IFFO Webinar takeaways: The Thai market and its connection to the world

Thai WebinaThis IFFO webinar held on 5th July in both English and Thai covered the Thai marine ingredients supply chains, with focus on and the market access to China and global market dynamics. It was hosted by IFFO’s China Director Maggie Xu.

IFFO’s Director General, Petter M Johannessen, opened the event by noting that “the future need for more than 30 million tons of additional feed ingredients for aquaculture alone in 2030 and 50-60 million tons in 2050, I see marine ingredients maintaining the position as the nutritional platform for aquaculture production and production of other animal proteins.”

Fishmeal industry in Thailand

Kittipat Oerareemitr, Vice President of Thai Fishmeal Producers Association and Director of Fishmeal Marketing Development Co., Ltd., focused on the evolvement of the Thai fishmeal industry. While explaining the Thai supply chain, Oerareemitr focused on raw materials from sea capture and by-products, showing how the industry has developed in a sustainable way. Fishmeal production, consumption and trade data was also presented to explain the market dynamics and Thai global relationships.

Innovative feed for the aquaculture industry
Moving on to the aquaculture industry, Olivier Decamp, Group Technical Director at Grobest Thailand, detailed the many challenges faced by farmers in Thailand, with disease consistently listed among the top three. The critical points for farmers are stocking clean and performing post larvae and maintaining optimal rearing conditions, while providing the right quantity of the right feed is most critical. A performing feed requires the correct balance of quality ingredients and functional additives. It is based on a detailed evaluation of the shrimp growth and health status and the correct feed is then recommended to farmers. Examples of feeding management from Thai shrimp farms were reviewed.

Thailand swine business outlook and fishmeal usage in swine feed
For swine feed, Nithitad Jiebna, Sales and Technical Director at Amcovet Group, noted how the Thai Swine industry was affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, with estimated production of fattening pig in 2022 decreasing by 12% compared to 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has also negatively impacted Thailand’s tourist and HORECA business following lockdown protocols, causing pork consumption rates to decrease from 21.1 kg (2019) to 18.8 kg (2021). Pig gate price and pork price are high in 2022 due to low supply and high demand.

Fishmeal is a good protein source for swine feed. High quality fishmeal is used in sow and piglet feed, while low protein fishmeal may be used in fattening feeds. There are cautions for fishmeal usage, especially pathogen contamination, which can create severe loss in farm production. Demand of fishmeal in swine feed should increase in 2022-2023 due to swine repopulation following the ASF outbreak.

The roles of fish oil application aquafeed
Orapint Jintasataporn, an Associate Professor at Kasetsart University in Thailand, looked at the role of fish oil in aquafeed. Extracted from fish tissue of oily fish such as herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel, and the livers of other fish, around 30% of fish oil is made up of omega-3s, while the remaining 70% is made up of other fats. Hence, it is the rich sources of omega 3s, EPA and DHA for promote growth performance, survival, in all aquatic animal. What’s more, fish oil provides cholesterol and phospholipid for all aquatic animal larvae, especially marine shrimp, and fish, promote lipid digestion, absorption and utilization then enhance, liver function and reduce fatty liver including abdominal fat. Fish oil also contains some vitamin A and D. These substances in fish oil can enhance immunity, and bone mineralization. Importantly, replacement fish oil could focus on reducing these crucial substances.

The responsible sourcing of marine ingredients from multispecies fisheries - a case study from the Gulf of Thailand
MarinTrust’s Impact Manager, Nicola Clark, summarised that Thailand currently has 11 MarinTrust certified marine ingredient production sites, which use by-product raw materials to produce fishmeal and fish oil. However, raw material being sourced locally from the Gulf of Thailand are not currently eligible to produce certified marine ingredients as there is not currently a mechanism in place to allow the demonstration of responsible management of such complex fisheries.

The MarinTrust programme in collaboration with South East Asian multispecies fisheries, including the Gulf of Thailand, are developing a fishery assessment method to allow them to demonstrate responsible management. Using the MarinTrust Improver Programme structure, which requires the establishment of a Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) and an audit of the marine ingredient production factory, Thai fishmeal producers, government representatives and other stakeholders, are working towards demonstrating responsibility of the Gulf of Thailand mixed-trawl fishery. By testing the developing multispecies fishery assessment against these fisheries, MarinTrust aim to produce an assessment process that can be incorporated into the main MarinTrust Standard and therefore increase accessibility to the programme.

China Import Regulations

Xiaowen Ling, China Technical Manager at IFFO’s China office provided a comprehensive overview of China import regulations. Ling started with the government authorities, who are responsible for the import regulation and standard setting, and then moving to the relevant regulations and standards. The conditions to export fishmeal/fish oil into China were explained and a short introduction on IFFO MARA licensing application assistance service to non IFFO members was given. In the past 12 years, IFFO China office has been offering a Licensing Application Assistance Service, covering new license application, license renewal and license alteration, to IFFO producer members. The success rate is 100%, with 377 licenses granted by MARA to the clients from 15 countries, and the market share in license application service accounts for almost 30%. From 2021, IFFO has opened this service to the producers who are not IFFO members.

In her closing remarks IFFO’s Maggie Xu noted that “both access and sustainability remain at the core to the long-term success of this industry, which were also well covered today. IFFO recognises Thailand’s key role in the global marine ingredients and aquaculture industries, and we look forward to continuing our work in this region following these fascinating discussions.”