November 7, 2023


In brief: China's aquafeed market in H1 2023

An eFeedLink Exclusive



eFeedLink statistics show that China's aquafeed production in the first half of 2023 was over 9.25 million tonnes.


Compared with aquafeed production in H1 2022, output in the same period this year was more than 9.96 million tonnes, a nearly 10% drop.


In H1 2023, several aqua farmers failed to pay feed producers for purchases made in 2022 due to poor market performance. This contributed to lower aquafeed production in the period. Only about 1,460 aquafeed producers were in operation, a significant decline from H1 2022.


China has 37 'super-large' feed groups with an annual output of more than one million tonnes. Their combined production of 5.26 million tonnes of aquafeed in H1 2023 accounted for 56.90% of Chinese aquafeed production in the period. This was lower than their combined output of 5.78 million tonnes in H1 2022, which accounted for 58.13% of national output.


Among the 37 super-large feed groups, four companies have an annual production of more than one million tonnes of aquatic feed in 2022. Their combined production dropped from 4.25 million tonnes in 2022 to 3.93 million tonnes in 2023. However, their combined market share in China's aquafeed market increased from 41.69% to 42.49%.


For aquafeed varieties, freshwater fish feeds account for around 70% of national output, while freshwater 'special' feeds stood at 18% and seawater feeds stood at 12%.


In H1 2023, the market share of freshwater fish feed dropped from nearly 70% to slightly over 62%. This means, the falling production of aquafeed in the period was mainly due to a drop in freshwater fish feed output.


As the production of the four major common fish in China decreased, demand for common fresh water feeds dwindled.


The output of special fresh water feeds in H1 2023 expanded from 960,000 tonnes to 1.06 million tonnes. The output of seawater feeds increased by 20,000 tonnes to 910,000 tonnes compared with H1 2022.


In H2 2023, China is expected to face severe shortages of fishmeal. Consequently, the use of other alternative raw materials is possible.


Meanwhile, amid tight cash flow, smaller aquafeed producers will be compelled to halt operation or even sell their plants to larger companies, hence further accelerating market consolidation.

- Shi Tao, eFeedLink