Fishmeal and Fish Powder Price and Differences

Prices and World Production

Before we review the differences between fishmeal and fish powder, let’s talk about world prices and producing countries. This is important when presenting the various Sigma Fish Fertilizers and to understand how competitive our prices are.

Fishmeal prices vary a great deal. This is because fishmeal is a world commodity in great demand, there is never enough production, it is almost always a sellers’ market, it is seasonal and a handful of countries produce 75% of the world’s production. Perú  (30%) Chile (20%) China (17%) Scandinavian Countries – Denmark, Norway and Iceland (8%). the U.S. (5%) and Japan (4%). The rest is produced by an additional 20 countries.

China is the largest consumer of fishmeal. All countries with the exception of Perú, import fishmeal when out of season. As the world continues to increase in population, the demand for food continues to grow. Fishmeal is a key ingredient in animal feed. Aquaculture (fish/shrimp farming) demands huge quantities of fishmeal. Natural and Organic farming will continue to grow, hence the demand for more fertilizers.

There are several components to the pricing of the finished product when making fishmeal.  (a) The Dried protein a.k.a. Fishmeal (b) The Liquid proteins a.k.a. Fish Oil and Soluble (c) Other fish by-products.

Country of origin Price Indication Best Quality – Fishmeal + freight
Perú $ 1,700 x MT
Chile $ 1,800 x MT
Scandinavian countries $ 1,950 x MT
Fish Oil Price Indication – plus freight
Crude oil straight from the separator $ 1,950 x MT
Crude Oil – 30 % Omega-3 content $ 2,500 x MT
Semi-refined $ 3,980 x MT
Pharmaceutical Fish Oil to make softgels $ 12,500 to $ 16,000 x MT

Producers make money by selling the dry protein (fishmeal) plus additional profits from selling the fish oil and fish soluble. Sigma utilizes the whole fish leaving oils and collagens intact.


At a glance both products look the same but are not equal.

100% Fishmeal
100% Sigma Fish Powder

One particular company that sells fishmeal as organic fertilizer (they call it “fish fertilizer concentrate” but is just fishmeal) claims that it takes approximately 5 times the amount of raw materials (fish) to yield 1 lb. of fishmeal. It sounds as if the product is concentrated but it is not.

At the following link read “source” for their pitch. Mexican Fishmeal Supplier  Note the price of the 42 oz. jar. ($16 for 2 lbs.-10 oz. or $ 6.15 x lb.) At 2,204 lbs. (the equivalent to 1 MT) this fishmeal is very pricey at over $ 13,000 x MT.

As comparison, the most expensive fishmeal on the market at peak demand with little availability tops at $ 2,500 x MT ($ 1.13 x lb.) Sigma sells a superior product (Fish Powder) for under $ 1 x lb. Sigma fish powder includes the fish oil, collagen and freight to most U.S. Ports. Sigma Wholesale Prices

Based on the $ 6.15 x lb. above and market acceptance, Sigma direct customers will pay a competitive price and distributors will have an excellent potential to make good margins when distributing Sigma’s fish powder and fish blends.


Fishmeal is made by reduction of fish from its fresh state to meal/powder. So while the above statement is correct (5 times the amount of raw material to yield 1unit), they fail to state that the raw materials go through the regular process of fishmeal manufacturing.

If you wish a refresher on Processing go here. No-4-in-a-series-of-product-training

(a) Fish or trimmings are chopped up, cooked, squeezed, and dried at high temperatures. In the process, the product is denatured. The oils and collagen (to make supplements, cosmetics and paint) and stick water (fish liquid to make fish soluble) are removed.

Sigma fish powder is manufactured differently – Fish is sun dried in large patios. Raw material is carefully turned over as needed to achieve about 12% moisture. Fish is then milled to 5 mm mesh powder. Powder is then sampled and analyzed for purity and to test for salmonella. SGS then takes samples to their laboratories to analyze for quality and to issue Quality & Analysis certificates.

No beneficial oils, collagen or lipids are removed. The whole fish is utilized. Sigma Powder Fish Fertilizers are manufactured in state of the art equipment to assure proper ratios and a homogenous quality end product.


Sigma Marine Other Fish Powder Fertilizers a.k.a. Fishmeal
Made with very small whole industrial fish (3″ – 5″) Made with fish and trimmings
Naturally sun dried Chopped, heated, cooked, and dried at high temperatures
No fish oil or collagen removed (Omega-3 oil content) Oils and collagen removed
No proteins removed Protein meal removed for animal feed
Key components such as growth hormones, amino-acids, vitamins, enzymes and proteins are left intact Components sometimes destroyed by heat
No detectable heavy metals Unknown
Does not include antioxidant Includes chemical antioxidant


N – P – K   6 – 1 – 0.5

Average Composition Typical
Protein 40 –  50% 45%
Nitrogen 6 – 8% 6%
Phosphorus 1 – 3% 1%
Potassium 0.5 – 2% 0.5%
Oil 7 – 10% 7%
Moisture 10 – 13% 12%
Salt (as NaCL) 2 –  5% 5%
Sand 1 – 10% 6%
Salmonella negative


Both fishmeal and fish powder can be used as fertilizers but a Fish Powder like Sigma’s that includes the whole fish is a superior product. The customer gets greater value and superior results.

Sigma’s Other Fish Powder Formulas:

(a) Fish plus Kelp Meal (Seaweed Extract) – Fish/Seaweed Blend Fertilizer gives you the best of both products, combining the naturally occurring growth hormones, amino-acids, vitamins, enzymes and proteins found in fish and nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus in seaweed to make this optimal fertilizer. Seaweed is also an excellent source of micronutrients, trace elements, amino-acids and beneficial plant growth promoters.

(b) Sigma Proprietary Formulation – Sigma uses value added biologicals in its proprietary Bio-stimulants to provide an all-in-one nutrient delivery system that feeds the plant while enhancing the biological life of the soil and plant rhizosphere. A complete formula. No measuring, mixing or blending various inputs. All-in-One product. Inputs include: Fish Powder, Seaweed Extract, Humates, Peanut Shell Powder, Crab Shell Powder and a Proprietary Natural Bio-stimulant. Very powerful and effective. Very competitively priced with no equal product manufactured or sold in the U.S.  Sigma Proprietary Formulation This is your big advantage. No competition.