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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 651 | AIRED 07/31/2023

Market Squid Update: Exports to China up 600%, El Nino May Impact Harvest

July 31st, 2023 - As U.S. Squid exports to China reach levels not seen since 2013, El Nino may drastically affect Market Squid production this year.

Total exports of Squid products from the U.S. to China have increased 100 percent from 2019 to 2022.

In 2022, Market Squid made up 75 percent of the U.S. Squid exports to China, a remarkable surge from 22 percent in 2019 - which equates to an almost 600 percent increase.

However, with El Nino confirmed, Market Squid production out of California may significantly drop.

The last time the California Market Squid fishery experienced El Nino ocean conditions was in 2019 when only 27 million pounds were harvested - a very large spread from the 141 million harvested in 2022 when over 71 million pounds of Market Squid products were exported to China.

Market Squid Update: Exports to China up 600%, El Nino May Impact Harvest

Current harvest since the start of the New Season in April for California Market Squid is down considerably from previous years.

There is research that suggests that Squid move North or to deeper waters during El Nino events which may in-turn benefit the Oregon Market Squid fishery.

Oregon annually produces between 5 to 7 million pounds of Market Squid based on the previous 5-year average.


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China is a huge export market for Squid products and the current trajectory looks to be a continued upward trend.

In 2014 and 2010, US exports of Squid into China reached over 181 million and 197 million pounds respectively.

In 2022, the Zhoushan Port alone saw more than 400,000 metric tonnes of Squid unloaded.

Market Squid Update: Exports to China up 600%, El Nino May Impact Harvest

Our recommendation is to speak to your Tradex Business Representative today to discuss Squid opportunities.

Zhoushan city is China’s largest pelagic (squid, saury, tuna) fishery fishing production and supporting support service base and the country's largest pelagic self-fishing import port.

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