SeaFood Business

MAR 2014

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Market Report 0.9 1.2 1.5 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Source: NOAA Fisheries Supply shortage U.S. shrimp imports, in billions of pounds shrimp U.S. shrimp market 'still a mess' True impact of EMS fallout to manifest by spring mackerel Chilean mackerel quota rises Export activity also increasing, as are prices (MT), giving Chile a catch quota of 290,000 MT, a 16 percent in- crease from 2013. Last year, Chile harvested 214,612 MT of mack- erel in its own waters and an additional 5,500 MT on the high seas. "Te results are suc- cessful, when you con- sider that in 2013 we had a complex scenario over the results of the re- view panel that caused the objection raised by the Russian Federation and additional claims by Peru," says Pablo Galilea, Chile's under- secretary of fsheries and aquaculture. A source in the mackerel industry says that one of the larg- est seafood companies in Chile has bought a huge amount of mack- erel from China, which will defnitely afect the local industry. Chile exports about 120,000 MT, with the United States one of the biggest destinations; other mar- kets include Africa, and more than 30 countries, such as Sri Lanka. According to the same source, the mack- erel industry was very proftable 10 years ago, but when imported tuna was introduced into the local market, the fshing companies started exporting most of their catch. Mack- erel exports in No- vember and December 2013 totaled $167,419. — Brewington & Co. T he jack macker- el has supported an industry in Chile since the early 1970s. Frozen mackerel has increased 31.5 percent in value due to positive results in the Peru and Cameroon markets, with an aver- age price of $2.40 per kilogram (kg). Canned mackerel is $5.10 per kg, 1.3 percent higher than last year. In a meeting of the South Pacifc Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRF- MO) on Feb. 3 in Man- ta, Ecuador, Chile was granted 66 percent of the global catch quota of jack mackerel in the South Pacifc area for 2014. Te capture of mackerel throughout its range in the South Pacifc has been capped at 440,000 metric tons A fter settling into a level range last year, halibut prices could be unsettled as a big quota cut for Pacifc halibut could topple the delicate balance. Some of that impact could be ofset by switches to Atlantic halibut and product from Russia, or by switching to other species. Te International Pacifc Halibut Commission in January set the 2014 total allowable catch at 27.5 million pounds, an 11.2 percent cut from 2013, which was down 7.5 percent from 2012. Te 2014 number is closer to 24 million pounds, since the other 3 million pounds in the quota is allocated to sport fshermen, says one industry executive. While that should likely translate into a higher price, he doesn't expect prices to reach the levels they did at the end of 2012 and start of 2013. "Tere was fairly signifcant market resistance when it went into 2013, as both 2011 and 2012 fsh were still in freezers," he says. Mid-February prices for whole dressed fsh, f.o.b. Seattle, ranged between $7 and $7.50 a pound. Whole fsh from the Atlantic were selling at New York's Fulton Fish Market in the mid- to halibut Quota cut to hike halibut prices? Lower inventories may reduce resistance (Continued on page 20) 41-50s to more than $13.50 for 13-15s. Shell-on, headless farmed shrimp from Central and South America were around $4 for 81-90s to more than $8 for 21-25s. W e've yet to see the full impact of higher shrimp prices on consumers, as supplies remain tight, prices stay high and buyers keep waiting for a solution to the early mortality syn- drome (EMS) disease in Tailand. Te CEO of one East Coast seafood supplier says the situa- tion is "still a mess" with "not too many lights at the end of the tunnel." "Many items are priced out of the mar- ket," the CEO says, adding wild Mexico shrimp prices are so high he can't proft. Beyond that, supply is tight. "In the past, when prices were high, you could get it if you were willing to pay," he says. "Now, you can't be sure." Restaurants that ab- sorbed the higher prices last year during the frst few months of this episode now are pass- ing those increases on to their customers, and are fnding creative ways to keep shrimp on the menu if they choose to keep it on at all. "Instead of just sell- ing shrimp, they are switching to shrimp and pasta dishes, using it as an accent rather than a full meal," the executive says. Prices for shell-on, headless, easy-peel white shrimp out of Asia in early Febru- ary were in the low-$5 range for smaller sizes to more than $9 a pound for 21-25s that were sell- ing in the mid-$8 range in October. Raw, peeled and de- veined tail-on whites farmed in Asia range from the mid-$6s for 18 SeaFood Business March 2014 Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com (Continued on page 20) 18_20MarketReport.indd 18 2/14/14 2:18 PM

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