Tilapia production has continued to increase in recent years, but at a slower rate than the 5-8% growth we saw from the 1980's to 2015. Asia continues to be the center of global production and consumption. Prices have been relatively stable, largely due to consistent supplies. The continuity of supply is a function of the diversity of production sites and systems. Also, the Tilapia Lake Virus has not been as virulent as originally feared. Farm managers have done a good job of following quarantines and maintaining good water quality and feeding conditions. However, tilapia demand in the US, Canada and parts of Western Europe have dropped, blunting any potential price increase. This drop seems to be completely attributable to several misleading reports posted on the internet.
Despite weak demand in the most lucrative markets, global production and consumption have continued to rise. Production and consumption have increased in several countries that are particularly important on a global basis. Indonesia has reported rapid increase in production but only minimal increase in exports. A government report for 2017 estimated production of 1,200,000 metric tons. Egypt has also rapidly increased production, to approximately 1,000,000 tons, mostly for domestic consumption with some exports to the Gulf Arab countries. Bangladesh has increased its production at a tremendous rate in recent years. In 2002 the production was under 10,000 mt and by 2018, reliable estimates are for more than 340,000 mt essentially all for domestic markets. Brazil has also increased production to 400,000 mt again primarily for domestic consumption. India is a rapidly growing producer and consumer with production likely to pass 20,000 mt in 2019.