SeaFood Business

MAY 2014

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Market Report 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Source: NOAA Fisheries Back up a pinch Blue-swimming crab imports through February, in millions of pounds crab Supply constraints remain in lump crab market Typhoon slows Philippines' production; Canada snow crab prices up squid High cephalopod prices likely to ease Strong Illex squid catch reported in South Atlantic African product from Europe has weakened due to economic con- traction there, which should bring wholesale prices down. Illex squid prices should fall on a strong South Atlantic catch. Te sovereignty dis- pute over the Falkland Islands continues to af- fect the squid fshery. Argentina grants many licenses to intercept migrating squid and harm Falkland Island fsheries. Intensive fsh- ing in areas outside the two countries' 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and ille- gal entry to Argentina's zone, which is not well patrolled, also could de- plete Illex stocks. Argentina's catch looks unlikely to match last year's, as it was only 31,761 metric tons (MT) from January to March 13, compared with close to 70,000 MT in the same period of 2013. However, hauls in international waters and in the Falkland Is- lands EEZ appear good. Last year Japan re- ceived 6,100 MT of Illex squid. Tis year, due to larger hauls, prices are expected to decline, boosting popularity of squid in Japan. Initial prices of small Argentine squid (about 100 grams) were $2,500 to $2,600 per MT, but should decline up to $300 per MT. — Chris Loew T he wholesale price of imported boiled octopus is at its highest in 10 years, but weak EU demand may bring it down. West African product at Tokyo's Tsukiji mar- ket was 1,800 yen per kilogram (kg), up 40 percent from the same period last year, due to reduced catches since the season started in mid-November. Tis is the frst time in three years it has ex- ceeded 1,700 yen and shows a marked recov- ery from the collapse in prices following the sub-prime housing loan crisis. Retail prices for product from Morocco and Mauritania are 20 percent higher year-on- year at 280-350 yen per 100 grams at supermar- kets. Demand for West C hile has been mak- ing huge profts from its leading seafood resource, farmed Atlan- tic salmon. However, le- gal and health issues are still afecting the biggest companies in the country. Farmed salmon is Chile's most valuable aqua- culture resource, representing 46.5 percent of the country's production and 43.4 percent of all seafood exports. According to government re- ports, in January and February Chile exported a total of 98,588 metric tons (MT) of salmon, 17 percent more than in the same period last year, while revenue grew by 40.9 percent. Chile exports 65.4 percent of its Atlantic salmon to the United States and Brazil. Frozen salmon prices have increased 77.9 per- cent to $3.50 a pound, up from $2.45 last year. At the end of March U.S. buyers were paying $5. "Some buyers in the United States are search- ing for cheaper alternatives than what the Chil- ean companies are ofering," says an insider in one of Chile's leading salmon export companies. "Te rest of the year is not looking bright." salmon Salmon producers see mixed results Production up 17 percent; ISA lingers (Continued on page 13) but with no more than 20 percent of the mar- ket served by crab from the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mex- ico, the market relies heavily on imports. Elsewhere, the start of Canada's snow crab E xpect record-high prices for lump crab into the fall, as strong demand and lack of supply combine to cre- ate problems for buyers. One lump crab seller says supply issues in Indonesia, a major sup- plier, are pressuring the market. Raw material volume is down about 35 percent this year. "Tat is going to put a real strain on what is going on through Sep- tember," he says. As a result, prices for blue-swimming crab show no signs of de- clining, and are up more than 20 percent from the fourth quar- ter of 2013, he said. Wholesale prices for backfn lump were around $13 in the sec- ond week of April, a 15 percent increase from the $11 level they were at one month earlier. Prices for jumbo lump, around $18 in Decem- ber, were around $23 in early April, accord- ing to the most recent price reports. Tis puts jumbo prices ahead of the re- cord $22 a pound seen in 2009, the executive said. "We'll probably see $24 before the new season starts in Octo- ber," he added. High prices have yet to impact demand in the United States, but at some point they will, the executive said. "Te market will only bear so much. We think at $24 they won't absorb it and it will move to other mar- kets," he said. "We're about to hit something we've never hit before." U.S. demand re- mains strong for now, 12 SeaFood Business May 2014 Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com 12_13MarketReport.indd 12 4/21/14 8:05 AM

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