EP 172 | AIRED 02/24/2014

Pacific vs Atlantic Cod Pricing, Ammonia Leak Inspections Halt Production

February 24th, 2014 - Welcome to The Tradex Foods "3-Minute Market Insight" This is Robert Reierson and here is the seafood news for Monday February 24th, 2014.

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---Ammonia related issues are affecting more than one hundred seafood processing plants in China according to sources in China.

The Chinese Import and Quarantine Service (CIQ) has limited or stopped production completely as inspection of processors using ammonia refrigeration takes place.

Approval by the CIQ is required before plants with ammonia systems can process products.

Delays due to the number of plants requiring inspection and the time required for inspection have left many processors still waiting for inspection and approval in order to resume production after the Chinese New Year break.

North American markets are expected to be affected by production delays and limited output heading into Lent.

The Chinese government is reacting to the 7 workers killed by ammonia leak in November 2013.

According to our sources in China it is uncertain how long it will take for all the processing plants to be inspected and what the final result will be for plants who fail to meet the CIQ standard.

As the story progresses we will be sure to update you.

---Alaskan cod prices are edging up since our last update. Higher fishing costs partially due to fuel prices have pushed grounds prices to over $0.35 USD per lb. for pot caught day fish.

Despite higher costs and steady demand fillet prices have not changed significantly.

Processors see the market as firm and steady with no expectation of prices dropping in the short term.

There are projections of increased pricing after March 31st as inventories from the A season fishing are reviewed.

The expectation is that inventories will be low as aggressive price strategies have resulted in strong inventory movement.

For reference current prices are up to $0.75 lower than a year ago on larger sized fillets and $0.25 per lb. lower on mid sized fillets.

Prices for 2-4 oz. and 4-8 oz. remain relatively unchanged on a year to year comparison.

---Atlantic cod pricing and availability have undoubtedly had an influence on this situation as prices are strong and supply weak.

At the moment prices for Atlantic cod are $0.20-$0.30 USD per lb. higher than Alaskan Pacific cod.

This situation may change when Atlantic cod fishing resumes in April. Prices climbed as inventories sold settling in the mid to high $3.00 USD per lb. FOB East coast US.


---Thanks for joining me for the Tradex Foods "3-Minute Market Insight" This is Rob Reierson - “BUY SMART” and “EAT MORE SEAFOOD”

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