28 September 2022

EU self-sufficiency rate drops to historical low levels 

AIPCE CEP study demonstrates market disruption due to Brexit, Covid and fuel crisis‎


AIPCE CEP published the 2022 edition of the Finfish study. The study looks at the 2021 trade data as well as the first semester 2022 trends.

Since the formation of EU25/27 in 2006, the import dependency has been extremely high. Due to reduced catches and the UK exiting the EU, the production has seen a sharp decrease. EU self-sufficiency values dropped to 35% in 2021, while the ten-years average EU self-sufficiency lied above 42%.

2021 was a difficult year for many companies with the continuation of Covid related disruptions. The corona pandemic changed the trade flows and consumption patterns worldwide. The partial lockdown of countries continued to negatively influence seafood production and consumption.

Although the worst direct effects of the Covid-19 virus appear to have eased (at least in Europe) many related supply chain issues hinder a return to pre-pandemic trading conditions. Cargo prices for example are still at high levels.

While aggregate economic activity is returning to more normal levels in 2022, supply is lagging demand in many sectors resulting in significant inflationary pressures. Those are now accompanied by unprecedented energy price increases as a result of Russian actions in Ukraine. These also impact other raw material and input costs in global food markets. The EU sanctions against Russia make it more complex to source seafood material from Russia. Businesses are likely to face a period of significant uncertainty, further complicating planning and investment decisions.

With ever more European consumers looking for healthy and tasty food from natural resources the seafood sector has a positive outlook. The analysis shows that third country imports are ever more important to meet consumer demand.

AIPCE CEP fully support the EU policy to grow the EU production to maximize the seafood supply. Sufficient and stable ‎supply of materials from both EU and non-EU sources are essential for investments in the processing and ‎trading sector. Trade instruments like the Autonomous Tariff Quota secure market access for processors. These can generate further added value in the EU close to the markets, and provide jobs in ‎often rural areas.

Your main takeaways:

  • EU self-sufficiency rate is 35%, down from 42%‎
  • The per capita consumption in 2021 was 22.6 kg
  • Total market supply for EU accounted to 12,5 mln tonnes in 2021
  • EU domestic supply for consumption dropped to 3,5 mln tonnes in 2021
  • 9,000 thousand tonnes of seafood for consumption was imported from third countries in 2021
  • Exports to third countries accounted to 2,4 mln tonnes in 2021
  • Total EU consumption in 2021 was 10,1 mln tonnes


Finfish Study 2022 can be downloaded from the AIPCE CEP website.

For more information please contact AIPCE CEP Secretariat on aipce@kellencompany.com.