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The U.S. remains one of the largest importers of Chinese tilapia. However, according to FAO, in the first two quarters of 2017, global tilapia trade witnessed a decline of 6%, attributed to weakening consumer demand, increasing participation of other countries in the global tilapia trade and growing preference for other specialty fishes. A special palate for pangasius has been witnessed among seafood consumers worldwide. Led by Vietnam, nearly half of the global supply of pangasius is held by India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, and China.

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The U.S. and China continue to remain largest consumers of pangasius. Following the increasing domestic demand and lower prices of pangasius, Chinese tilapia farmers are adopting farming of other fish varieties including pangasius. These dynamics continue to deter the future growth of the Chinese tilapia exports in prominent tilapia market.

Amidst Stabilizing Demand Trends, Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) Continues to Pose Production Challenges

Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) is an emerging threat to global tilapia market where established markets show concern towards risks of introduction of infection through imports. In a bid to avoid a considerable production loss due to TiLV infection, aversion for imports from TiLV-prone countries is observed wherein national markets show increased concern for low quality and possible contamination risks. However, imports continue against the backdrop of widening the supply-demand gap, in turn, adding the risks of production loss.

Although, active surveillance work by governments and development partners is underway aquaculture lacks effective vaccines for viral diseases including TiLV. Owing to this, TiLV continues to remain a challenge for tilapia producing countries.

Tier 3 Companies Continue to Account for Over Half the Tilapia Market Share

As one of the most popular farmed fish, a bulk of tilapia consumption, mostly fresh tilapia is met by domestic production. Especially in the Asian seafood industry, supply chain starts from small fish farmers to big city vendors. China, the world’s largest producer of tilapia also exports only about 10% of its total tilapia production. Following this, the tilapia marketplace continues to remain consolidated among Tier 3 players. In the highly unorganized market, small players continue to leverage opportunities in the domestic tilapia market with their strong local presence and limited regulatory constraints.

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Tier 1 and Tier 2 Players Add Diversification to Target High Potential Markets

In 2017, over 95% of the global tilapia production was consumed in the domestic market as cheaper, commoditized tilapia. While a hefty demand of commoditized tilapia is addressed by local players, prominent market players and producers are diversifying their product offerings to target high potential markets in the U.S. and EU28. Eco-labeling, low-antibiotic production processes and convenience packaging are few of the differentiated features added in processed seafood in a bid to establish a clear distinction between commoditized and premium tilapia products. 

Addition of diversity in premium tilapia offerings is meant to target expanding of middle-class and health-conscious urban demographic. While the U.S. imports a bulk of Chinese tilapia, an appetite for tilapia remains considerably lower in the EU28 market. Increasing purchase of premium and pre-prepared seafood products in these leading importer destinations is expected to stimulate the sales of premium tilapia products in the U.S. and EU28.

Competitive Landscape

The competitive landscape section of the tilapia market report offers a thorough competitive assessment of the market. FactMR provides a comprehensive dashboard view of key market players, company share analysis and thorough company profiles in this section of the tilapia market report. Few of the profiled key market players include Baiyang Aquatic Group, Blue Ridge Aquaculture, Inc., Guangdong Gourmet Aquatic Products Co. Ltd., Ananda Aqua Exports Private Limited, Hainan Xiangtai Fishery Co., Ltd., Beihai Evergreen Aquatic Product Science & Technology Co. Ltd., Regal Springs Tilapia, Mazzetta Company, LLC., North Atlantic Fish Co., Inc. and Netuno Internacional S/A.

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