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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 494 | AIRED 06/29/2020

Buyers Update: Alaska Salmon and Chinese production

June 29th, 2020 --- In this week's episode we provide a seafood buyer's update from Alaska's Summer Salmon Fishery to foodservice production conditions over in China.

---- Overall, the Salmon harvest throughout Alaska over the last 4 weeks are below industry expectations with year-to-date landings the shortest in at least 12 years according to a recent McDowell Group/ASMI Alaska Salmon Update.

Tradex Foods on Youtube

Sockeye catches have caught up a little since last week but are still significantly lower than last year and the predictions for Russian Sockeye is also much smaller than anticipated.

Current Sockeye landings are for about 720,000 fish translating to approximately 70 percent lower than the same time in 2019 where more than 2.8 million Sockeye were harvested.

The average size Sockeye being landed in the Bay is about 3 pounds in the round (which is considered small, translating to an average H and G size of 2.25lbs) and industry experts are predicting another year of mostly 2-4lb fish.

Chum Salmon harvest of about 940,000 fish are about 60 percent lower than the same time last year, and Chinook landings of about 35,000 are about 40 percent lower year-to-date.

For Pinks, strong landings in Alaska Peninsula & Aleutian Islands have contributed to 1.4 million fish being landed.

Salmon Numbers

This harvest is well above the same period in 2018 of 256,000 fish and just for comparison, in 2019 about 7 million fish were landed same year-to-date.

Now is the time to plan out your Sockeye needs to last you until next summer.

Our recommendation for the past few weeks is to make sure you have enough Sockeye to last at least until November/December from 2019 inventories.

If you want any sort of Sockeye Program involving fish from the 2020 season you will need to prebook now to ensure you can source the fish you want.

One way that major supermarkets are dealing with the current shortage of fresh sockeye is to use refereshed until there is more fresh available.

There is still a significant amount of 2-4lb and 4-6lb H&G #1 Quality Sockeye from 2019 available, and Tradex has the ability to offer it to you in either fillets or H and G.

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The Wild Trailer

---- Now onto China.

Only a few plants are actually busy whereas a handful of plants are running only at about 60 percent production capacity.

Some plants reported to have almost stopped production and are now relying on custom packing orders for Japanese customers.

Raw materials pricing have remained relatively unchanged this month.

For Pacific Cod, plants are still sitting on inventory and are trying to move whatever they can for cashflow.

Chinese Raw Material Prices

Russian FAS Trawl is around $2600 per metric tonne, longline around $3000, Alaskan is about $300-400 more expensive than Russian at around $2900 for FAS Trawl and $3300 for longline Alaskan fish.

Atlantic Cod have remained around $3700 per metric tonne and Flounder/Sole between $1500 to $1750 per metric tonne.

For Haddock, pricing seems to be at the bottom or at least very close.

Earlier in June, pricing was anticipated to drop to $2500 per metric tonne throughout the month but is still currently around $2800 per metric tonne.

For Salmon, Pink Salmon raw materials are short so the price went up high from $1800 to $2600 per metric tonne with rumors that plants are anticipating that both Pinks and Chums will be short this season.

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