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Composition of Portuguese seafood sector
Although the Portuguese fisheries industry only makes a limited contribution to GDP, the sector is of great socioeconomic significance to the country as a whole, and particularly to its coastal areas (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, 2016, p. 1).
The blue economy accounts for approximately 3% of Portuguese GDP (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, 2016, p. 1).
The per capita consumption of fish products in Portugal is the highest in Europe at 56.5 kilograms. It is more than twice the average EU per capita consumption of 22.7 kilograms (European Commission: DG Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, 2007, p. 1).
Portuguese fishing companies generated EUR 356 million in landings income in 2015. Processing companies added a further EUR 1.2 billion in production revenue.
In 2016, Portugal had a trade deficit in fish and fish products of EUR 958 million. It imported EUR 1.9 billion in fish products. 71% of these imports originated from other EU countries. Portugal’s largest import partner was Spain, accounting for 38% of all fish imports. Sweden (12%) and the Netherlands (10%) were also important import partners.
Portugal exported approximately EUR 940 million in fish and fish products in 2016 (Table 66). 82% of these exports were destined for other EU countries. As with imports, Spain was also a major export destination, accounting for more than half of total exports. Other important export partners were Italy (13%) and France (10%).
There were 8,205 registered commercial fishing vessels in Portugal in 2015. These were owned by 3,658 fishing enterprises. 175 fishing companies – 4.8% of all fishing companies – operated more than one vessel. In 2017, only 47% of the registered fleet was considered active (STECF, 2018).
Although the fish processing segment generated significantly higher production revenues, it employed a smaller workforce than the fish catching segment. In 2015, the fish processing segment employed 6,913 FTE, while the fish catching segment employed 8,130 FTE.
In Portugal, approximately three quarters of the fish and fish products that enter the market are sold as fresh. Only 5% is sold as canned, 12% is sold as frozen, and the remaining 10% is sold as dried/smoked/salted. 85% of the fish and fish products are sold through retail outlets, the remainder is sold in the food service industry. Just over 80% of fresh and frozen fish is sold through retailers, and over 95% of the canned and dried/smoked/salted fish products are sold through retailers (Figure 96).
In Portugal, almost 90% of the fresh fish is sold unbranded, the remainder is sold branded (see Table 67). Approximately 90% of canned and frozen fish and fish products are sold as branded, the remainder is sold with retailers’ own labels.
In the fresh fish segments in Portugal, FRIP Group (Pesca Miradouro) and Pescanova (Spain, see section 23.3.3) are notable players with a market share of around 5% each. In the frozen segment, Pescanova accounts for a share of about 33%, while Nomad UK’s Iglo accounts for 22%. In the canned product segment, Ramirez has a share of about 27%, while Cofaco accounts for approximately 22%. In the dried/smoked/salted segment, Martiko is the leading player with a share of around 27% (FFT, 2018).
Table 68 provides an overview of the producer organisations in Portugal that are currently recognized by the European Union authorities. Due to lack of data availability, the number of vessels and members is not provided.
The Department for Natural Resources, Security and Maritime (DGRM) of the Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and the Sea lacked company-specific catch and quota data. Data were available regarding approved factory ships and freezer vessels. An analysis of the corporate structures was carried out for seven of the nine companies with more than one approved factory ship or freezer vessel. There were insufficient data regarding the remaining two companies to determine their corporate structures.
As Table 69 shows, Largispot has three approved factory ships and two freezer vessels. It is possible that Largispot also has other, smaller, fish catching vessels. Figure 26 provides an overview of the Largispot company structure. It shows that Largispot has two fish catching subsidiaries in Portugal, António Conde and Atlantikaromas. It further has a subsidiary in Brazil, and an associate fish company in Estonia whose ultimate parent is a Spanish fishing industry company, Fletainvest.
In 2014 Largispot generated a revenue of EUR 20 million, down from EUR 33 million in 2013. In 2014, the company had total assets of EUR 18 million. 53% of Largispot’s products were exported in 2014, the remainder was destined for the domestic market (Largispot, n.d).
Largispot shows evidence of both vertical and horizontal integration. It has investments in both upstream fish catching, midstream processing and downstream trade. Horizontal integration is seen in its investments in fish catching companies both domestically as well as in other countries. Such investments are likely to be driven, at least in part, by the motivation to obtain access to quota.
As Table 69 shows, Aquavita has three approved freezer vessels. It is possible that Aquavita also has other, smaller, fish catching vessels. Figure 27 provides an overview of the Aquavita company structure. It shows that Aquavita does not have subsidiary companies. However, the company owners also have investments in two related companies. These companies are active in the fish trade, and in wholesale and retail activities.
No information on Aquavita’s turnover could be found. The company had total assets of EUR 890,000 in 2014.
