ECONOMY

Prospects for Greek fish farmers improve, says IOBE

Prices in Greece?s fish farming business, one of the country?s largest food exporters, may rise this year, from 2010 levels, improving prospects for the sector over the next few years, according to a report issued on Wednesday.

In a report on the highly fragmented sector, consisting of 117 fish farmers, IOBE said tight liquidity in Greece and Spain, a key competitor market, may lead to lower production levels, helping lift the sales price of seabream and seabass above the cost of production.

Prices will be determined by how competitors react in countries such as Turkey and their production levels, the report said, adding that strategies from markets offering cheaper substitute products will help shape fish prices.

Greek fish farmers had revenues of 726 million euros in 2009, including 324 million euros from exports, IOBE said.

The sector, which employs some 10,000 people, accounted for 23 percent of Greece?s annual food exports in 2009 and 2.3 percent of total exports.