SeaFood Business

JUN 2014

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Market Report 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 Source: NOAA Fisheries Imports up 14 percent U.S. frst-quarter shrimp imports, in millions of pounds shrimp Lack of confdence creates unstable shrimp market Product from India starting to make an impact yellowtail Yellowtail up sharply on low farmed volume Stocking adjustment to elevate prices clearly working were stocked because a heavy wild harvest the previous year pushed down prices for farmed yellowtail. Low producer prices have made it dif- cult for family-owned aquaculture operations to survive. As large su- permarket chains have been wielding their buying power to con- tract directly at low prices, most of the prof- it is now being made in distribution rather than raising fsh. However, a member of a fsher- ies cooperative in Ka- goshima Prefecture said prices are proftable for producers again. Japan's government is trying to hold prices at the current proftable level by asking coopera- tives to voluntarily re- duce this year's stocking of farmed amberjack and yellowtail 10 per- cent from 2012 levels, when 160,000 metric tons (MT) of cultured fsh of the genus Seriola (including yellowtail and amberjack) were produced. Yellowtail is by far Japan's highest- volume farmed fnfsh, leading second-place red sea bream by about 100,000 MT. Wild catches have fuctuated between 60,000 and 100,000 MT over the last two decades. Catches ex- ceeding 100,000 MT in 2010 and 2011 led to the reduced stocking of 2012. — Chris Loew T he wholesale price of farmed yel- lowtail, widely used in sashimi and sushi, rose sharply in April. Mid-month, the price per kilogram (kg) at Tokyo's Tsukiji market was 1,026 yen ($10.03, €7.29), while at the end of February producers in Ehime Prefecture, a major production area, were reporting prices in the high-800 to 900-yen range. Te current price is about 70 percent above this time in 2013. Supply is short be- cause of light stocking two years ago, when prices were depressed. As it takes about two years for yellowtail to mature, the fsh now nearing harvest were started in 2012 when 20 percent fewer fry G overnment reports say the anchovy, sardine and mackerel industry has had a good start to the year. Chile's Under Secre- tariat for Fisheries and Aquaculture's (Subpesca) latest report shows the pelagic fsheries reached 930,000 metric tons (MT) during the frst quar- ter of the year, which means an increase of 8.8 percent compared with the same period of the previous year. However, this is a drop of 24.2 per- cent compared with 2009 to 2013. Te results are impressive, though: Fisheries in the area increased 7 percent compared with last year, and a catch of 614,000 MT was registered from January to March. Te total pelagic catches (37 percent sardines and 32 percent anchovies) were 551,600 MT, 27.8 percent more than dur- ing the frst quarter of 2013. Exports are also doing well: Trade of sardines, anchovies and mackerel earned $996.7 mil- lion from January through March, an increase of 14.6 percent over the same period last year. However, with export volume at just 185,000 pelagics Chile pelagics harvests increase nearly 9 percent Fishmeal prices continue to rise (Continued on page 18) America ranged be- tween $4 for small sizes to $7 for 21-25s. Peeled and deveined tail-of Asian whites were go- ing for the upper $5s for smaller sizes to the mid- $8 range for 16-20s. L ast year, U.S. shrimp suppliers complained that over- seas packers were can- celing signed contract orders, refusing to de- liver until higher prices were agreed upon. Te head of procurement for one of the largest U.S. seafood compa- nies says this caused "tremendous disrup- tion" in the market. Fast-forward a year and the shoe is on the other foot: U.S. im- porters are canceling contract orders and demanding packers re- duce prices to refect the lower-demand market- place realities of 2014. "Both of these sce- narios are detrimental to the industry. Once confdence is under- mined between proces- sors and importers it leads to instability in the market," the pro- curement chief says. Since peaking in Feb- ruary, shrimp prices are dropping, a result of im- porters placing fewer or- ders in anticipation of a market adjustment, the buyer says. "Out-front pricing is signifcantly lower than domestic in- ventory," he says. "Tese lower prices we believe were ofered to entice some orders and are not truly representative of a major market correc- tion continuing." Prices in early May for easy-peel farmed whites from Asia ranged from $5.15 for smaller 61-70s to over $9 for 21- 25s. Shell-on, headless whites from Asia were selling at $5.25 a pound for 41-50s to around $10.25 for U-15s. Te same shrimp from Central and South 16 SeaFood Business June 2014 Visit us online at www.seafoodbusiness.com (Continued on page 18) 16_18MarketReport.indd 16 5/16/14 12:06 PM

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