The company structure of Aquavita does not show evidence of vertical nor horizontal integration. However, companies by the same owners are active in various stages in the fisheries supply chain. This indicates that the owners of Aquavita employ a vertical integration business strategy.
As Table 69 shows, Pedro França has three approved factory ships. It is possible that Pedro França also has other, smaller, fish catching vessels not detailed in the DGRM data. Figure 99 provides an overview of the Pedro França company structure. The company has a minority stake in the Spanish fish catching and processing company Frioantartic. Six Spanish companies hold the remaining stakes in Frioantartic.
In 2014, Pedro França generated a turnover of EUR 12 million, with similar levels in 2013. The company had total assets of EUR 13 million in 2014 (Orbis, 2016).
Pedro França’s company structure indicates a degree of both vertical and horizontal integration. Vertical integration is found in the investments throughout the fish product supply chain, particularly in catching, processing and trade. Horizontal integration is evidenced by the company’s investments in Spanish Frioantartic. This indicates a desire to access both quotas as well as extra processing and distribution channels.
As Table 69 shows, Pescarade has two approved freezer vessels. It is possible that Pescarade also has other, smaller, fishing vessels not detailed in the DGRM data. Figure 100 provides an overview of the Pescarade company structure. It shows that Pescarade is a family-owned, fully integrated fishing company. It does not have any identified subsidiaries or affiliates.
The company generated a turnover of EUR 3 million in 2014, down from EUR 3.5 million in 2013. In 2014, Pescarade had total assets of EUR 6.7 million (Orbis, 2016).
Pescarade shows evidence of vertical integration. Based on the company’s business activities, Pescarade is a fully integrated fisheries company.
As Table 69 shows, Hydrex has two approved factory ships. It is possible that Hydrex and its subsidiaries also own other, smaller fishing vessels not detailed in the DGRM data. Figure 101 0provides an overview of Hydrex’s company structure. The company is the majority shareholder of Pascoal & Filhos. The owners of Hydrex also directly own minority shares in Pascoal & Filhos. The subsidiary’s main activities are in the integrated fisheries industry, including fish catching, processing and wholesale. Pascoal & Filhos also owns one affiliate engaged in real estate.
In 2014, Pascoal & Filhos generated revenue of EUR 49 million, down from EUR 60 million in the previous year. The company had total assets of EUR 78 million in 2014 (Orbis, 2016).
The Hydrex company structure indicates vertical integration as its subsidiary Pascoal & Filhos is a fully integrated fisheries company.
As Table 69 shows, Anfersa Pescas has two approved freezer vessels. It is possible that the company also owns smaller fishing vessels not detailed in the DGRM data. Figure 102 provides an overview of Anfersa Pescas’ company structure. It shows that the company has both fish catching and processing activities.
Anfersa Pescas generated revenue of EUR 1 million in 2014, up from EUR 733,000 in 2013. In 2014 the company had total assets of EUR 716,000 (Orbis, 2016k).
Anfersa Pescas shows evidence of a limited degree of vertical integration through its business activities in both fish catching and processing.
Table 69 shows that Pesquera Downey has two approved freezer vessels. It is possible that the company also owns smaller fishing vessels not detailed in the DGRM data. Figure 103 provides an overview of Pesquera Downey’s company structure. Its Spanish company has a significant investment in the Portuguese fishing industry through Pombo, under which the freezer vessels in Portugal are registered. The owners of Pesquera Downey also have direct ownership stakes in Pombo. Pesquera Downey further has a fish catching and processing subsidiary in Spain.
In 2014, Pesquera Downey generated revenue of EUR 1.3 million, with similar levels in 2013. In 2014, the company had total assets of EUR 3 million (Orbis, 2016l).
The Pesquera Downey company structure shows evidence of both vertical and horizontal integration. Vertical integration is found in the fact that the company has activities in fish catching, processing and wholesale. Horizontal integration is found in the investments in fish catching companies in both Portugal and Spain. This is likely motivated by the desire to access both quotas and processing facilities.
The analysed fish catching companies active in Portugal are vertically integrated. This is probably due in part to selection bias, as the only available and reliable list of fishing companies active in Portugal with an indicator of size was the DGRM list of approved freezer vessels and factory ships. Freezer vessels and factory ships are mostly used by integrated companies, as part of the processing is conducted on-board.
Several the analysed companies also show evidence of horizontal integration. Only one, Largispot, had investments in more than one fish catching company in Portugal. Other companies that showed evidence of horizontal integration were either owned by Spanish companies or had investments in Spanish companies. This shows the close ties between the fisheries industries in both these countries, as reflected also in the bilateral trade relations (see section 23.1). There does not seem to be a strong motivation to increase quota through investments in other Portuguese fishing companies, or fishing companies in other countries. This seems counter intuitive given the situation of fish stocks in Portuguese waters.