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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 438 | AIRED 05/20/2019

Major News Events Affecting the Seafood Industry Right Now

May 20th, 2019 - The first major news event affecting the seafood industry right now are tariffs. The second round of tariffs shocked the seafood market last week, as tariffs were increased from 10 percent to 25 percent on certain seafood items detailed in List 3.

Any shipment leaving China before May 10th but arriving into the USA before June 1st will be exempt from the increase, however transit time to the West Coast is about 3 weeks so even after receiving news of the increase, shippers are in a tough spot.

SINBAD Platinum Pacific Cod

For a seafood buyer, this means a Haddock item that was in the mid-$3s last year is now about $1.00/lb more expensive.

Flounder items that were in the mid-$3.00 range after the 10 percent increase will be a further 50 cents per pound stronger when the 25 percent tariffs hit.

Alaska Pollock, Cod, and Salmon are still exempt, which was good news until a new List 4 was released for public comment for mid-June.

The new list, which could be implemented in late June or early July will include all seafood items produced in China and exported to the USA.

--- The second major news event affecting the industry right now is the ambivalent Chum Salmon Market.

The accumulation of leftover 2018 inventories are putting downward pressure on Chum pricing.

We speak to our Seafood Buyer Rob McNutt on how this is affecting the seafood industry right now.

Rob McNutt: "Chums - lots of volume still on the open market. still a good amount of product unsold in Europe. Processors and vendors are very motivated to move this fish before the new season starts. Given the fact this will be a strong year for chums. the price is predicted to soften. the question remains, what is the magic number it will drop to. Early season 2018 Semi Brite chums were selling between $2.20-2.40/lb - we are seeing offers as low as $1.40-1.70/lb on the same fish."

This Weeks Sponsored Message:

Tradex Foods 7-Step Quality Control Process

--- The third major news event affecting the industry right now is the oversupply of Russian Pink's.

SINBAD Platinum Sockeye Salmon

--- It was a record level catch year for Russian Pink's in 2018 harvesting just over 500,000 metric tons.

The Pacific Salmon fishery in Russia typically starts in June/July and runs through to September and Russian researchers are expecting 290,000 metric tons of Pink Salmon to be harvested in 2019.

There is currently an oversupply of Russian Pinks in the market and buyers are hesitant to purchase suspecting quality concerns.

What is yet to be determined still is what is going to happen with the Alaska canning operations.

With the current oversupply in inventory and the upcoming volume year anticipated - WOW, look out for chaos.

--- Now, on a note about quality concerns.

If you are concerned about the quality of some product in the market, please give us a call at Tradex Foods.

Our "Industry Best" 7-Step Quality Control Process is the benchmark for quality management in the frozen seafood industry.

Whether the product is processed in North America or Asia, we guarantee the quality.

--- And finally, our TradexLIVE offer of the week is for 3-5lb Halibut Fletches.

These are 2019 production, single frozen, cut from fresh caught Halibut on day boats and processed the same day.

The quality of this product is exceptional.

Be aware there is a lot of twice frozen Halibut on the market from the 2018 and 2017 season.

TradexLIVE Offer of the Week

(Click to View Offer)

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