EP 411 | AIRED 11/05/2018
Rockfish Supply Boost Still Likely NOT Able to Meet Demand
November 5, 2018 - After a dry spell in the summer months this year, Rockfish fillets finally begun to hit freezers last month. However, the recent supply boost still cannot meet current market demands across Canada and the USA...
We spoke to several Pacific Rockfish suppliers here on the west coast and the consistent message is a strong fresh market, with only about 20 percent of landings reaching the freezer.
There are over 100 species of Rockfish and around 30 of them can be found here on the West Coast of British Columbia.
The Rockfish fishery is managed by the Department Fisheries and Oceans, who announced an increase in the quota cap for many species of Rockfish in September, increasing limits for some species by 3 to 5 percent.
Some Plants report larger landings of Red Stripe, which often produces a 2-4oz fillet, and of Silvergrey Rockfish, which is more likely to produce fillets larger than 8 ounces.
The most desired sizes of 4-6oz and 6-8oz fillets are short in supply due to fresh spot buys in the Canadian market and program business in the USA.
Taking an average of inventory holdings over the past 6 weeks, about 35 percent of production was 4-6oz and 50 percent of production fell into the larger sizes 6-8 and 8up.
With poor weather last week boats haven't gone out, so there will be a production lull for two weeks.
Pricing is high, fillet pricing is up about 10 percent over earlier in the year.
We can attribute a strong fresh market to this trend - fresh ocean run fillets are in the mid $3.00 range and typically processors spend $0.35/lb to hand rack and freeze.
While we do not anticipate pricing to soften any time soon, we do expect to see more frozen fillet production throughout the middle of November, which should alleviate some pressure.
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