Aquafeed is a commercially produced food item for various aquatic species such as fish, crustaceans and mollusks. It is primarily used in aquaculture. Fish cultivated on farms and feeding on pests found on crops can also be classified under the aquafeed market segment. Properties of these feeds can be altered so that they can float on the surface of the water or sink to the bottom of the tanks where fish are reared. Furthermore, the content of various nutrients in the feed can be controlled. This has led to an increase in popularity and growth of the market over the past few years. Increasing aquaculture activities is one of the prime reasons which are expected to drive the demand for aquafeed within the forecast period. In addition, growing human consumption of fish owing to rising consumer awareness about its various health benefits is expected to fuel the demand for aquafeed over the next few years. However, fluctuating prices of key ingredients used in manufacture fish feed such as fish meal and fish oil is expected to hamper the growth of the market. The global demand for aquafeed was 37,604 kilo tons in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% from 2014 to 2020. In terms of revenue, the market was valued at USD 62,610.6 million in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.4% from 2014 to 2020. The growing demand for fish and fish oil products owing to the awareness of omega 3 and its health benefits is further expected to boost the demand for aquaculture, fuelling the demand for aquafeed.
Amino acids were the largest consumed additives in 2013, accounting for over 25% of USD 818.3 million which was the aquafeed additive market revenue. Proteins are extremely essential for part of aquafeed as fish are incapable of synthesizing the ten indispensable amino acids viz. Methionine, Arginine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Histidine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Leucine, Valine and Phenylalanine. Antibiotics were the second largest feed additive in aquafeed and accounted for 23.9% of the global market in 2013. Antibiotics are a necessary part of aquafeed in order to prevent the fishes from bacterial infections which is a key threat owing to the fishes weak immunity system. However, antibiotics would see below average growth over the forecast period owing to the ban of certain antibiotics in European Union. The other key additives include vitamins, antioxidants and feed acidifiers among others.
Carp was the largest application segment of the market, accounting for 28.56% of global aquafeed consumption in 2013. Carps are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and offer high sources of protein that are low in fat. Demand for carps has been widespread in rice and fish farming as well. Carps are increasingly used in rice paddies to feed on insects and other organisms associated with rice culture. These factors are expected to boost the demand for carps in turn driving the demand for aquafeed over the forecast period. Mollusks were the second largest consumers of aquafeed accounting for over 20% of global consumption in 2013. Certain mollusks such as clams and oysters are an important source of food to humans, leading to a growth in demand. Additionally, mollusks such as clams and mussels are filter feeders that are increasingly used in maintaining good water quality by filtering nutrients, sediments, and contaminants from the water. Crustaceans and Salmons were the other key application segments for aquafeed market and together generated revenue of USD 14,434 million in 2013.
Aquafeed market volume share, by application, 2013
Asia Pacific was the largest market for aquafeed, accounting for over 65% of global aquafeed consumption in 2013. Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the aquafeed industry in the next few years due to significant growth in the aquaculture industry owing to certain factors such as ease of availability of natural resources, induced conditions for aquaculture and cheap labor. In other regions such as Europe and North America, growing inclination towards salmon farming, rising demand for seafood, hardiness of the species and governmental interest led to a higher demand for aquafeed from aquaculture species. Europe was the second largest consumer of aquafeed in 2013 accounting for 14.0% of global consumption.
The global aquafeed market was fragmented on global level with a large number of companies supplying a variety of products. The key companies in the market include Alltech Inc, Biomar A/S, Cargill Inc, nutreco N.V, Ridley Corporation and Norel Animal Nutrition among others.