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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 457 | AIRED 09/30/2019

Chum Salmon Supply Shortage and Global Catch Data

September 30, 2019 --- In This Week’s Episode We Report on The Supply Shortage and Global Catch Data for All Major Chum Salmon Fisheries Worldwide.

2019 Alaska Salmon Commercial Harvest Counter

(Harvest in thousands of fish)


Updated: September 30, 2019 8:00am (View Previous Weeks Totals)

As mid-season indicators showed signs of a short Keta harvest, raw materials prices started to rise.

This season, Alaska fishermen brought in over 17 million Keta's nearly equal to it's five-year average however falling short of preliminary forecast of 28.9 milllion fish.

SINBAD Platinum Coho Salmon

In British Columbia, Canada, another short season is expected for Chum's with an estimated 164,000 fish harvested - a very large gap from it's last bumper year in 2016 of 6.7 million fish.

With signs of a shortage on the horizon, Chum Salmon prices in August rose to as high as $2.40/lb from the $1.48/lb average as seen throughout June.

Savvy buyers have held off on purchasing their Chum Salmon needs in August as very few transactions took place at the higher price.

Since then, prices have softened and are now averaging about $1.73/lb for a 6-9lb H&G Chum Salmon - much lower than it's average the same time last year of around $2.31/lb.

Our Recommendation is to "Buy Hand To Mouth"

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--- Next up, let's take a look at Global Chum Salmon Harvest to compare catch levels between Japan, Russia, USA, and Canada.

In Japan, Hokkaido Chum fishing has been reported as very good as our sources have told us that the Japanese have not gone out to Russia or Alaska to purchase fish this year.

The Hokkaido Fall Chum Salmon Fishery started around September 10 with peak catching times already in the books.

As of September 15th, 73,000 metric tonnes have been harvested of the 90,000 metric tonnes forecasted which will mostly go towards domestic consumption.

Raw materials pricing for Japanese Chums are typically $300 to $400 more than Russian fish in-which Russian Chums are currently around $3900 to $4000 per metric tonnes right now.

In Russia, recently released catch data shows that as of September 24, 2019 more than 465,000 metric tonnes of Pacific Salmon have been harvested which is 39 percent higher than the same period last year.

For Chum Salmon specifically, over 50,000 metric tonnes have been harvested of the 116,000 metric tonnes forecasted.

SINBAD Gold Coho Salmon

In the USA, ontop of the 17 million Chum's caught in Alaska, expect another million to enter the market starting October 11 when the Puget Sound directed Chum fishery opens in the state of Washington.

In British Columbia, Canada, preseason Chum Salmon forecast by Fisheries and Oceans Canada were for low returns and poor marine survival rates.

This resulted in poor fishing and fishery closures paving the way for low numbers in the hundred thousands compare to previous years with 3 million plus fish harvested.

--- The Chum Salmon fisheries in Japan, Russia, and the USA have shown stability, reliability, and abundance year after year.

As for the Salmon fisheries in B.C., only time will tell it's future as scientist and fishery managers work together to figure out what is happening.

This is an extremely complex issue with factors such as predation, hatchery competition, climate change, and disease.

There is no reason to believe that it is a single factor however scientist advise we are years away from building linkages between any factors

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