EP 357 | AIRED 10/16/2017

Global Sole Shortages Shock the Fillet Market

October 16, 2017 - Welcome to The Tradex Foods "3-Minute Market Insight" This is Robert Reierson and here is the seafood news for the week of October 16th, 2017.

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--- Unprecedented global Sole raw material shortages shock the fillet market, leaving many North American buyers empty handed. One of the biggest processing facilities in China, who has been in the Flounder business for 15 years, told us he has never seen a Sole shortage like this before. We spoke to three of the largest Flounder producers in the China Sole processing area, who in total will short North American buyers around 70 loads before Chinese New Year - nearly 3 million pounds of Flounder fillets. A major processor is hoping to see 1,000 tonnes of raw materials between now and January, which does not seem possible based on current landings. Most Flounder production comes from raw materials from the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, supplemented often with Russian fishing too. The total allowable catch for the 2017 Alaskan groundfish fishery was set at 154 thousand metric tonnes for Yellowfin Sole, 47 thousand metric tonnes for Rock Sole, and 14 thousand metric tonnes for Flathead Sole. The most recent catch data from NOAA as of September 30th shows between 70 and 73 percent of each of these three fisheries harvested. --- Historically, raw material pricing was steady around $1,450 per metric tonne in 2015. Since then, pricing has risen to $1600 last year to where it sits now at $1,900 per metric tonne. Some plants are willing to pay a premium to secure raw materials, but the issue this year is that no fish is available. An increase in raw material pricing like this results in fillet pricing strengthening by nearly twenty cents per pound. On finished goods, recent pricing trends have pushed twice frozen fillet pricing up from around $2.30-$2.40 per pound last year on 3-5oz fillets to $2.50-$2.60 per pound this year. We expect twice frozen fillet pricing to strengthen another 7 to 10 cents per pound by December. In the single frozen market, we have not seen any offers on once frozen rock sole fillets since the Spring time this year, often for premiums of nearly $3.10 - $3.20 per pound on 3-5oz shatterpack fillets. For next year, many processors are hopeful for a better supply in the new season, which will start in November and December. --- Finally, our TradexLIVE offer of the week is for 6-8oz skinless boneless Sinbad brand Haddock fillets. These are packed 1x10lbs in our 100 percent guaranteed Sinbad brand. We have 5,000 lbs available for pick up in Vancouver at $2.80 per pound. Click or tap the icon above to view this offer. ----Thank you for joining me for the Tradex Foods "3-Minute Market Insight" This is Robert Reierson - “BUY SMART” and “EAT MORE SEAFOOD"

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