EP 405 | AIRED 09/24/2018
Is The Halibut Market Shifting To A Seller’s Market?
September 24, 2018 - Last summer, Russian Halibut raw materials were between $7.00 and $7.05/lb, after some strengthening in the Spring. At that time Halibut fillets from Russian fish was between $13.50 and $14.50 per pound on 1-3lb fletches...
2018 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter
(Harvest in thousands of fish)
Updated: MON SEP 24 2018 8:30AM (View Previous Weeks Totals)
This year, Russian halibut prices have dropped substantially to about $4.60/lb, which has left many Chinese processors exposed with extensive Raw Materials and no fillet offers.
Current pricing on twice frozen russian caught 1-3lb halibut fletches is around $12.00 per pound on the West Coast.
--- Several Chinese processors commented that Russian raw materials were actually more expensive than offers on Alaskan fish, due to decreased demand.
That is likely to change as we have seen docks prices on Alaskan Halibut rise by almost $2.00/lb between March and August after several months of weak halibut pricing.
The Alaskan Fishery runs from March 24th to November 7th this year and as of September 18th the total landings for all areas were 19.25 million lbs, about 69 percent of the quota.
--- We spoke to our in-house Halibut buyer Rob McNutt on how he has seen the market begin to shift to a seller's market.
Kyla Ganton: Rob, how have you seen the halibut market rebound in the past month?
Rob McNutt: "The fresh Halibut market traditionally slows down this time of year however, demand for fresh Halibut is still strong and most processors are avoiding freezing 2018 catch. Keep in mind the 2018 quota was reduced and there's talk about further reductions in the new 2019 season. There's a lot of 2017 product in the freezers at substantially lower cost. Anyone needing current production is going to have to pay more. I really can't see this market coming down anytime soon."
--- The Alaskan Fishery for Halibut is MSC Certified, which may be true for the Russian fishery soon.
Longline Russian Halibut is in the final stage of a Fishery Improvement Project and is in MSC full assessment as of August this year.
Unfortunately, with the new import tariffs announced last week, Chinese processed halibut fletches will be subject to an additional 10 percent duty, which could drive single frozen sales further.
As the season comes to a close we will keep a close eye on where the market progresses, stay tuned.
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--- To wrap this episode up, our TradexLIVE offer of the week is for 16-32oz Shatterpack Pacific Cod Fillets.
These are once frozen, #1 quality, and available in Seattle at $4.60/lb USD.
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