EP 204 | AIRED 10/13/2014

the King, Snow, Dungeness Crab Fisheries Market Update, Buyers Place Your Orders Now

October 13th, 2014 This week in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight, Rob Reierson discusses the King, Snow, Dungeness Crab Fisheries Market Update, Buyers Place Your Orders Now...

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--- Last week we reviewed our weekly Market Insight updates to assess the helpfulness and accuracy for our valued customers and for buyers. We appreciate the positive feedback as well as your topic suggestions. This week we will do an update on the Opilio, King, and Dungeness crab markets, as requested by one of our viewers. Thank you Evan for your submission. Most of the Opilio Crab, also called Atlantic Snow Crab, sold in North America is caught in the Canadian Maritimes. The season opens when the ice packs melt and the boats can get out, this year the spring Fishery was from April 19th to May 10th followed by the Summer Fishery from July 19th to August 23rd. The Total Allowable Catch this year was 783 tons, about 2 percent lower from last year. The fishing quotas are now finished for this year so product availability will be the inventories in cold storages now, until fishing begins again next April. About two thirds of this year's Opilio Crab catch produced 5-8oz clusters, also called sections. Current inventories have stock of mostly 5-8oz and 8-10oz clusters. If product is required for programs and menus from now until April, we recommend buyers begin placing orders now before stocks are depleted. Current prices for clusters FOB Boston are around $5.51 / LB for 5-8oz sizing, $5.67 / LB for 8-10oz size, and $6.09 for 10-12oz clusters. The Snow Crab fishery in the Barents sea is divided into three zones for Russia, Norway, and International water. Russia has set the Opilio TAC at 1,100 tons but Norway has not yet set one. This fishery is carried out throughout the year, although the product alters slightly in sweetness and texture. Alaskan Snow Crab is landed in much smaller quantities annually and is typically reserved for program business and regular clients of the Alaskan processors of this product. When the clusters are occasionally available for new clients, they are about twenty cents per pound more expensive than the Atlantic caught product. --- Moving on to Red King Crab, Alaska's Bristol Bay quota for the 2014/2015 season has increased 16 percent from the previous season to 4,500 tons. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the quota last week, marking the fourth consecutive season of less than 10 million pounds available for catch. Price points Ex Warehouse Seattle for Red King Crab Legs and Claws packed 1x20 lbs are $16.80 / LB for 6/9s, $13.80/ LB for 9/12s, and $12.00 / LB for 12/14s. Alaskan buyers have heard that there is a potential price hike over last season. Looking over to Russia, the Red King Crab commercial catch in western Kamchatka has surpassed 2,400 tons as of Oct 6th. There is about 52 percent remaining in this year's allocation. Prices for Russian product are about $1.00 per pound cheaper than Alaskan product. We have heard from one source in Russia that in order for the Russian government to crack down on illegal fishing of Red King crab, the quota has been doubled so that more product can be declared as caught legally. --- Finally, let's take a look at the Dungeness Crab fishery. The Gulf of Alaska Dungeness crab tends to be larger than West Coast Dungeness and clusters are typically larger than 8oz. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimated that the 2014/2015 Fall and Winter Fishing Season harvest would exceed 2.25 million pounds, as required for a normal season length. All waters opened to commercial fishing on Wednesday October 1st. Alaska typically harvests between 3 and 4 million pounds of Dungeness crab per year, which is primarily used to produce "soldier pack" clusters and prices are around $9.19 / LB FOB Seattle. Regarding West Coast Dungeness crab, there is a great quantity of varied fishing seasons and quotas for areas all over the USA and Canada. One of the main fishing areas is in Oregon, but it does not open until December 1st. Commercial Dungeness Crab landings in Oregon from the ocean and the Columbia River have averaged 16.1 million pounds per season. Washington State and British Columbia Dungeness crab fisheries are open now. Most of the crab harvested in these areas are sold live and shipped throughout North America. There is increasingly more demand in China and Hong Kong. Prices last season ranged from $6.15 to $7.00 / LB for last season's frozen whole cooked. Overall, it appears that there is generally not enough Dungeness crab for all of the market opportunities. --- If you would like to hear a particular topic discussed in our weekly market updates, please visit our website and let us know through our Web Chat Feature where you can get real-time answers from our team.


---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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