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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 690 | AIRED 05/13/2024

Pacific Halibut Update: Harvest Intensity, Price Forecast, Supply Outlook

May 13th, 2024 - The Pacific Halibut fishery that stretches from Alaska to California kicked off mid March and the harvest volume is over 500,000 pounds more than the same time last year.

This increase in fishing intensity appears to be a result of more activity out of Alaska. At the same time, docks pricing in Alaska look to be ticking upward.

At the season's start, the Halibut market primarily focuses on fresh, typically resulting in high initial prices.

According to UB data, while prices started high, they seem to be settling to some of the lowest levels in recent years.

Halibut Update

Currently, Whole Fresh Pacific Halibut prices range from $7.50/lb for 10/20’s to $8.75/lb for 40 plus, FOB Seattle.

Despite the current low prices, historical trends suggest that this may represent the lowest pricing point, with expectations that it will increase throughout the year.

Our recommendation is to not delay or hesitate in securing your Pacific Halibut requirements as pricing may be at their lowest right now.

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We can expect an additional 4 to 5 million pounds of Halibut to be harvested by the end of June, by which Halibut fishing will have slowed down as the Summer Salmon Season ramps up.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission reduced the total allowable catch again for the 2024 season, decreasing by nearly 2 million pounds from the previous year. This reduction follows a more significant cut of 4.25 million pounds between the 2023 and 2022 seasons.

Based on historical catch data, the 2024 season may produce a net weight harvest of approximately 25 million pounds, potentially marking the lowest yield since 2020.

Halibut Update

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