EP 190 | AIRED 07/07/2014

Chinese Catfish Market Looking Strong, Over 30 Million Fish to be Caught

July 7th, 2014 This week in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight, Rob Reierson discusses Limited Chinese Catfish Market Looking Strong, Over 30 Million Fish to be Caught...

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--- The pink salmon fishery in Prince William Sound is well underway and large returns are expected. The commercial fishery opened earlier than last year and over 3 million fish was caught in just one day last week. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is projecting over 30 million fish will be caught in the Prince William Sound hatchery. The Valdez Fisheries Development Association (VFDA) cost recovery program has already caught 81 percent of their revenue goal, but are waiting for a higher female ratio before catching the remainder. Last year was the biggest run to date at 89.3 million pink salmon harvested, including 2.1 million for the VFDA recovery program. --- With regards to the Alaskan chum salmon fishery, we have heard that in certain catch areas, this time last year, the chums had already started turning towards dark GMC. But this year at this time the bright fish is still running strong. --- The Bristol Bay Science Research Institute announced an in-season updated forecast for sockeye salmon on Friday. The updated forecast of 38 million fish is about 45 percent higher than the previous forecast of 26 million sockeye and 27 percent higher than last year's harvest of 22 million fish. --- Finally, Chinese catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, will begin to harvest next month and the market is looking strong. The USA is one of the major markets for catfish and American buyers are starting to chase plants for finished products. The number of Chinese Catfish packers is decreasing because of the risks of shipping to North America and increased processing costs. We have heard that there are only four or five packers left now. Higher processing costs and a strong market demand has suggested that Chinese catfish pricing could be going up about 20 percent over last year. There are also decreasing numbers of US catfish farmers, especially since the peak of the American Catfish industry in 2003. This could change in 2014 as it is estimated that this year will be a milestone for aquaculture and per capita consumption of farmed fish will overtake that of wild fish.


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