Use case

EUMOFA Use case: Imports of anchovy in Italy, 2002-2019

EUMOFA Use cases provide concrete examples of some applications of EUMOFA data. They aim to highlight the added value deriving from the use of figures available in EUMOFA for analysing markets dynamic, supporting decision- and policy-making. The first Use case concerns the use of the EUMOFA import-export database made in the framework of the PRIZEFISH Interreg project

PRIZEFISH - Piloting of eco-innovative fishery supply-chains to market added-value Adriatic fish products is an Interreg project that aims to assist local fishing communities in the Adriatic to develop value-added products that are innovative and sustainable, and to develop cross-border trade in these products. The hope is that this will ultimately lead to an increase in the long-term economic, environmental, and social sustainability of communities in Adriatic coastal areas. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in the framework of INTERREG Italy - Croatia Project.

Fulfilling such an ambitious goal is no easy task. Amongst other things, it requires gaining a perfect grasp of the current status of some of the main fish and seafood supply chains in Italy and Croatia, so to evaluate what species are produced and where, with what fishing gears, and where they are traded and consumed. In addition, it would also be important to understand how prices change down the supply chain and how these changes reverberate through local communities.

PRIZEFISH has made extensive use of EUMOFA data to develop a structural framework to verify the current intra- and extra-European trade channels for about ten species. In particular, data have been used to check the existing price relations in different geographical locations and at different stages of the supply chain, allowing to understand potential markets and compare prices for the products that the project intends to develop.

EUMOFA data were also useful as a starting point of an in-depth analysis of:

  • the various actors in the supply chain (fisher's cooperatives, processing industries, wholesalers, retailers) to better understand the qualitative aspects determining price formation;
  • consumers, to understand their attitude and appreciation towards various product characteristics.

For example, amongst other things, the project has focused on imports of anchovy from both EU and non-EU countries, and on the evolution of their volumes and average prices from 2002 to 2019. EUMOFA import-export database has been a key tool for PRIZEFISH to develop its framework.

“The EUMOFA database is a precious source of information to get a quick but complete view of the main trends of the fish supply chain in Europe”, several members of the PRIZEFISH Team point out.

In particular, EUMOFA’s database has made it possible to retrieve the quantity of anchovies imported in Italy, divided by intra-EU and extra-EU imports from 2002 to 2019, as reported in the graph below.


Figure 1 Import volumes (t) of Anchovy in Italy, 2002-2019

Source: Prizefish, Supply chain report
*Considering that the report has been published in March 2020, data provided in this graph may differ compared to those currently available on the EUMOFA website, due to the continuos consolidation of Eurostat-Comext data which is reflected also in EUMOFA

Based on the data, the authors have identified two different phases in the period 2002-2019:

  • a first phase (2002-2011) characterised by an increase in extra-EU imports;
  • a second phase (2012-2019) characterised by a decrease in extra-EU imports, and an increase in intra-EU imports.

How can this phenomenon be explained? The PRIZEFISH team have decided to also look at import prices available on EUMOFA and have found out that starting from 2012, anchovies imported from EU Member States have become cheaper compared with extra-EU imports.


Figure 2 Import price (Euro/Kg) of anchovy in Italy, 2002-2019

Source: Prizefish, Supply chain report

But there’s more to it than meets the eye. EUMOFA’s database has also made it possible to identify the main countries of origin of imports: Morocco, Spain, Albania, Croatia and Tunisia.


Figure 3 Italy imports of anchovy by main partner country in terms of volume (t), 2002-2019

Source: Prizefish, Supply chain report

EUMOFA has thus offered an invaluable knowledge base for the PRIZEFISH team to develop new ecoinnovative business models for traditional fish products. The experience of PRIZEFISH embodies one of the main objectives of EUMOFA, that is to increase market transparency and efficiency, analyse EU markets dynamics, and support business decisions and policy-making. The knowledge base can then be used by stakeholders across Europe to develop innovative tools and practices, as brilliantly testified by PRIZEFISH.

The full PRIZEFISH report, which includes a structural analysis of Italian and Croatian supply chains for several species, is available at this link.

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