Aquaculture Feed Prices May Decline This Year
February 19, 2009
Yasuhiro Toyota, fishery feed department director of Nippon Formula Feed Mfg Co. Ltd., a major mixed feed manufacturer, spoke as follows:
Fishmeal prices were relatively high last year; however, they have stabilized these days. Materials of mixed feed, such as fish oil, plant-derived materials, and vitamins experienced price hikes all across the board, giving us a tough year to deal with. Diseases of sea culture fish, which occurred in November and December, environmental factors, a plunge in fish prices, and circulation of inexpensive live feed all contributed to slowdown of mixed feed consumption.
Imported fishmeal prices have been tumbling due partly to the appreciation of the yen, though the prices have not reached low prices seen during 2004 and 2005. For a time lag caused by materials being transported by sea, we normally arrange for the amounts needed for the next three to six months in advance; now, stagnating demand of feed contributed to a delay in use of fishmeal, which was purchased at a high price. Purchasing methods from trading companies and conditions of inventories differ, depending on feed manufacturers; and therefore, there will be a gap in timing of the resulting price reflection.
Growing Demand of Fishmeal Reduction Formula
China imported 1,300,000 tons of fishmeal in the year of 2008. Fishmeal is of course used for aquaculture; however, demand from livestock, such as chickens and pigs, is rapidly growing. It is not expected that the largest producer of fishmeal, Chile, will receive an increased fishing quota in the perceivable future. At present, our company concentrates on production of fishmeal reduction formula. Preparing for volatile changes of the fishmeal trend, it is imperative that we continue our development of better fishmeal reduction formula.
Highly anticipated synthetic taurine will be approved sometime this year. However, it is not that fish can be farmed only with taurine; it is just one way to reduce use of fishmeal. It is essential to promote further research and development of new effective ingredients.
We understand that producers are forced out of business, or they have to limit amounts of fish feed. Fishmeal prices will probably keep fluctuating from now on; and therefore, we are determined to put further effort into research on fishmeal reduction formula and cost reductions, so that the aquaculture industry can maintain productions.
The original article was published on February 19, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.
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