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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 483 | AIRED 04/13/2020

COVID-19 Market Update; New Oregon Pink Shrimp Fishery

April 13th, 2020 --- In this week's episode we provide a quick COVID-19 update on the markets last week and a quick update on The New Oregon Pink Shrimp Fishery.

To describe the seafood markets last week as an analogy would be like saying the industry was settling into its temporary home.

SINBAD Platnum Sockeye Salmon

As reported in the previous episode, Salmon, Cod and canned fish were still the movers through the market last week.

Supermarkets remain busy (although not as busy as when consumers were panic buying), and Foodservice continues to be slow.

Consumer purchasing behaviour as we know it has changed, and for some industries things may have changed forever.

Latest industry data show Krogers same store sales increased 30 percent in March and national data shows foot-traffic to Sam's Club and Costco increased 39 percent.

This was not due to stockpiling but rather the tremendous increase in meals cooked at home.

Grocery Store Traffic Data

A shift from foodservice to retail could actually be a beacon call for the frozen seafood industry as consumers develop their purchasing strategies to foods that can stay well preserved in freezers.

Perhaps now is the time for the seafood industry to educate consumers on all the health benefits and extended shelf life capabilities of frozen seafood.

To my knowledge, I can’t think of a more nutritious protein with many wild caught options that has better extended shelf life qualities than seafood.

--- On the foodservice side we anticipate the industry to pick back up soon.

Consumers need variety and you can bet people are already getting sick of cooking themselves.

In talking to local vendors this week, some restaurants are actually getting busier, and other restaurants are even getting requests from customers to open back up.

Our recommendation is to adapt to the new sales reality that foodservice is gearing towards take out when still in business and that business should increase over the duration of the "lockdown", be prepared to sell to your foodservice customers and adapt to sell to your current retail customers or find a way in.

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2019 Sustainability Report

--- Now for a quick report and update on the Oregon Pink Shrimp Fishery.

The season legally opens April 1st each year but does typically get off to a slow start due to price negotiations and 2019 saw further delays due to the strike.

This year, there is even further uncertainty due to COVID-19 where some boats have advised us they will not be going out until at least May 1st.

Shrimp Fishery Data

The 2019 Oregon Pink Shrimp fishery saw 26.9 million pounds harvested, then 35.9 million in 2018, and 23 million in 2017.

The overall feeling towards the 2019 fishery was “it was a lot of hard work! Trips were longer than many of this eras’ shrimp fishermen are accustomed" meaning fishermen had to spend more time out at sea harvesting.

2020 Predictions by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife forecast between 25 to 29 million pounds landed using forecast modeling from environment data and sampling data.

When asked if the 2020 fishery would be affected by oceanographic phenomenon such as el nino or la nina and ODFW commented that “the ocean has been rather mild lately so don’t expect a wild swing”.

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