The European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products (Eumofa) recently published a study analyzing the production and market trends of corvina at EU level, focusing on the price structure in the supply chain in Greece, Italy and Spain. The study revealed that, in 2019, 68% of the world production of corvina came from aquaculture activities. The percentage rises to 82% in the European Union (EU).

The study, called ‘Croaker in the European Union – Price structure in the supply chain’, highlights production by country, with Egypt being the main producer of croaker (Argyrosomus regius). In 2019, the African country was responsible for 47% of world production (96% aquaculture). It is followed by the EU-27 (82% aquaculture), Angola (100% catch), Mauritania (100% catch) and Turkey (98% aquaculture).

Figures of interest

In the EU, most of the corvina produced is farmed, with 8401 tons in 2019. Meanwhile, wild caught corvina reached 1861 tons. On the other hand, between 2010 and 2019 both aquaculture and capture production increased, with 298% for aquaculture and 92% for fisheries.

According to FAO data used by the researchers for their analysis, in 2019 the main EU producers of corvina were Spain and Greece, with 5303 and 2415 tons produced respectively. Those figures account for 76% of European production. Following those countries were France, Croatia and Portugal, with at least 5% of the Community production each.
The European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products (Eumofa)

Price analysis

Regarding prices, the analysis carried out by Eumofa points out that in Spain approximately 3300 tons of corvina from Turkey, Egypt and Greece were imported in 2020; while exports were estimated at 1500 tons and were mainly destined to Portugal and Italy. According to the study, the average farm-gate price of corvina was EUR 5.00 per kilogram (excluding transport); meanwhile, the average price of whole corvina in the retail channel was EUR 9.50 per kilogram, VAT included.

According to Eumofa researchers’ estimates based on interviews, in 2020 imports accounted for 38% of the national corvina supply for Spain, with prices varying according to origin, size of specimens and exchange rates. Thus, average wholesale prices in 2020 for the different exporting countries (transport included) were EUR 6.5 per kg for Egypt, EUR 5.5 per kg for Greece and EUR 4.8 per kg for Turkey.

Sales characteristics

According to the researchers’ findings, corvina is consumed stably throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas, when sales skyrocket. Some 80% of the sea bass is sold whole to the final consumer, while only 20% is processed, usually into fillets.

As for Greece, the study indicates that its production is mainly destined for export, although domestic consumption is also increasing, as in Spain. The Hellenic country’s production comes entirely from aquaculture, with a total of 2400 tons in 2019. 70% was exported to Italy, France and Germany, with an average farm gate price (fresh and whole corvina) of between EUR 4.80 per kilogram and EUR 6.50 per kilogram, during 2019.

Finally, the study of the Italian case highlights its importing nature, as well as its reduced aquaculture production, which in the period analyzed did not exceed 75 tons. Thus, about 95% of the corvina consumed by Italians comes from Croatia, Spain and Greece. In 2019, the farm-gate price of corvina in Italy was EUR 7.00 EUR per kilogram.

Increasing market transparency and efficiency

Recall that the European Market Observatory for Fisheries and Aquaculture Products is a market intelligence tool on the EU fisheries and aquaculture sector. Its objective is to increase market transparency and efficiency, as well as to analyze the dynamics of EU markets, support business decisions and policy making.

Eumofa allows direct monitoring of volumes, values and prices of fishery and aquaculture products, from the first sale to the retail stage, including imports and exports.

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