3-Minute Market Insight
EP 390 | Aired 06/11/2018
2018 Halfway Mark Outlook: The Rising Price of Whitefish

June 11, 2018 - In this week's episode we take a review of the seafood industry halfway through the year.

The recurrent theme so far in 2018 is the rising price of Whitefish. Both Pacific and Atlantic Cod raw materials have seen a steady incline since the beginning of the year...

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Atlantic Cod has increased by 11 percent since January to $4,650 per metric tonne now.

The Atlantic Cod quota reduced by 13 percent for the Norwegian and Russian 2018 fishery - sparking discussions of a supply shortage and prompting vendors to begin filling production space several months in advance.

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In January we reported on a 20 cent price increase on twice frozen Atlantic Cod loins, in the range of $3.35-$3.40/lb.

Currently, prices are reaching $3.60/lb on the East Coast with steady availability.

--- For it's Pacific counterpart, we have seen unprecedented rapid strengthening in the finished goods market.

Pacific Cod began the year strong and have remained steady for the past several months - raw materials are speculated to hit a seemingly unsurpassable $5,000 per metric tonne.

The beginning of 2018 started with a 30 cent price hike to $3.45/lb in Los Angeles on twice frozen Pacific Cod Loins.

Inventories are thin now as supply is quite short, which has pushed pricing closer to $3.70/lb.

We have just heard the Russian Cod quota could be increased by 30 percent, with harvesting beginning in September, this could lower frozen at sea pricing a bit.

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--- Haddock is another premium Whitefish product - raw materials have strengthened parallel to Atlantic Cod this year, presumably in response to buyers seeking substitute Whitefish options.

In January we predicted Haddock fillets to stay firm around $2.85/lb on the West Coast.

With the rising demand for Whitefish, Haddock fillets are now closer to $3.50/lb.

--- Finally, another Whitefish options is Pollock fillets and loins.

Recently, demand on twice frozen Pollock loins has increased as Pacific and Atlantic cod price themselves out of the market.

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Raw materials have increased by about $50 per metric tonne since January, equating to about $0.10/lb on finished goods.

Pollock is steady in both supply and price, and we anticipate this trend for the remaining of the summer, presenting a viable substitute for Cod and Swai.

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