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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 547 | AIRED 07/19/2021

Salmon Update: Sockeye Harvest Hits Its Peak; Chum Run Faces Another Devastating Year

July 19, 2021 --- This week we take a look at the current state of the Salmon Market as the Chum run in Alaska shows signs of another disastrous season, and Bristol Bay’s Sockeye harvest continues to come in strong.

--- Starting with Sockeye, fishermen in Alaska have already harvested over 40 million fish where the pre-season forecast called for 46.5 million fish.

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As we move past week 28, (which has historically been the peak harvest week for Sockeye in Alaska), the volume of the harvest remains centered around Bristol Bay and the Alaska Peninsula.

Latest updates are that Sockeye are coming in smaller with 2021's average size currently at 4.5 pounds per fish compared to 5.1 pounds in 2020.

Moving onto the market conditions and it’s been an exciting week with 2-4’s and 4-6lb Headed & Gutted Sockeye selling quickly at prices higher than list prices.

Although we are hearing rumblings in the marketplace that Sockeye is available at lower prices, processors who are also buying on the open market advise this is not actually the case..

Even with more 2-4lb Sockeye becoming available in the next few weeks, we do not expect downward pressure on pricing anytime soon.

Recent consolidations of plants in Alaska have created more financially stable processors that no longer need to dump inventories like in previous seasons.

As well, there are no carry over inventories of Sockeye from 2020 (or 2019) leaving the market bare which we predict will bring a stable and strong sockeye market moving into 2021 and the 2022 season.

In addition to this, as Pacific Salmon in British Columbia, Canada continue to be in a state of decline with some runs even on the verge of collapse, we would not count on any sizeable amount of Sockeye from Canada as the Government recently announced significant commercial salmon closures for the 2021 season.

Moving onto Chum Salmon and the run in Alaska is starting to show signs of another disastrous season.

Salmon Harvest Statistical Week 2021

15.2 million Chum were forecasted to be harvested this summer in Alaska, however as we move past what is historically the peak harvest weeks for this species in Alaska, just under 4 million fish have been harvested.

If the run has already peaked, total Keta harvest this year will be far below the five-year average although it may still exceed last year’s harvest of 8.5 million Chum.

Echoing the same dire situation for Salmon as B.C., we would not anticipate any sizeable contribution of Chum from Washington, Oregon, or California where in 2020, only about 500,000 fish were harvested from the 3 US States and 1 Canadian Province.

Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon

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--- The only relief for Chum will come from Russia that forecasted a harvest of 93,500 metric tonnes of Chum Salmon this season.

Last year Russia produced just over 80,000 metric tonnes of Chum from 26.7 million fish

And although Japan was able to harvest 17.5 million Chum in 2020, most of their catch remains for domestic consumption.

--- Our Recommendation is to secure new season Salmon inventories as they become available.

If you hesitate, you will most likely lose it or end up paying more.

Sockeye and Chum Stats

A secondary recommendation is to look at alternative Salmon products with better availability.

This leads to one of the best offers we have right now on TradexLIVE that is 3-4lb Premium Quality Norwegian Atlantic Salmon Fillets for only $6.45/lb FOB NJ and is a fantastic deal for the market!

This product is great for re-fresh, bunkers and for any sushi/sashimi customer.

Contact your Tradex Foods representative as soon as possible to secure these.

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Pan Searing Salmon 101 - Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon

--- If you are not already, be sure to subscribe to our 3-Minute Market Insight using the signup form below to keep tuned-in to all upcoming market insights.

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