With consumer foodservice outlets closed for several weeks as part of measures introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19, foodservice volumes of fish and seafood declined markedly in 2020. Indeed, even when foodservice outlets were able to reopen, restrictions such as the night curfew and the ban on alcohol sales continued to undermine consumers’ willingness to visit restaurants.
The COVID-19 crisis led to a significant decline in local production of fish and seafood in 2020. Biomass on farms reached very high levels because of the dramatic drop in demand from the foodservice sector and the international market.
The price of fresh fish and seafood is expected to increase beyond the daily spending power of most South African consumers during the forecast period. Moreover, the impact of the increase in prices will be magnified by the availability of less expensive canned and processed seafood products, such as canned pilchards and tuna.
The crustaceans, and molluscs and cephalopods categories are expected to see their recoveries slowed by their relatively high unit prices in the challenging economic environment resulting from moves to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, significant increases in operating costs, including electricity, labour power, feed and services, will contribute to an increase in the unit prices of products such as crustaceans, and molluscs and cephalopods and further undermine demand during the forecast period.
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This report originates from Passport, our Fish and Seafood research and analysis database.
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