EP 576 | AIRED 02/14/2022
Buyer’s Update: Cod, Pollock, Haddock, Halibut, Snow Crab, Lent
Feb 14th, 2022 --- It's been a month since our last general buyer's report so this week we provide a February buyer's update as preparations for Lent continue, and China starts opening back up from the Chinese New Year break.
Lent will run from March 2nd to April 14th this year and continues to be a hot topic in the marketplace, and also one of the reasons that suppliers are stocking up on inventory.
Over the last several weeks, suppliers have been taking positions on value-added Atlantic Cod, Haddock, and Pollock, and this momentum is to keep progressing as these are popular whitefish that are often marketed during Lent.
Although current inventories of Cod, Halibut, Pollock, and Haddock are all short, we should start seeing more supply flow through as harvest from Alaska's A Season start to work their way through the supply chain.
Alaska's A Season Pollock and Pacific Cod harvest has caught up to the pace of previous years after a slower start to the season with fishermen bringing in 63,000 metric tonnes of Pollock and over 17,000 metric tonnes of Pacific Cod by the end of January.
For comparison, Russia harvested 141,000 metric tonnes of Pollock as of January 24th which is 4 percent more than the same period in 2021.
For a look at pricing, please refer to this pricing matrix.
Pricing on value-added Atlantic and Pacific Cod, Pollock, and Haddock have all seen upward pressure over the last four months.
We anticipate pricing on Cod and Pollock to remain relatively stable for now, but for Haddock, we might actually see some downward pressure on pricing.
Looking through to March, two major fisheries will be starting up which are the Pacific Halibut Fishery and the Canadian Snow Crab Fishery.
When the Pacific Halibut fishery starts up on March the 6th, fresh Halibut is typically what will hit the market first until around May when processors typically start freezing fish.
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Expect pricing on Halibut to be high at the start of the season all the way through until at least summer.
The International Pacific Halibut Commission just recently confirmed an increase to the 2022 Pacific Halibut Fishing Limits with a TCEY of 41.22 million pounds compared to 39 million in 2021, adn 36.60 million in 2020.
Canada's Snow Crab season typically starts around March/April and has consistently harvested about 70,000 metric tonnes (or 150 million pounds) of Snow Crab between Spring to Fall.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada will confirm the new season Canadian Snow Crab Total Allowable Catch in March.
As the demand for seafood continues to rise amidst ongoing supply chain constraints, Our Recommendation continues to be that you purchase whatever you can to fulfill your seafood programs, and to focus on buying products that are already in North America or on the water.
As China starts to open back up this week from the Chinese New Year break, keep tuned into upcoming market insights as we gather new intel on the raw materials and production situation from Dalian to Qingdao.
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