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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Aller Aqua will ‘continue to take risks’ in African market

Danish fish feed group Aller Aqua will continue to “take risks” when it comes to developing emerging aquaculture markets, CEO Hans Erik Bylling, told Undercurrent News. The firm has grown rapidly in recent years and in 2017 will open two new plants in Zambia and China to bring its total up to six – doubling its overall production capacity, to around 300,000 metric tons. However, its recently-reported 2016 results showed that depreciation in the Nigerian and Egyptian currencies had hit the group's bottom line profit. “That's something that's very hard to protect yourself against,” said Bylling, during AquaNor 2017. “But we go into Africa to make a difference, to develop the market. When you lead the way, you have to take the bumps along the route.” He sees sub-Saharan Africa as the most exciting emerging market for aquaculture. At the start of 2016 Aller had factories in Egypt, Denmark, Poland and Germany, and will finish the year with the additional two mentioned. “It's obviously a massive continent, with good water supplies in places, a big population, rising GDPs [gross domestic products] and growing middle classes,” said Bylling. “Protein consumption is rising, and local production of fish will be increasingly demanded.” Currently several nations there import heavily from China, he added. “Farmers there need good quality feed to develop. One can't come without the other.” So far in 2017 the devalued currency in key tilapia nations such as Egypt has not prevented farmers from stocking their ponds, despite it being some 60% more expensive to bring in the feed now, said Bylling. As far as he has seen they continue to do their best to farm their product and pass the price increases on, he said.

Source: www.undercurrentnews.com

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