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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 482 | AIRED 04/06/2020

COVID-19 Update: What are Consumers Buying Right Now

April 6th, 2020 --- In this week's episode we provide a COVID-19 update on key species and reveal our findings on what consumers are purchasing right now.

As economic activity for most industries have come to a grinding halt due to COVID-19, and amidst dine-in restaurant closures and food production restraints, the food industry is still significantly active at the consumer level and it's up to food producers to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

SINBAD Platnum Sockeye Salmon

During these trying times, consumers have limited options for sustenance ranging from home cooked meals, to retail and online shopping, to take-out and delivery.

While we all know in North America, most of the restaurants and bars are closed, the majority are still doing take out and deliveries making foodservice still a viable and essential business.

In a bid to stimulate the economy, some policy makers are even in talks about offering financial assistance programs to help businesses get their employees back to work where restaurants are primed for the course with take-out services.

Let us not forget that it is still Lent.

In the same way certain cultures will still be buying and consuming Halal or Kosher products during this time, consumers are not going to start eating other proteins vs fish during Lent, especially when fish can still be sourced.

---- So what are some of the seafood items we've seen selling in this market right now?

Wild and Farmed Salmon is in high demand, Salmon is selling and there is a lot of repeat business on Salmon.

Foodservice is still a viable & essential industry

Over the past 2 weeks we have seen the market open up for more H&G Sockeye where some vendors and processors were actaully cleaned out which has resulted in upward pressure on pricing.

For Chum Salmon, Brite's are drying up fast, buyers will be hard pressed to pin down any large volumes of 4lb plus Brite Chums - and again, prices are trending back up.

At the same time we are also seeing Halibut Fletches and once frozen Alaskan Pacific Cod selling as well.

For Halibut, it's been a rocky start for the 2020 Pacific Halibut fishery due to COVID-19 where there is a lack of fresh sales and unstable ground prices.

As of April 1st, only 3 percent of the fishery limits (or 837,000lbs) have been landed compared to this time last year where about 1.6 million lbs had been harvested.

For Pacific Cod, prices are stable and the fishing is good as we are sitting at about 50 percent of Alaska's quota harvested translating to about 79,000 metric tonnes harvest of the 162,000 metric tonne TAC.

Based off documents from the Federal Register, the Final 2021 TAC for Alaska's Pacific Cod will be going down to 112,859 metric tonnes.

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--- In the value added division, Sockeye portions and fillets are moving with portions going to private label in retail bags.

Canners in Alaska we talked to specifically have seen their sales of Canned Pink's go through the roof due to the mad rush to stock up at grocery stores.

With the expectations for lower Pink runs in Alaska and Russia in 2020, this will be segment to keep an eye on as there is also a large USA Government contract for over 570,000 lbs of Canned Alaska Pink Salmon that is to be fulfilled between March to June 2020.

--- With all this demand on Salmon, keep tuned into our 3MMI for further updates especially as decisions makers develop plans surrounding the upcoming 2020 Alaskan Salmon Fishery where their primary focus is to keep the public and industry safe preventing further spread of COVID-19.

--- Our recommendation is to get a purchasing plan in order.

Our Recommendation

Supermarkets should order a little more than they think they need in case there is a temporary supply disruption the following week, keep adjusting your orders, to try and have a little more, just in case.

The same advice goes for food service restaurants.

Take advantage of every sales opportunity, now is not the time to run out product.

Our experts at Tradex Foods can help you manage your inventory so you are covered, without having to take it all into stock at once.

We will work with you to maximize gains while minimizing your exposure to any market volatility.

Contact us today.

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