Report Highlights: Imported frozen fish (especially mackerel, herring and croaker) accounted for more than 800,000 tons (valued at $900 million) in 2009. Depending on fish availability, imports are expected to exceed one million tons by the end of 2010. The combination of low domestic production, high poultry prices, and increasing incomes are driving import demand. The EU, South America, South Pacific, and some Asian and African countries are the principal suppliers. Scandinavian exporters also supply about 160,000 tons of stockfish worth more than $400 million yearly. Earthquake and Tsunami events disrupted coastal fisheries in Peru and Chile during the year and significantly reduced the usual fish supply to Nigeria. This report provides background on Nigeria's fish market and discusses opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Section I: Market Overview
Nigeria is the largest market in sub-Saharan Africa with a population of more than 150 million people, and a population growth rate estimated at three percent annually. Petroleum exports account for 20 percent of GDP, 95 percent of total export earnings, and close to 85 percent of federal government revenue. Domestic manufacturing is low with an average capacity utilization of 40 percent (2009). This is so mainly due to the high cost and unreliability of electricity and underdeveloped infrastructure. The market is dominated by low-income consumers. Nigeria remains a large food importing country (over $3 billion) despite some limited growth in the agricultural sector over the last few years.
Nigeria is a huge market for fish and has the potential to consume 2.6 million tons. Industry sources approximate the country‘s fish demand at nearly 2.0 million MT (valued at more than $1.8 billion) in 2009, leaving approximately 600,000 metric tons of untapped market potential. Of this, about 800,000 metric tons, valued at approximately $900 million, were imported fresh and frozen fish (mostly frozen mackerel, herring and croaker). Most of the products are sourced from the EU, South American, the South Pacific zone and some African countries. In addition to fresh and frozen fish, around 160,000 MT of higher-value stockfish (unsalted fish dried by sun and/or wind on wooden racks or specially constructed drying houses) valued at over $400 million are typically imported from Scandinavian suppliers. The frozen fish products from the Latin America (Chile, Peru) that reliably provided alternative supply sources recently became grossly inadequate after the earthquake in Chile and related tsunamis for Chile and Peru in 2010. The shrinking of the global fish supply contributes to the supply gap in fish for Nigeria....
Prepared By: Marcela Rondon, Regional AgAttache Uche Nzeka
Approved By: Russ Nicely, Regional Agricultural Counselor