EP 8 | AIRED 11/22/2010
Salmon Market, Halibut Fisheries, Alaska Pollock, Cold Water Pacific Shrimp
November 22, 2010 - Hello and Welcome - My name is Robert Reierson - Thank you for joining us for The Tradex Foods "3-Minute Market Insight" - The Monday morning “pulse report” for seafood purchasers.
Some Fast Facts to start this week’s insight:
- A major Japanese producer has cancelled a 1,500 metric ton shipment of Chum Salmon to the North America market due to consumer price resistance.
- The impact?
- Prices MAY fall – but this will not likely happen until May or June of next year.
- The Sockeye salmon market has appeared to have hit its’ peak.
- High prices are slowing down sales as there is a risk of end-consumers switching to alternate proteins.
- The Halibut fishery closed on November 15th.
- Despite low inventories - high prices have wavered and restaurants are pulling Halibut off menus in favor of sole and other whitefish.
In news this week – POLLOCK
- The National Marine Fisheries Service has released its’ assessment on eastern Bering Sea Pollock.
- The agency recommends that the 2011 total allowable catch be 1.267 million metric tons – an increase of 15 percent over last years forecast.
- Annual Alaska Pollock quotas fluctuate considerably - due to the natural cyclical trend of the biomass – HOWEVER - in recent years - fluctuations have been more extreme.
- Quotas reached an all time high in 2006 – that is 1.6 million metric tons – and in 2010, just four years later, quotas dropped 49 percent - an all-time low of 813,000 metric tons.
- The North Pacific Fishery Management Council won’t set harvest guidelines for Alaska Pollock until December – BUT - the Council has typically followed the agency’s recommendations and next year’s quota is expected to be about 56 percent greater than in 2010.
- Quotas are expected to rise even more in 2012 – reaching 1.6 million metric tons.
- Alaska Pollock represents 40 percent of global whitefish – HOWEVER - surging supply may not influence prices as one would think.
- The increased quotas are coming at a time when supply of farmed products - including Tilapia and Pangasius - is leveling off - after years of CONSIDERABLE growth.
- Reduced Asian production can be attributed to labour shortages – while Tilapia production in China is further hindered due to flooding in the Hainan province.
- Increased Alaska Pollock quotas will make up for the reduced farmed whitefish supply and will also help to meet increased demand that is surfacing in emerging markets – MOST NOTABLY - China – AS WELL AS - Russia and Brazil.
In other news – SHRIMP
- The coldwater Shrimp market appears to be picking up.
- In 2009 - Oregon produced about 22 million pounds of Shrimp – DOWN FROM - over 25 million pounds in 2008.
- The primary cause for reduced production last year? - POOR MARKET DEMAND.
- BUT THIS YEAR – two underlying factors are contributing to flourishing demand overseas:
- FIRST - Atlantic fisheries in both Canada and New England are cutting quotas – CONSEQUENTLY - European customers who traditionally purchase the Atlantic species are switching to the Pacific variety.
- Second - a softening dollar against currencies in key markets – notably the euro and British pound – is creating increased demand.
- Oregon’s 2010 Pink Shrimp fishery closed on October 31st.
- No figures are in yet – BUT - word on the street is that production levels have boosted in an effort to meet the rising global demand.
- SO - what does this mean for purchasers?
- Prices are definitely trending upwards – for both Atlantic and Pacific coldwater Shrimp.
- In early November - frozen Pandalus borealis from Atlantic Canada was being sold for up to 4 dollars per pound for 175-250 count.
- Prices for the Pacific Northwest variety - Pandalus jordani - at a 250-350 count – are about 10-15 percent lower than their Atlantic counterpart – due to their small size - but are still higher than recent averages.
Thank you for joining me for The Tradex Foods - "3-Minute Market Insight"
This is Robert Reierson - “BUY SMART” and “EAT MORE SEAFOOD”
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