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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 535 | AIRED 04/26/2021

Pink Shrimp Update - 38 Millions lbs Forecasted, Inventory Surplus

April 26th, 2021 --- This week we provide an update on the Coldwater Pink Shrimp Fishery as the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is forecasting for up to a 38 million pound season all while uncertainty looms from a pandemic-related inventory surplus.

--- Based on environmental and sampling data, fishery managers are forecasting that between 33 to 38 million pounds of Oregon Pink Shrimp will be harvested this season which runs from April to October every year.

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The 2020 season turned out better than expected with large volumes of age one Shrimp fueling the fishery to a 43.1 million pound harvest - overcoming a season that started simultaneously with COVID-19 interruptions that dropped foodservice business down 70 percent overnight.

The 2020 fishery is among the highest volume years since 2015 where 53.5 million pounds were harvested.

Count per pound issues were minimal (due to careful fishing and early season delays), and although pricing was lower compared to recent years, catch rates were the highest since 2015 launching the ex-vessel value of the fishery to a $22.6 million dollar season.

38,000,000 lbs Pink Shrimp Forecasted

Moving onto the current market conditions and although the season started in April, the bulk of the fishing typically doesn't get going until May.

Right now, there are a small number of vessels harvesting for the fresh market (which is typical for the start of the fishery), and our sources on the ground are advising the Shrimp are still quite small at the moment.

The elephant in the room though, is the inconclusive amount of surplus inventories in cold storages from the 2020 fishery.

Oregon Trawl Commission Executive Director Yelena Nowak can be quoted saying "I give all the credit in the world to our processors that continued absorbing that inventory. We are now facing some surplus inventory that needs to be taken care of"

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In an excerpt from seafoodnews.com, "Nowak said it has been difficult for a volume fishery like Oregon’s pink shrimp to make headway selling two-pound boxes to domestic consumers, and said shrimp has faced tough competition as other proteins also attempted to pivot to retail amidst the pandemic."

The industry did manage to sell a lot into the wholesale retail sector however it was a challenge for some companies to make the switch to the retail landscape all while competing with the influx of other categories that had to pivot from foodservice to retail.

Pink Shrimp Forecast

This may all sound troubling, however With retail innovations in the pipeline (such as a single-serving, frozen pink shrimp cups), and foodservice poised to make a return this year, we remain extremely optimistic that it will be a successful year for the Coldwater Shrimp market in 2021.

We welcome all retailers to connect with us if you are interested in developing a Shrimp program for this MSC Certified Sustainable Oregon Pink Shrimp fishery.

Not only are we market experts at Tradex, but we are also experts at custom packaging and marketing of seafood products.

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