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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 499 | AIRED 08/03/2020

Buyer's Update on the Current Market Conditions for All Wild Pacific Salmon

August 3, 2020 In this week's episode, we provide a Buyer's Update on the Current Market Conditions for All Wild Pacific Salmon.

--- Alaska's Summer Salmon Harvest reached over 60 million fish last week translating to about 45 percent of the 132.7 million fish forecasted for the 2020 Season.

Compare that to 2019 where 208 million Salmon were harvested out of the preseason forecast of 213 million.

Alaska Salmon Harvest

--- For Sockeyes, although the harvest was quite sluggish at the start of the Alaskan season, landings sky rocketed from 2 million to over 40 million fish throughout the month of July.

With that burst of action, Sockeye harvest in Alaska is nearly complete as the fishing is winding down and fishermen start shifting gears to Pink Salmon.

In British Columbia, Canada, Salmon fisheries continue to be in dire straits, and I would not count on much Sockeye supply to come out of Canada again this year.

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Last year in B.C., just over 300,000 Sockeye were harvested compared to almost 4 million in 2018.

Of that, only 230,000 Sockeye's were harvested on the Fraser River Sockeye in 2019 compared to over 1.8 million in 2018.

For all Salmon species, the Fraser River Panel expects total returns to be less than 1 million fish this year — a fraction of historical figures, once as high as 25 million.

Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) advised late July that it does not expect to allow either commercial or recreational fishing for Sockeye Salmon on the Fraser River for 2020.

To complete the picture on global Sockeye supply, in 2019 Russia harvested around 20 million Sockeyes and the USA harvested a combined 55.5 million from Alaska and Washington.

For Sockeye buyers, our recommendation is to purchase your Sockeye needs now.

At the time of filming, new intel is showing that inventories of 2-4's are low as somebody in the marketplace seems to be purchasing everything up.

Global Sockeye Salmon Harvest

--- Moving onto Chums and its 2020 Alaskan Season is being cited as one of the worst in at least 12 years with many processors giving up on holding out for the run.

With the peak of the season that happened a few weeks ago, only about 4 million Chum's had been harvested (or 21 percent of the 19.4 million fish forecasted had been realized).

In Russia, insights out of the country are speculating for a large Chum run.

As reported by UCN, "Chum salmon landings have reached 4,745 tonnes, a significant 111 percent leap week-on-week, but still almost two times lower than 2019 catches at this stage of the year."

In 2019, Russia harvested 36.6 million Chums; USA - 19.8 million, Japan - 17 million, and Canada - 185,000 Chums.

For Chum Salmon buyers, our recommendation is to buy now as Chum's are short in supply.

You could choose to roll the dice and wait for the Fall Puget Sound fishery (which is not MSC Certified), however fishery managers out the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are warning of another tough year.

Commercial harvest of Chum Salmon in the state of Washington totalled 287,000 fish in 2019 compared to 849,000 in 2018, and 1.4 million in 2017.

Global Chum Salmon Harvest

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--- As for Pink Salmon, over 19 million fish have been landed in Alaska with an average size in the round of 2.3lbs.

As reported on ASMI's Alaska Salmon Harvest update #7, "This week and next are typically the peak of the Pink harvest. Measured by number of fish, the current pace is comparable to 2018, but generally behind the longer-term even-year average."

After several weeks of stronger pricing, Pinks have come down slightly and as Russian Pinks are starting to enter the market, that should provide good options for buyers as Russian Pinks are also available as MSC Certified.

A recent update from the All-Russian Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography as reported by UCN shows that 21,600 tonnes of Pinks have been landed in Russia this summer translating to about 60 percent of the total Far East catch.

Over the past five years, this catch volume is comparable only to 2012, and is significantly lower than 2014, 2016, and 2018.

In 2019, Russia harvested 274 million Pinks; USA - 129 million, Japan - 1.4 million, and Canada - 151,000 Pinks.

Global Pink Salmon Harvest

--- As for Coho's, almost 300,000 fish have been harvested in Alaska out of the preseason forecast of 4.2 million fish.

Although we are still a few weeks away from the peak of the run, landings are also trending below typical levels according to ASMI's Salmon Update.

In 2019, Alaska harvested 4.1 million Coho's; Russia - 3.4 million, and Canada - 200,000.

Global Coho Salmon Harvest

--- Lastly, Chinook Salmon landings in Alaska are now considered slow and behind the 2019 pace as we moved through the peak of the run where 166,000 fish have been harvested out of the 320,000 forecasted.

For Chinook/King Salmon buyers, our recommendation is to start planning out your volume requirements now.

With hesitation on Washington's Columbia River King Salmon Fishery and the disastrous state of the BC Salmon fishery, you can bet that pricing will be strong and inventories limited.

In 2019, USA harvested 838,000 Chinooks; Canada - 122,000, and Russia 73,000.

Global Chinook Salmon Harvest

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