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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 655 | AIRED 08/28/2023

Atlantic Cod & Pollock Update: Tighter Supplies of Cod but More Pollock, Price Fluctuations, and Emerging Markets

Aug 28th, 2023 - The Barents Sea Cod quota for 2023 is the lowest since 2009 after a 20 percent reduction and is advised to be further reduced by 20 percent in 2024 due to poor landings and tight supplies.

For Icelandic Cod, with about 60 percent of the quota caught by the middle of June, Icelandic Cod prices have been sliding and will likely stay low until the quota is filled - then, Icelandic Cod prices are expected to sky-rocket until the new season starts in the autumn.

For Norwegian Cod, tighter supplies and good summer demand in the United Kingdom have pushed prices (for Norwegian Frozen Cod) to new heights.

A weak Norwegian currency has influenced whitefish prices - thus Norwegian products in USD are expected to remain at present levels or even decline marginally until the NOK rises against major currencies.

Moving onto Pollock and Alaskan vessels nearly met their quota by May while a 15 percent increase in US production is expected this year.

US Pollock prices have seen fluctuations, while German discount chains lowered prices for pollock-based products due to lower raw material costs.

Atlantic Cod & Pollock Update

Chinese trade figures indicate more imported Alaska Pollock may be consumed in China itself rather than being processed and re-exported to markets in Europe and North America.

On the contrary, customs data show that China has imported more headed and gutted Pollock from Russia during the first three months of 2023 than in the previous two years.

At the same time, Russian origin Pollock has gained popularity in Germany as direct imports of Pollock have risen significantly there.


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For Surimi, US production in 2023 is projected to rise by 16 percent to 187,000 metric tonnes, but would remain below the 2019 level of about 200,000.

The Surimi market faced sluggish demand in early 2023 due to consumer cutbacks, resulting in lower prices and reduced sales, with the US losing ground to Russia in the Asian surimi market due to their lower production costs and buyer emphasis on price over origin.

Atlantic Cod & Pollock Update

The outlook is to expect higher Atlantic Cod prices due to tighter supplies, while Pollock prices are falling as supplies increase, largely driven by inexpensive Russian pollock.

The decline in raw material costs will likely lead to lower consumer prices, particularly welcomed in Europe where food prices have surged.

Our recommendation is to identify and take advantage of opportunities in particular export markets.

Atlantic Cod & Pollock Update

Contact your Tradex Foods representative today to discuss all opportunities.

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