Fast facts

Exports

  • Seafood export value increased by 10% in 2017–18 to $1.58 billion
  • Export volumes fell by 1% to 50,741 tonnes

Imports

  • Seafood import value was up 3.8% to $2.15 billion
  • Seafood import volume was down 2% at 221,500 tonnes
jpg abares snapshot graphic
jpg abares imports exports graphic 18

Where does most of the seafood come from?

With global wild catch stable at 90 million tonnes per annum for many years now, any growth in seafood production has to come from aquaculture. We are at the point where 50% of global production is now coming from aquaculture farmed sources.

So the key supply markets are aquaculture producers in what used to be called developing countries. But now know as tier 2 or 3 countries. The top aquaculture suppliers to Australia are Thailand, Viet Nam, China, Malaysia and Norway. Wild catch mostly comes from New Zealand and canned tuna from the Pacific that is processed mostly in Thailand.

sofia 2020 aust imports

Graphic Credit : FAO 2020 SOFIA report

jpg abares apparent consumption 2018

Australia’s apparent consumption of seafood increased, on average, at an annual rate of 1.9% between 1998–99 and 2017–18, from an estimated 238,968 tonnes in 1998–99 to 341,272 tonnes in 2017–18.

Per person apparent consumption of seafood decreased slightly between 2007–08 and 2017–18 (trending down from 14.7 kilograms per person in 2007–08 to 13.7 kilograms per person in 2017–18).

Domestic Seafood Consumption - Top 12 seafood categories and the contribution from imports

 

Category (Top 12) Tonnes domestic consumption (tonnes) Imports (tonnes) Imports contribution (%)
whitefish                                             91,378      52,822                         58
canned fish (tuna)                                             82,686      82,686                       100
salmon                                             51,276        4,805                            9
prawns                                             50,326      31,734                         63
misc                                             32,403      24,593                         76
squid                                             20,086      17,061                         85
scallop                                               8,445        2,715                         32
oily fish                                               7,723              -                          -
tuna                                               6,950        1,049                         15
mussels                                               6,049        2,238                         37
crab                                               5,858        1,700                         29
lobsters                                               3,187        1,178                         37
total                                           366,366   222,581                         53

Trade Data

Trade data from ABARES (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences) , is available courtesy of the FRDC (Fisheries Research and Development Corporation) website.

https://www.frdc.com.au/services/seafood-trade-data

Seafood Imports (by main categories) over the last 5 years

jpg abares main imported categories 18
jpg abares imports by volume data 2013 to 2018

a All frozen fish not inc Hakes, Salmonids, Tunas and Icefishes.

http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/research-topics/fisheries/fisheries-and-aquaculture-statistics