the coming years. Stricter requirements regarding traceability, food safety and sustainability will increase production costs without a guarantee that these costs can be forwarded to buyers. Importers generally apply margins of 5-10%. Premiums may be applicable to added value products. Importers and agents can give you up-to-date information on the price levels of individual products. Internet sources include Globefish ( and FIS ( CBI Market Information Database • • Contact: •
  3. 3. Tilapia in Spain Currently, the import tariff rate is 9% for frozen tilapia fillets. A tariff of 5.5% applies for countries that are part of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) of the EU (mostly DCs). For actual information refer to Buyer requirements Spain follows EU legislation regarding the marketing of frozen shrimps and prawns and has not set any additional requirements. Non-legislative requirements regarding food quality and safety regarding fishery products are not as strict as in Western and Northern European countries. However slowly they are getting stricter as larger retailers are slowly gaining market share. Food management systems like GlobalGAP, AquaGAP, IFS and BRC are therefore becoming more important when supplying the Spanish market. The impact of these certifications is expected to become important in Spain as questions are raised about the safety of tilapia. In addition, sustainability is becoming increasingly important in Spain. Although not as important as in other European markets (e.g. Northern and Western), its role is increasing. Some specialized importers will demand certified sustainable tilapia. The ASC has developed a certifiable standard for tilapia ( The EU, and therefore Spain, has committed to the Codex Alimentarius that provides food standards for fishery products. The standards state requirements for quality, allowed food additives, defects, sizes, packaging, marking and labelling. Which standard applies depends on the characteristics of the product (quick frozen, cut, breaded etc.). For different standards refer to the website of the Codex Alimentarius (  For more information on legislative and non-legislative requirements in the EU, refer to CBI’s module ‘Compliance with buyer requirements for fish and fish fillets’ Suitable trade channels The most important trade channels for exporters from DCs are fish importers and processing companies. They supply to wholesalers, caterers and retailers in the market of their home country. They may even perform some processing activities. Spanish importers generally buy on an incidental basis or on the spot market. Most are registered with trade associations and databases (see useful sources). Some of the larger importers and wholesalers, importing from DCs are: o Grupo Fraida -; o Pescados a Cigurria -; o Roda International - Spanish retail chains rarely import directly from countries outside the EU, but purchase their products through selected suppliers or importers. The five largest multiple retailers have a market share of more than 50%. The largest supermarket chains are: o Eroski –; o Carrefour –; o Mercadona -; o El Corte Ingles – . Traditional large consumers of tilapia are ethnic communities (especially from Morocco and Latin American countries) that can be found in every large Spanish city. DC exporters that want to surpass the large trade channels can also find opportunities in these markets. This would mean trading in smaller volumes however the benefits are: no cultural differences, establishing trade relations using networks within theirSource: CBI Market Information Database • • Contact: •
  4. 4. Tilapia in Spain own country, less stringent food safety requirements (of course within the boundaries of Spanish and EU legislation). Finding and approaching Spanish buyers Make sure that the importer you want to approach is looking for tilapia and preferably already active in your country or region. This will facilitate a visit to your facility. By browsing the website you will learn a lot about the company. To get in contact with importers you can phone, email and visit specialised trade fairs. The Spanish do not always speak a foreign language. For more information on the Spanish business culture and doing business in Spain, visit the website of Kwintessential ( country-profile.html).  For more information on finding possible trading partners, refer to CBI’s module ‘Finding buyers for fishery products’. Useful sources FIAB, Spanish Federation of the Food and Beverages Industry – - (in Spanish only); MARM, Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs – - with information and statistics on the fishery sector in Spain (in Spanish only); Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for details of national regulations, labelling and presentation -; FROM, Regulation and Organization Fund for the Fish and Marine Market - - governmental website with information and statistics on market regulation with respect to fishery products; Mercasa - - biggest wholesale food market place; Industrias Pesqueras - - relevant bi-weekly Spanish magazine for the exporters of fishery products (in Spanish only); CONXEMAR - - key national fair for frozen and canned fishery products held every year in Vigo. Check the website for their next event; The European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium - - the most important trade fair in the EU held every year in Brussels. The next fair will be 24 – 26 April, 2012. This survey was compiled for CBI by CREM B.V. in cooperation with Siegfried Bank Disclaimer CBI market information tools: CBI Market Information Database • • Contact: •