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All I want for Christmas is seafood

23 December 2021 | 2 min read
Claudia Kirby (Agricultural Analyst)

Christmas in Australia is synonymous with seafood, from prawn cocktails to some fresh blue swimmer crabs. The holiday season is awash with all sorts of delectable goods, with seafood a staple in many homes. So, let’s look at seafood consumption in Australia. Is it growing? What sorts of seafood are catching the eyes of consumers?

Each Australian is estimated to consume 26.4 kilograms of seafood in 2021/22. When compared to 2000, that is a 20.5 per cent increase. IBISWorld forecasts Australian seafood consumption to rise to 27.9 kilograms per capita by 2029.

Graph showing Australian seafood consumption per capita from 1991 to 2029. Australian seafood consumption is expected to rise to 27.9 kilograms per capita by 2029.
Australian seafood consumption is expected to rise to 27.9 kilograms per capita by 2029. Source IBISWorld 2021

The rise in seafood consumption is thought to be for a few reasons:

  1. Health-conscious consumers – seafood has many nutritional benefits
  2. Trade disruptions limiting exports and increasing domestic supply
  3. Greater disposable income allowing people to purchase high value seafood

The main seafood eaten in Australia is fish, accounting for almost half the revenue of the seafood industry. IBISWorld estimates seafood industry revenue at $934 million for 2021/22, and is expected to reach $1 billion by 2026/27.

Fish, crustaceans, and molluscs consumed in Australia are either supplied domestically from wild fisheries or aquaculture but are also imported. From January to October 2021, $854 million of seafood was imported into Australia. Vietnam was our largest trading partner accounting for $190 million. Australia imports predominately prawns and shrimp from Vietnam.

So, whether it’s chucking a shrimp on the barbie or cracking open some crays, we hope everyone has a great Christmas and New Year’s.

Fresh South Australian crayfish. Photo: James Maxwell
This article is intended to provide general information on a particular subject or subjects and is not an exhaustive treatment of such subject(s). The information herein is believed to be reliable and has been obtained from public sources believed to be reliable. Rural Bank, a Division of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 237879, makes no representation as to or accepts any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of information contained in this report. Any opinions, estimates and projections in this report do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rural Bank and are subject to change without notice. Rural Bank has no obligation to update, modify or amend this article or to otherwise notify a recipient thereof in the event that any opinion, forecast or estimate set forth therein, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate. This article is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in this article does not take into account your personal circumstances and should not be relied upon without consulting your legal, financial, tax or other appropriate professional.

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