World trade in fishery and aquaculture products exceeds $ 129 billion annually, according to FAO. China is listed as the world’s top exporter with about $ 18.3 billion, followed by Norway ($ 8.91 billion) and Thailand ($ 8.08 billion). Next are Vietnam, the United States, Chile, Canada, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands. The top ten exporters account for 52.5% of all foreign trade.
As far as large importers are concerned, the first place is occupied by Japan, with 17.990 million dollars, followed by the United States (17.56 billion dollars) and China (7.440 million dollars). They are followed by Spain, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Korea and Hong Kong.
The trade balance of fishery and aquaculture products is clearly unfavorable for our country. Imports during the past year reached up to 1.57 million tonnes, worth 5,205.8 million euros, while exports were somewhat below 1.1 million tonnes, whose value reached up to 2,983.4 millions of euros. These figures represent a negative commercial balance of about 2,222.4 million euros and a coverage rate of only 57.3%. Among the imports, and considering only their values, the crustacean (21.8% of the total), molluscs (19.6%), fresh or chilled fish (16.5%), fish fillets and meats (11.8%), frozen fish (11.6%) and prepared and preserved fish (10.8%).
As regards exports, the main items in value are frozen fish (23.2% of the total), prepared and preserved fish (19.4%), molluscs (16.2%), fresh fish (13.8%), crustaceans (10.3%) and fillets and other fish meat (8%). The main suppliers of fishery products for the Spanish market are non-European countries, with 72.1% of the total in volume and 71% in volume. By contrast, Spanish exports are preferentially directed towards other European Union countries (64.6% of the total in volume and 74.2% in value).

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Montse Gonzalez